Ramin Djawadi is a composer that works at Hans Zimmer's studio and perhaps best known for his sensational music for TV show Game of Thrones. I didn't think his score to Clash of the Titans was as terrible as some other people, but I wasn't a fan of his score for his Iron Man OST. Ironically, Iron Man doesn't have a vastly different instrumental pallet to this album. So what makes this score deserve 5*s?
There are a large number of themes, and these weave impressively over the course of the album. The main theme is introduced in the opening track "Pacific Rim", which gets off to a rocky start with some guitars and light percussion before the orchestra kicks in. This is a pretty decent main theme and crops up regularly across the album in multiple guises - my favourite version was in Go Big Or Go Extinct (Track 18), because I thought the rock/orchestral arrangement was sublime . There's also a 4 note rising motif introduced towards the middle of "Call Me Newt (Track 8) that reminded me a tad of one of Jablonsky's themes for Transformers 2: Revenge.., but Djawadi executed this with much more style in my opinion. The standout track and theme for me was the one introduced in Mako (Track 7), and actually one of the slower ones on the album. The theme introduced in this track is stunning, starting with gentle strings and solo female vocalist but different layers of instruments eventually build over the course of the track. At short of 4 mins 30 secs, this is the second longest track on the album behind the opening track Pacific Rim. It is reprised most notably afterwards in the closing track "We Need A New Weapon" which is a fantastic end to the album.
I should mention the mastering/production of the album. There's a lot of different elements on this album, guitars, orchestra, occasional choral sections and percussion. The mix is perfect. The guitars aren't overpowering for the most part, the orchestral sections sound really crisp and the synth/percussion aspects never detract from the rest of the mix.
The album runs just shy of an hour, and there are 25 tracks in total. Many of the tracks are short, which can sometimes hinder the listening experience, but that is not a problem the album suffers with.
Overall, this is a hugely impressive effort by Djawadi, and yet ironically on paper there is nothing distinguishable that should set this apart from any other composer or score that comes out of Zimmer's Remote Control studio. However, the large number of quality themes, the way they wave together and the way the album sounds is spectacular. There really is something for everyone to enjoy with this release, and whilst it won't win the oscar for best score, it's bombastic and gentle when it needs to be. It oozes style from start t finish, and you'll need multiple listens to pick out the intricacies of the score, and this isn't something you would expect from a soundtrack to a summer blockbuster. An easy 5*s from me.
The soundtrack to Pacific Rim would actually be worth buying just for the addictive, epic, over-the-top rock/orchestral main theme (I must have listened to it a few dozen times... a day since buying the OST) that suits Guillermo del Toro's vision of a fun adventure about uncomplicated heroism perfectly.
What's better is that the rest of the soundtrack is well worth listening to as well. It isn't all bombastic, heavy duty action themes (though they are definitely present and very, very enjoyable) - for example, Cancelling the Apocalypse starts slowly and quietly and builds into a soaring, inspirational anthem while Mako is a quiet, beautifuly and slightly mournful theme and Call Me Newt is a fun, intriguing track that suits the character of Dr Newton Geiszler perfectly.
I've listened to this album several times since getting it and I think it's already a strong favourite. If you liked Ramin Djawadi's Iron Man OST you'll more than likely love this album. Honestly, the only track I don't care for is the very last one, Drift, but the other twenty-five tracks are definitely worth it.
This soundtrack is BIG and POWERFUL.....just like the Movie. If the first track doesn't get your blood pumping.....then nothing will. The remaining tracks flow along with heart pounding chords, riffs, emotional melody and orchestral brilliance. Buy it.....you'll be playing it non-stop!
Ramin Djawadi's work is outstanding. The Iron Man score was the best of the three and I think Marvel dropped a ball not hiring him for the sequels. The Pacific Rim score matched the movie's action spectacularly