Saturday, November 28, 2015

SOUNDTRACK REVIEW: King Arthur by Hans Zimmer

When I found out that Hans Zimmer was writing the score for King Arthur, I knew I had to have it as soon as it hit the shelves. I was incredibly disappointed by the film but no matter. Had the film not been made, we probably wouldn't have one of Hans Zimmer's greatest scores.

King Arthur is a powerhouse of epic adventure music. With Gladiator's success, the director and producer must have demanded a similar score. There are some cues from Gladiator in the film, but a lot of it does sound original. Well, a more "original" derivative of Zimmer's adventure scores.

The album opens with the song "Tell me now" performed by Moya Brennan. The song is pretty but I'm a score fan so let's get the heart of the album.

"Woad to Ruin" leaves me speechless. This almost 12-minute song has to be one of Zimmer's greatest single pieces ever! It starts off with low strings and male (synth?) chorus . . . only for about three seconds, if that, then gives a loud, slow, pounding intro to Zimmer's awesome song. When the brassy theme makes its appearance it makes my arm hair rise. Talk about triumphant! The mixture of orchestra and choir is amazing. We get to the action sequence a little after five minutes into the song. This is one of my favorites for Hans Zimmer knows how to make transitions of tempo and instruments. The percussion ends the sweet, heroic moment and tosses us into the choatic battle music. The song ends with a reprise of King Arthur's theme.

My next favorite song is "Budget Meeting." I'm not sure why but there is a moment in this song that reminds me of Lord of the Rings. Not that there are similarities in the music, just similarities in the moment. Whatever. This song starts with a march, then without warning throws us in the middle of the battle. We have to hold on for dear life as the orchestra and choir take us on the wildest ride of the album.

This is a MUST-OWN soundtrack. My only complaint of this album, like many other Hans Zimmer works, is the lack of more music! Hans is a great composer, but there are times he disappoints me with missing cues from the film. He always leaves me begging for more. I can live with the 50+ minutes of music here and continue hoping that one day Hans Zimmer will make the one great epic score but until then, King Arthur will have to do.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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