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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, Must-Listen Score From Hans Zimmer
Once again, Hans Zimmer has brought us a score that is well-worth buying, to be listened and savoured for a long time to come. I wouldn't say it is as phenomenal a score as Gladiator or The Thin Red Line, but it is a must for any Hans Zimmer fan.
The Last Samurai, a movie by Edward Zwick, tells the story of a broken and depressed officer who is paid to train the...
Published on 3 Jan 2004 by jmcgarmott

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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
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Published 2 months ago by keith godwin


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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, Must-Listen Score From Hans Zimmer, 3 Jan 2004
This review is from: The Last Samurai (Audio CD)
Once again, Hans Zimmer has brought us a score that is well-worth buying, to be listened and savoured for a long time to come. I wouldn't say it is as phenomenal a score as Gladiator or The Thin Red Line, but it is a must for any Hans Zimmer fan.
The Last Samurai, a movie by Edward Zwick, tells the story of a broken and depressed officer who is paid to train the Japanese emperor's soldiers in order to destroy the remaining samurai but is instead caught by the samurai. Interestingly, his life was spared and as he begins to learn the ways of the samurai he learns to become them. All that, and the fact that it is an Edwark Zwick film, points not so much to an action story but to a contemplative drama with action scenes in it. This leads to a score that does not contain as much pounding action music as one would be led to expect.
What Hans Zimmer brought to the score are the depressively haunting ethnic quality of Beyond Rangoon, the intensely contemplative mood of The Thin Red Line and the sense of despair of Pearl Harbor, plus some use of oriental musical instruments, e.g. the inevitable taiko drums for the action scenes.
The score contains a lot of music that makes you 'feel' rather than be excited. If you have enjoyed previous Hans Zimmer scores as mentioned above, don't hesitate to get this too.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 13 Oct 2005
This review is from: The Last Samurai (Audio CD)
When I learned Hans Zimmer was scoring The Last Samurai, I expected a re-use of his trend-setting vocals for 'Gladiator'. I was wrong. Then I expected a reworking of pulsing uber-anthems from his classic 'Black Rain'. I was wrong again. What Zimmer delivers here is sheer beauty. The main theme, which features prominently in 'A Way of Life', 'Idyll's End' and 'A Small Measure of Peace' is endlessly listenable and once it starts to take you on its tranquil road, you wish it wouldn't stop - easily one of the most beautiful Zimmer themes ever. The Samurai music 'Spectres in the Fog', 'Taken' and 'The Way of the Sword' is wonderfully percussive and exciting without sounding like an action score. Make sure your volume is turned up for the latter because the musical yelling of the Samurai 'choir' is something of an experience and cements further credit to Zimmer's exceptional technique. As with most of Zimmer's releases, the score is edited into long suites rather than individual cues and this doesn't put a foot wrong: the editing and presentation is perfect. Combine all this with excellent sound quality and you have a very fine CD indeed.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Spectacular Offering, 9 Feb 2004
By 
This review is from: The Last Samurai (Audio CD)
Having seen the film 'The Last Samurai', I rushed out to get the soundtrack, and suffice it to say that I was definately not disappointed. I've had the CD for little less than three days, and it has not left my stereo yet.
The soundtrack offers Zimmer at his best, combining the 'Gladiator's dramatic and beautiful orchestration with more traditional Japanese classical music, this is certainly a CD to look out for.
My personal favourite would have to be 'Red Warrior', a heart-wrenching song that, when I first heard it, made the hairs on the back of my neck satnd straight up. The battle cries heard over the wonderful strings only serve to emphasise the originality and emotiveness of the piece.
The only downside to this soundtrack (and the reason it lost a star) is that there are themes which are repeated a little too often, bringing the calibre of the album down slightly.
That said, this work is a combination of relaxing meditative pieces and strong, spine tingling emotion. I'd recommend this to anyone with a love of classical music.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imagine Gladiator, only immeasurably better., 2 July 2006
By 
Dave "musicman" (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Last Samurai (Audio CD)
