Black Hawk Down Soundtrack
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|14. Minstrel Boy (film version) - Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros|
|15. Still Reprise|
Black Hawk Down is the fifth collaboration between composer Hans Zimmer and director Ridley Scott, and following Gladiator (2000) and Hannibal (2001), their third in fewer than two years. Though set two millennia after Gladiator, Black Hawk Down's unrelenting African warfare has much in common with the former blockbuster. Zimmer opens with comparable Arabic flavoured atmospherics leading to his trademark pulsating percussion and razor-sharp digital production values. The Andalusian colours of his Mission: Impossible 2 inflect the catchy world music/dance ballad "Barra Barra" before the score diversifies through textures that blend moody American (blues) and African folk elements with passages of programmed suspense underscore and electronic, sequenced fury. With so many elements fused into polished, perfectly organised musical landscapes, the result is occasionally like a compilation of elements from all Zimmer's recent hit scores. In battle cues such as "Tribal War", relentless rhythm takes over, but it is for the hymnal "Gortoz a ran", the haunted pure beauty of "Still", and the lament of "Mogadishu Blues" that this release is more likely to be remembered. As with Pearl Harbor, Zimmer concentrates on emotion over action, though here his work is influenced by the real folk music of the people involved, and hence the more moving for it.--Gary S Dalkin
Top Customer Reviews
His score for Black Hawk Down is, yes, ecclectic. Yet, I find myself dismissing much of the album, in fact, ALL of the album -- despite it being fresh, original, and exciting -- because track 11, "Gortoz a Ran", performed by Danez Prigent and Lisa Gerrard, is one of THE most haunting pieces of music I have ever heard...
I'm a music lover and have a wide variety of tastes. Hell, I'm a film music fantatic (or at least at one point). That being said, few pieces of music, individually, evoke so much emotion out of me. I'm a very analytical person. One rendition of "Gortoz" and I'm near in tears. It just brings out whatever grief or sorrow I have in myself, unlike any other piece of music. It makes me grieve on a small, personal scale, and for Humanity as a whole, and the suffering and injustices we endure. And yet, the lyrics are anonymous. It doesn't matter. It's pure tone, pure mood... It is a Religious piece of music. It can put one immediately into a state of compassionate meditation. It melts the heart.
The saddest thing is the track stands out as being so spectacular -- above the rest, really -- and the rest of the album is still of the utmost quality. It's Zimmer experimenting and creating a clever and intriguing musical landscape, with a longing, mournful theme, and as other reviewers have stated, several other stylings. All in all, it's very, very good, one of Zimmer's best, in fact (right behind his best effort, The Thin Red Line, another war effort)....
And yet, I always come back to "Gortoz"..........
The booklet for the CD describes that the intention in the soundtrack was to combine "traditional" and "modern" instruments. The traditional instruments represented the Somalis, while the modern instruments represented the Americans. What you get is perhaps best heard in "Barra Barra" - which I can only describe as Arab rock. The track "Tribal War" reminds me of a time in music when composers looked to ancient tribal drums to add a flavor of primitive culture in their music. There are also some stringed instrument sections mixed in with Middle East vocals. It's all very "Gladiator"-like, but with a contemporary touch. That makes the soundtrack unique in it's own right.
I also have to compliment the rendition of "Minstral Boy." I love it, and it's probably my favorite version of it next to John McDermott's rendition.
There is a suitable combination of conventional music composed and recorded in "song" format to match the atmospheric pieces which are obviously created exclusively to score the film; the talent used is widely varying (World Music mainstay and collaborator with the late great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Michael Brook places his signature "infinite guitar" on display to great effect, and the vocals of Baaba Maal, Lisa Gerrard, and Denez Prigent are truly awe-inspiring; the weight of generations of starvation and clan warfare are achingly apparent).
But for me the soundtrack revolves around two compositions near the beginning and conclusion of the CD. "Barra Barra" is possibly the contemporary pop song statement that sums up the soundtrack's soul and the conflict as protrayed in the film and book "Black Hawk Down"; instrumentally the traditional percussion and oud-like instruments favored in the North African desert accompany a very menacing vocal provided by Rachid Taha, coupled with robotic and distorted electric guitars over a techno/hip-hop beat. It will be instantly recognizable from the movie scene and will no doubt bring images of using a high-powered and highly modified M-16 to hunt wild boar from the deck of a Black Hawk helicopter on "another taxpayer-sponsored DELTA safari".Read more ›
Electric guitars do play a big part in this, but for all you John Williams/James Horner fans do not let this scare you off! Hans Zimmer weaves it in perfectly.
So if you like movie scores as much as I do I suggest that you BUY THIS ALBUM!!!!!
Most recent customer reviews
I defy anyone to listen to Rcahid Taha's "Barra Barra" and not immediately be transported back to the streets of the capital of Somalia as you saw it in the movie. Read morePublished on Sept. 27 2009 by Brian Maitland
This sountrack by Hans Zimmer is terrific. I don't believe you can watch the film and not leave the theater without the music in your head. Read morePublished on June 4 2004 by V. Marshall
The thing that made me buy this cd was the movie.AfterI bought the movie and wached it the music inspired me to get the cd and its great.Published on May 30 2004
When I first watched the movie, I noticed the music immediately and it captured my interest throughout the entire film. Read morePublished on April 18 2004 by Shaun Williams
The last musical score that impressed me was Dr. Zhivago. Zimmer's score on this one leaves haunting strains which keep coming back-more from Thomas Moore's(Strummer really does... Read morePublished on April 15 2004 by V. Clancy
As I said above this CD is well worth your money. For the nay-sayers all I can say is that it's obvious that you have never served in the military. Read morePublished on Oct. 31 2003
My first impression was not forgiving. But after listening to the middle eastern themes and electric guitars, it flowed nicely. Read morePublished on Oct. 19 2003 by Mark A. Buensalida
Watching the movie Black Hawk Down I was tense, gripped, moved almost to tears, and totally in awe. The soundtrack has the same effect. Read morePublished on Oct. 17 2003