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Works on screen, not on an album
on 16 March 2004
I have heard about the Passion ever since Septemeber and have kept a close eye on its progress. In the back of my mind i was always wondering who the composer would be. I initially thought it would be either James Horner (who callobrated with Mel Gibson on Braveheart) or Hans Zimmer and/or lisa Gerrard. Never in a million years would i have thought John Debney to be a candidate. Yet despite his track record, he meets the challenge and has produced a terrifying, ultra-violent score solely to designed to match the images you see on screen.
The music will no doubt work whilst on screen, yet if you put the CD aside and class it as a single album one may find the music rather irritating. Throughout, there are constant rhythmical poundings accompanied by loud duduks and a haunting choir. Yet i found within the loud beats and haunting choirs no major theme for the film as a whole. There are several thematic ideas that are very nice, yet they are just there and aren't really fleshed out fully as, say, James Horner or John Williams would do. There are several nice tracks (2,9,10,11,12,15) but the themes aren't developed further. Yet this may be due however to the company producing the album. There may be more music featured on the film, i don't know.
If you want to hear a score with loud timpani beats and loud african, tribal instruments with the occasional strings and choir, then i'd recommend it. If you want to hear more thematic developments that are inter-connected and avoid the loud, harsh instruments then avoid the album.
The music works on screen but not on an album.
If any of you are Gladiator music fans think of the first part of track 9 to the original soundtrack - The Might of Rome. The first minute involves harsh instrumentation. This is the exact type you hear on this album multiplied ten times over though.