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4.7 out of 5 stars27
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 14 April 2001
Forget for a second that this album is even a score for a war movie. On its own, this music brings me to places which I had never seen before. This is music for living. Moving, exotic, textural, picturesque, uniquely emotional, this score transcends adjectives like "beautiful" and "moving". It is the soundtrack to the places which I dream of being. Add the fact that this is score to a WWII movie which has reinvented cinematic storytelling forever, and well...you have 2+ hours of moments which will change your life. Um, yeah, I highly recommend it.
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I last played this soundtrack whilst walking to work through the heavy traffic. What a calming effect it had! None of Hans Zimmer's soundtracks has affected me so much as this purchase. I came late to the fantastic film, and so late to the soundtrack. Terrence Malick is no ordinary Hollywood blockbuster director; and neither are the soundtracks to his films. The soundtrack to `The Thin Red Line' is replete with long sustained chords, ostinatos, Brucknerian chorales, and long-breathed meditative melodies. Innocence and foreboding resonate as someone else's war engulfs and consumes paradise.

We open with `The Coral Atoll', where distant rumbling in the ocean's depths give rise to a simply-arranged contemplative melange. A sustained chord figure appears that will `dominate' proceedings, but the first track ends with an arrangement of an American folk hymn above an ominous ostinato in the bass.

Track three, `Journey to the Line', is worth a full five stars. A ticking clock is soon mirrored by woodwind and percussion. Then, out of the basses, rises an eleven-note stepped figure against which a three-note falling melancholic figure appears in the weeping strings. This sounds oh so dry in the description, but the music is oh so beautiful. Over nine minutes the music proceeds in a slow and stately progress, music to die to with the brass mimicking bells. Indeed, we end on a celestial plane with angelic high strings.

The following track, `Light', is just as beautiful, the way the strings act like a gentle waterfall in slow motion, each wave beautifully falling over its previous as it heads down to the distant pool below. `Air' too is another five-star track, conveying an other-worldliness with its drums, bowls, and bells followed by a massive discord crescendo on strings. `Stone in My Heart' is a quickened version of the eleven-note figure heard in `Journey to the Line', and this figure again appears in new arrangements in subsequent tracks.

Zimmer's soundtrack ends where it began with the rumblings of the ocean in a track suitably titled `Silence'. But that's not the end of the CD. In a total but welcome contrast we hear Melanesian singers chant through a communal hymn. Finally, Francesco Lupica brings the CD to a close with an Eno-esque piece.
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I have to admit I am a fan of Hans Zimmer's film scores and whilst `The Thin Red Line' has his unique style and feel to it, it is also a lot darker and brooding than other scores I have of his. The songs have lots of deep bass notes and mournful phrases, which suits the films theme of war very well. It also has some wonderful Melanesian chants on some tracks which are emotive and elevate them album overall. I enjoyed these chants so much I bought the accompanying album, which is a recording of these chants and others from the choir who features on this album. It is hard to highlight any particular track and the album has greatest impact when played in it's entirety, but I love the repeating strings towards the end of `Light' and the beautiful vocals on `God Yu Tekkem Laef Blong Mi'. If you enjoyed the film and the music stood out to you then don't hesitate in buying this album and is you are a fan of Zimmer, this should still delight you, but be aware it is a darker affair than some of his other work. Personally, I love it.

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on 21 June 2000
Everyone raved about Hans Zimmer's score for Gladiator, which is good but not a patch on this amazing music: unlike the crash-bang-whallop approach of Gladiator this is lyrical, poetical and contemplative music, an evocative reminiscence of the film but much much more: Thin Red Line is richly scored, multi-layered and thoughtful scoring. Far and away the best thing Hans Zimmer has ever done.
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on 7 May 2011
I have had this soundtrack for a number of years now but thought I would just post my views as it appears that in the endless world of music , products and reviews where even the average and passing trend can get 5 stars differentiation should be at least attempted. This CD by Zimmer is superb and it takes you to a fantastic place everytime. So just buy this CD it is simply one of the best pieces of orchestral music written.
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on 15 February 2004
If you listen to this music - composed by Hans Zimmer - you notice that it's nothing like the usual war-movie sounds (a lot of brass, pounding drums, etc.). Instead it's music that makes you dream away and it takes you to beautiful and peaceful places where you have never been before. The music is quiet with a simple but beautiful melody, sensitive and sometimes a little sad but never sentimental. This sadness and the fact that on two or three occasions you hear eerie voices and sounds, reminds you that there is a war going on.
It's a soundtrack you can listen to without having seen the movie.
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on 17 March 2009
The Thin Red Line is a thinking mans war film.This is as close as you will ever get to a 21st century Wagner.It is literally a case of close your eyes, listen and you are right there in the middle of it.Hans Zimmer paints a picture with every note,a picture you will not forget in a long time.The man is a genius and paints with a baton rather than a brush.
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I vividly recall sitting in a darkened cinema eagerly awaiting the return of Terence Malick from his lengthy hiatus.

The first shot of Thin Red Line showed a crocodile like creature floating in a pool of water choked with pond life, the music slowly fades in from nothing over a minute or so, a single, sustained note growing in power and volume, eventually, after a breathless tension, the animal sinks beneath the surface. Unusual war film? Yes. Unusual soundtrack for a war film? Oh yes?

Zimmer somehow did the impossible and created a sound of such quality it perfectly supplemented the visuals crafted by Malick whilst standing on their own as a superb example of modern classical music.

The deep emotion intoned by the tracks can be enjoyed on their own but they are much more fulfilling if you have watched the movie.

This stands alongside the soundtrack of 'A Clockwork Orange' as an absolute masterpiece.

An essential purchase.
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on 24 September 2014
I first saw The Thin Red Line at the tender age of 18 off the back of Saving Private Ryan. I remember being very underwhelmed & recall my stepdad referring to it as a 'thinking man's war film'. I didnt appreciate what he meant until my tastes had matured years later after some very hard lessons. This is a fantastic and moving soundtrack from what is now probably one of my favourite films. The film itself is a fantastic reflection on how warfare affects the spirit and a contemplation on what it means to be a man. I recommend this soundtrack for anyone who wants stirring & complex music to help them reflect on life's difficult puzzles and challenges. This music is wondrous and exciting to listen to. Grab yourself a good glass of brandy, dim the lights & turn this music up - it will take you to the most peaceful reaches of your soul. Life is infinitely better with this kind of music.
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on 24 October 2011
Whilst the film divides people - I personally love it, but I understand why some do not - this soundtrack is almost beyond comparison, achingly beautiful, full of brooding, wonderful to close your eyes too and fall into deep reverie. Or at full volume at full speed on the motorway at 2am (when best not to close your eyes) ...emersing, emotional, utterly captivating. Up there with his soundtracks for Inception and Gladiator, Zimmer is such a talent. A must buy.
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