Somehow, John Debney, having composed the scores to a good number of films has managed to stay well below the radar of popularity. It may not be a complete accident, then, that one of the all-time top 10 most popular movies, 'The Passion of the Christ' lent itself to catapult his name among the most famous scorers out there now. However, I have a dilemma with this album.
It is not difficult to be captivated by the album's beauty. One song after another bring in elements drawn from a blend of soul-touching choirs and straight-up epic musical soundscapes bound to please fans of epics in the league of 'Braveheart' and 'Gladiator' alike. Here's where part of my dilemma begins, then. I love the music, but I can't help think once and again, like other reviewers, that I've heard this before. If the comparisons with James Horner's compositions have you bored, I invite you to play the music to "The Last Temptation of Christ," by Peter Gabriel, which he captured in his legendary 1989 album 'Passion'. You will be shocked at how similar some of the tracks from Debney's score are to Gabriel's work 15 years ago, in particular where he brings in middle eastern elements to the mix.
In sum, since I can't take away from the score's beautiful work, I will give it a high score, which would be five stars under normal circumstances, but given the amount and depth of the similarities between this work and others, I will take a way a full star. Let's leave it at a comfortable four, which will make me feel in peace with my [musical] soul.