Category Archives: Music

Soundtrack Review: Inception

(Music from the Motion Picture)
Composer: Hans Zimmer
Running Time: 50 min.
Released: 2010



Inception is Hans Zimmer’s first solo score for director Christopher Nolan after collaborating with James Newton Howard on Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. He doesn’t disappoint. Far from disappointing, Inception could very well be one of the best scores that the prolific German composer has ever written – which is saying a lot, when you think about it. What makes this even more amazing is the fact that he crafted the entire thing without seeing one single frame of the film. He simply read the script.

The score opens with Half-Remembered Dream, a bombastic number that has a somewhat sinister air to it – as if Zimmer is warning the listener that danger lurks just around the corner. The most memorable cue, Dream Is Collapsing, builds magnificently from a tense, reserved rhythm to an explosive arrangement with chugging strings and bellowing brass. Old Souls and Waiting For A Train both have a particularly ethereal feel, reminiscent of the jazz-kissed work Henry Mancini contributed to Bladerunner; while Mombasa – thanks to a pulsating accompaniment and Johnny Marr’s electric guitar – simmers with the frenetic energy of a chase scene. Time brings the score to a majestic close, soaring in a crescendo of strings, horns, and drums, and then falling suddenly to a quiet, dignified piano theme.

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Soundtrack Review: How To Train Your Dragon

How To Train Your Dragon
(Music from the Motion Picture)
Composer: John Powell
Running Time: 70 min.
Released: 2010



The more I listen to John Powell’s work, the more I like it. And his score for this year’s spectacular Dreamworks film How To Train Your Dragon is no exception. Powell brings every ounce of his compositional creativity to bear, and the result is one of the most memorable scores to come along in some time. Alternating between a sense of heroism, lighthearted energy, and haunting beauty, the music is also imbued with Celtic flare that reflects the setting of the film.

This Is Berk starts off the album a bang, establishing the three primary themes that appear throughout the rest of the score, while the magnificent Test Drive coincides perfectly with one of the film’s many vertiginous flying sequences. The most beautiful number on this soundtrack is Forbidden Friendship, which begins quietly and slowly develops into an ingenious variation of the main theme. See You Tomorrow also stands out as a fast and furious Celtic reel, with sprightly penny whistles forefronting an impressive brass display.

Buy the MP3 album on or iTunes