Hans Zimmer – “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”

Album Reviews | Jun 10th, 2011

Record Label: Walt Disney Records
Genre: Film Score
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Hans Zimmer and company are back with another installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean series. This was one of the film scores I was most looking forward to hearing this Summer and not sure if I’m completely sold on it just yet.

On Stranger Tides is just as fun as the previous movies, and it’s just fun to watch what Jack Sparrow will do next. In this movie, he goes to London to seek out a new ship and finds himself in a deadly hunt to locate the Fountain of Youth. He runs into Angelica, who he has a past with, and she turns out to be Blackbeard’s daughter. There’s a lot going on in the movie but it’s still a fun one.

Hans Zimmer returns to compose new music for the popular franchise, and brings along an array of guest musicians like Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Mexican acoustic guitar duo. Plus there’s a lot of composers and conductors helping out this time too. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not. The album starts off with “Guilty Of Being Innocent Of Being Jack Sparrow” which has some familiar motifs in there. It’s always nice hearing the themes to the Pirates franchise, even if they are used subtly. Rodrigo Y Gabriella rhythmical guitar playing is heard early on with “Angelica.” I personally like the track “The Pirate That Should Not Be” instead because its got a faster tempo and includes pieces of the Pirates theme.

The best track of the album has to be “Mermaids.” Hans Zimmer always composes at least one track that I really LOVE. With The Da Vinci Code, it was “Chevalier De Sangreal,” with the Pacific, it was “Honor” and with this score, it’s “Mermaids.” The music really helps sell that the mermaids are scary, mysterious and extremely deadly. The other stand-out track is “Blackbeard,” which is obviously the theme to the famous pirate. I was disappointed with the character in the movie, I thought Ian MacShane’s talent was wasted. He just didn’t do much; he didn’t even show up until half way in the movie!

As much as I like Rodrigo Y Gabriela, I felt their presence should have been downplayed a little and played with the score more. At times, I felt like I was just listening to the band solo and no one else. The “End Title” was good, because the duo were playing along and not just featured in the limelight. There is 12 tracks of score, and the rest of the tracks are unnecessary techno remixes. Why must these be included? It was cool hearing a Tiesto track on one of the earlier Pirate scores, now this just seems overkill. I enjoyed the score & the movie, but feel this could have been ten times better than it is.

Bottom Line: Could have been better and next time, leave off all the unnecessary techno remixes!
Notable Tracks: Mutiny, The Pirate That Should Not Be, Mermaids, Blackbeard, End Title
Overall Rating:


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