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Kung Fu Panda 2
|Price:||CDN$ 26.52 & FREE Shipping. Details|
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Now, the first time I heard it I thought it was not that impressive. But yet, I came back and listened to it again because I know that first impressions are deceiving as well. After listening to the songs more carefully I realized something truly unique about this soundtrack.
If you are like me, the first time you listen to a soundtrack you will listen to parts of the songs just to glimpse at it at first and see if you really want to listen to more. Now, the conclusion after listening to parts of the songs at first is this: It's too loud and bombastic. This is because there is no single calm or soft song but, likewise, there is no single imposing or bombastic song... every song has parts of both! So my advice is for you to listen to these three songs COMPLETELY: Po Finds the Truth, Zen Ball Master and My Fist Hungers for Justice. Ancient China/Story of Chen and Save Kung Fu are also two great songs that mix very well the spectacular and calm. Inner Peace is an exception (mostly calm) but truly beautiful also.
So, at the end, this is unique and nice as well. Most soundtracks have calm songs and heavy songs (at least balanced soundtracks) but this soundtrack has calm and grandeur moments in almost every song, making it a very enjoyable listening experience per song.
My final listening experience was that I kept playing the songs again, again and again. Conclusion: This soundtrack rocks with soothing moments and truly powerful evocative themes, mixing quite nicely Chinese music with adventure and emotional touches.
This time around the first half of the score is where you will find the lighter stuff. Our characters are back and of course they are fun characters. So the music for the first half is fun and light. We get some comical homages to 70's Lalo Schifrin scores and our themes are all reintroduced. The score really gets going with the track "Po And Shen/Face To Face". From this point onward we are treated to some amazing arrangements that use our favorite themes. Things get a bit more serious too as the score shifts tone from the light family comedy to the action filled kung fu epic. The music becomes a grand sweeping roller coaster that only Hans Zimmer and John Powell could bring. Their styles blend so well that the score gains a life of its own. I never once felt like I was hearing a rehash of the first score either. This journey is a continuation of the first one and a great continuation at that. Po's character is felt throughout the entire score as well. Po's theme echoes the strength and confidence that he as a character now has versus back in the first movie where he was unsure of who he was and what his purpose was. The track "Zen Ball Master" is pure gold as the score dives head first into the climax and resolution. The score is then beautifully wrapped up.
The score is simply stunning to say the least. Musically it's much more developed than the first one and there are so many more textures this time around. The final act is hair raising greatness and is an example of how a score should function as a storyteller and emotional backbone. Hans Zimmer and John Powell are two of the best working today. Hans helped usher John Powell into his own career and now that they can collaborate and make stuff like this is pure living poetry. This is definitely not a rushed attempt at a sequel score and will go down as one of the best of the year. With a CD running time of around 64 minutes and with lengthy tracks this is how a score should be presented as well. Kung Fu Panda 2 is a beautiful lush experience that incorporates the setting and characters flawlessly into the motions of the story it's telling, and that makes it an exceptional score.
typical Chinese instrumentation. I had high hopes for the second CD and was not disappointed especially with his re-working of Po's theme, my favorite, into the new
score. I also loved the high quality of the background animation and beautiful evocation of Chinese landscape drawings. Even though I work for Disney and my heart belongs to
the Mouse, the Kung Fu Panda movies are the best!