Saturday, January 23, 2016

SOUNDTRACK REVIEW: We Were Solders by Nick Glennie-Smith

Hans Zimmer wrote The Thin Red Line with assistance from John Powell. Now Hans Zimmer's friend Nick Glennie-Smith writes an orchestral score for a Vietnam War drama.

"What is War?" starts with low strings then transitions to militaristic percussion and a soft French horn playing the main theme.

"Look Around You" starts off a bit emotional with low strings sounding almost funeral like with distant-sounding bell clangs. Around 2 minutes and 45 seconds, the low strings grow silent and are replaced by a ticking clock with soft, high-pitched stings and slowly builds tension with low strings as the soldiers are leaving their homes to go off to war. The track ends with high strings and soft brass blows.

"Flying High" is another good track which is dominated by vocals. A male voice sings the opening of the track then the songs tenses up with high strings and a female voice as the helicopters carry the soldiers to the battlefield.

"Final Battle" is the only action song of the bunch, if I can even call it "action". It starts with the same male voice from "Flying High" then turns into a tense, electronic percussion section before fading into a long, quiet solo of the male voice.

"Final Departure" is the most heartbreaking song. It's very mournfully played mainly by strings. It ends with a solo trumpet salute to the troops for their sacrifice.

Wonderful score. Sadly, Glennie-Smith hasn't done anything big in the States since then. I eagerly await his next big project with Randall Wallace. Until then, pick this one up with The Thin Red Line, Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers and The Great Raid. If you're fortunate enough to find it, pick up U-571 as well.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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