I'm a long-time fan of Hans Zimmer. Needless to say I have been waiting with anticipation for this soundtrack after hearing previews and clips a couple weeks ago.
I believe that some people who were really in love with the first soundtrack's lightheartedness and hijinks may find this one a bit of a disappointment (and perhaps maybe not). While many of the old themes are used in the span of the entire CD, they are relied upon far less than the previous two, with the obvious exception of Jack's theme. We do, however, hear the old themes, but in different ways. Davy Jones' theme is indeed played on a music box in "At Wit's End" but then it shifts into a moving symphonic rendition. And the East India Trading Company theme, or Beckett's Theme, is given a new feel from the original dulcimer- an electric guitar ("Parley").
It is very epic- as is Hans Zimmer's way, I could hear cues from such movies as The da Vinci Code, King Arthur, and even a tone or two that reminded me of Gladiator. Regardless, this CD definitely has its own feel- there are parts of it that sound vast and whimsical, upbeat and playful, romantic and lighthearted, creepy and dank, and of course, silly and drunk, as is most noticeable in "Multiple Jacks."
The new romantic theme, which is introduced in "At Wit's End," is beautiful and flowing. In fact, it seems a bit surprising on this particular soundtrack, given the feel of the other two soundtracks. It has an ethereal flair to it, and is very orchestral and full.
However, I am loathe to compare this to the other two because of the fact, mainly, that the movie has not officially been released yet, and it's obviously an entirely seperate movie. I can already imagine the scenes in which these songs appear, but I also don't want to get a set image in my head to ruin the anticipation of the movie.
A refreshing and interesting addition, perhaps most of all, is the new pirate shanty (or "dirge," as it were), "Hoist The Colours." It is a short song, relying on drums, that begins with a lone child singing rather hesitantly, then the chorus grows as other pirates (I assume- what else would they be?) join in. This basic, and primary, theme is repeated several times throughout the soundtrack, usually at the climatic points of the songs. Along with this song, the Asian influences in the song "Singapore" (and others) offer a new touch of worldliness to this soundtrack, something that was not utilized before.
Every song on this CD is wonderful. My personal favorites are "Drink Up Me Hearties," "At Wit's End," and "I Don't Think Now Is The Best Time" because these three, in my own opinion, are incredibly dauntless.
The release of this SUPERB soundtrack only makes it worse to wait another 2 days for the movie. :)