The first "Sherlock Holmes" score caught me completely off guard with how different and completely opposite of Zimmer it was and ended being my favorite score that year. For the sequel, Zimmer goes even further by delivering one of the most unique and addicting scores I've heard since his score for the first movie.
The album starts off with the Sherlock Holmes theme in almost the same manner as the last. This time with some pauses here and there. A somber opening that brings back that great theme. It's like the calm before the very crazy storm that is the rest of the tracks on this incredible album.
The next track introduces a new theme which I'm guessing is a theme for the bad guy in the movie? Starts off with low instruments before being picked up by what I could have sworn was a bass clarinet. A bass clarinet in a Zimmer score? Sheer bloody panic. Other than the clarinet, another instrument that I never thought I'd hear in modern day Zimmer score was the bassoon, which is featured very well on "The Mycroft Suite".
"Tick Tock" is easily one of my favorite tracks on the album. It takes a while for it get going, but once it kicks, it really starts getting fun. I'm sure the ticking sound will make sense once I see the movie, but for now it's a very cool sound that's almost present throughout the track as it gets crazier and crazier. One of the few action tracks I believe, but very well done.
I remember on the last "Holmes" score there was a track called "I never woke up in handcuffs before" which I thought was as crazy as Zimmer could ever be in terms of playfulness. Well this score proved me wrong. There are tracks on here that I had to stop listening to about halfway through to make sure I was listening to the right soundtrack. "Chess" is an early and great example of this.
The track "Chess" is not only my personal track on the album, but just might be my favorite track of the year. Listened to it so many times and it still makes me smile. I love how weird it starts, and that odd brass and snares at the 17 sec. mark before going in a very unique and crazy direction. I LOVE this track. Just incredible anyway you cut it. Would pay good money to see the look on the faces of the orchestra when they saw the sheet music for the first time.
But as crazy as "Chess "is, I think "It's So Overt it's Covert" might top it. I can just picture Zimmer telling the orchestra to get supremely wasted then try to play the music, which is kind of what it sounds like. The clarinet just flies around like a bee trying to find a flower whiles the rest of the instruments try their best to play the Sherlock Holmes theme. I love this track; it's just so weird and out there and very encouraging to me that Zimmer was allowed to get away with this. Very refreshing to see this kind of experimenting in a big budget movie.
"Romanian Wind" is another one that's far out there. Like the Cantina band in "Star Wars" but on acid or some kind of illegal narcotics. Don't know the best way to describe it, but it's a very interesting piece of music that I'm still not sure if it was written or if the ensemble just improved it but I love it. "He's all Me, Me, Me" is an odd one too. I really hope they have a lengthy behind the scenes on the blu ray for the music, die of happiness to see the orchestra performing this music.
"Did You Kill My Wife" sounds like the type of music you would hear in a very dramatic Western as the hero is making a speech or walking into town. It's essentially the brass being led by a beautiful trumpet. The source track "Two Mules for Sister Sara" is a bit distracting at first, but guess it will make sense once I see the movie
Fans of Zimmer's action music will appreciate "To the Opera", which is an action track but with a very unique twist. It's an opera action track if that makes any sense. Throughout out the pounding of the orchestra you can hear an opera singer singing Mozart whiles the orchestra keeps up. It sounds like it won't work, but Zimmer makes it work so well on here. Can't wait to see the movie to see what scene that goes with. "Red Book" would be another great action track that I can't wait to see the movie to see what it goes with. Starts slow, but after about a minute the action kicks in. And dare say it has an Elfman vibe to it.
The closest thing to subtle on the album would be the very sweet "Memories of Sherlock". Guessing it's for either something romantic in the movie or a slow motion explosion or something. It is very nice to hear though, a nice break from the off the wall stuff. A short break but still.
I'm guessing "The End?" is for the end of the movie. *shocking I know*. It ends just like the first movie did with an energetic and bombastic version of the Holmes theme. A very nice ending to a really great album. Now I should probably say something about the remix track but um...yeah
I really love this score. It's unique, it's experimental, it's fun and it has some great action. Don't know if it's the best of the year since I haven't heard "War Horse" yet, but so far it's my favorite. Kudos Mr. Zimmer
Highest of Recommendations