One of Zimmer's better works, and considering his unequivocal position as the best and most prolific composer of our time, that clearly says something. The easy blend of traditional, Japanese and electronic instruments makes for interesting listening. 'Way of the Sword' is undoubtedly one of the better tracks, opening with heartpounding, yet irresolutely sad, action music, moving on to emotional machine-gun sequence and closing with the quiet beauty of Katsumoto's seppuku. Other highlights include 'Spectres in the Fog,' which contains the first iteration of the Samurai's theme, a heroic yet grief-laden melody (consigned to the horns on this track), 'Red Warrior,' most famous for its much-criticised, yet strangely effective, shouting people, and 'A Small Measure of Peace.' Having said that however, nothing on this CD could qualify as a low point. It's beauty is utterly staggering, and the absence of a nomination from Oscar is inexplicable, far better as it was than Newman's 'Finding Nemo' and even Elfman's 'Big Fish.'
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 23 July 2004
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This review is from: The Last Samurai (Audio CD)
I wasn't all that fussed about seeing the film at the cinema...but my friend had the DVD which I bothered one Friday Night.
The only way to describe the film and the music score is to say the film was great and the music OUTSTANDING. I love the way the music mirrors the film. Every time I listen to the CD I cannot help but to be moved by the music.
Great stuff!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Last Samurai Soundtrack - Very Accomplished, 30 Jun 2004
This review is from: The Last Samurai (Audio CD)
Zimmer has taken his previous work and added to it to create a truly accomplished soundtrack. The reason it has some much merit is that the music seems so completely in line with the essence of the film. So, you expect an American propoganda-fest and are instead greeted by a carefully constructed and reasonably historically accurate description of events.
Each track mirrors the highly emotional events of the film. Once you have seen it you can almost picture the dancing of the warriors around the tiger and the callous shooting of the brave samurai in the field.
Really can't recommend enough...but only if you've seen and enjoyed the film.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Made, 27 July 2004
By 
Rajdeep (West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Last Samurai (Audio CD)
This soundtrack is very touching and unforgettable. The movie is amazing but the score for the movie is excellent. Very touching especially the track "Spectres In The Fog". If you haven't seen the movie go see it and buy the beautiful soundtrack you won't regret it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Way Of Life (And Other Tracks), 18 Jan 2008
This review is from: The Last Samurai (Audio CD)
I bought this CD for the first track, 'A Way Of Life'. It is, for me, one of the best pieces Hans Zimmer has ever written. It is so, so beautiful and laced with a profound melancholy that manages to inspire and not depress. However, I find the rest of the CD relies a little too heavily on one particular theme which is a mediocre military march. If I had known this, I would have probably just stuck with downloading 'A Way Of Life' from iTunes.

I think the problem lies in the film itself. The heart of the film is the way Tom Cruise's character, a soldier from the West, falls in love with the way of life of a Japanese village and the code of the samurai. The rest of the film is merely a natural consequence of this transition. In a way, all the action scenes at the end are unnecessary and the music with it.

This might sound harsh but I'd like customers to avoid wasting money on a full album when they can get the essence of the whole soundtrack for the price of one track downloaded from you chosen site. With regard to star rating, I still give this album three stars because of 'A Way Of Life' is so good.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A staggering Zimmer work, 6 Jun 2006
By 
gbenquiries (Chelmsford, Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last Samurai (Audio CD)
I loved the movie which is powerful anyway but with the soundtrack it is superb. I love Hans Zimmer's work in films generally but I think this is one of his best. If you like emotional music that moves you then you really can't better this.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Sound Track in Ages, 30 Jan 2004
This review is from: The Last Samurai (Audio CD)
Saw the film twice- once in Japan and once in England.....
Bought the sound track as soon as it became available.
Hans Zimmer has cleverly composed these tracks and they cunjor all sorts of emotions and visions.
The orchestral organisation is unique and uplifting.
I would highly recommend this CD and I give it 5 out of 5.
I can't wait for the DVD.
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