Zimmer has written some great stuff over the years (Gladiator, Prince of Egypt) as well taking on less memorable assignments. Scoring this new Holmes he surely has excelled himself, creating action out of striking anachronistic inspiration. The main theme is a deliberate relation of the old 'Oranges and Lemons' tune (explicitly quoted at points) while the honky tonk instrumentation and oomph-pa moments in his score add to the atmosphere. Elsewhere Zimmer includes deep cellos as well as a second, more winding theme, which racks up the emotional tension.
This listener was reminded by turn of Barry's Ipcress File, Steptoe and Son and even, during odd slow moments, Cheyenne's Theme from One Upon a Time in The West. But Zimmer brings a drama and urgency all of his own to the musical show. The result is compulsive and memorable listening with no real weak tracks.
This is one of the films where, on further viewings, one waits over for the music and image to slip together satisfyingly, at times complimenting each other like a hand in glove - a sure sign that, for once, things are done well. The liberating moment of Holmes' and Watson's first trip down the Thames for instance, or the climactic scurrying from Commons to Tower Bridge, right down to the dark, jubilant start of the end credits. The album recalls all those moments and can recommended thoroughly.