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A Beautiful Mind
It's Horner. Not much else to say. -Isaac Engelhorn (12/19/2001)
Track List:
  1. A Kaleidoscope of Mathematics
  2. Playing a Game of "Go!"
  3. Looking for the Next Great Idea
  4. Creating "Governing Dynamics"
  5. Cracking the Russian Codes
  6. Nash Descends Into Parcher's World
  7. First Drop Off, First Kiss
  8. The Car Chase
  9. Alicia Discovers Nash's Dark World
  10. Real or Imagined?
  11. Of One Heart, of One Mind
  12. Saying Goodbye to those You So Love
  13. Teaching Mathematics Again
  14. The Prize of One's Life...
    The Prize of One's Mind
  15. All Love Can Be
  16. Closing Credits

Total Time: (71:36)

Composed by:
James Horner

Orchestrated by:
James Horner,
Randy Kerber

Conducted by:
James Horner

Vocals by:
Charlotte Church

I'm not so sure that there's a point in reviewing any more "original" Horner scores at this point. It seems to me that anyone who knows and likes James Horner's music is going to buy it, originality be damned. Conversly, I know that every Horner-hater out there is at this moment listening to this CD that they paid full price for simply to growl and complain about it. I came to a point long ago when I said "well, it's not original at all or is it probably ever going to be, but what the heck, I like Horner's sound". Really, the subject Horner's borrowing was argued to death years ago, and since then, he has continued to copy and copy and copy. I don't see any end to it soon, so stop complaining, because it ain't gonna make any difference. I stated my feelings on the matter in my Titanic review, and that, as they say, is that.

Horner's last score to be officially released in 2001 is quite enjoyable. Personally, I like the sweet simplistic melodies and enjoyable musical ideas basically from start to finish. What is mostly so enjoyable about the score is that it is nice and soft-spoken, yet somehow driving, so the listener has a perpetual feeling of interest in the sounds that Horner can get out of his orchestra. Enough about the music though. All I really have to say is that this is "another Bicentennial Man" and everyone knows *exactly* what to expect.

What can really be discussed, and this is why I truly recommend this CD, is the extra "enhanced" portion. Normally I always complain about this sort of thing, but in this case, not only is there plenty of good material in the extras, it is still a nice, long CD release. Over seventy minutes, in fact, so there's little to complain about. What is great about this CD is the nifty Horner interview that comes with it. Well, two interviews actually. One is a little video segment in which Horner explains his approach to scoring a film, which incidentally, explains a lot about his borrowings (he looks for colors and emotions rather than musical subtextures and applies music that he already knows to work with the imagery). The other is a text interview that is interesting, and then there's also a cool text chat with Ron Howard. It's true that the enhanced CD starts up automatically, but I don't mind that much since I don't normally listen to music on my computer and the stuff is so cool anyway. And, yes, Horner has grown a beard. I wonder if he's gonna keep it.

I think by now that I've wasted enough of your time with this review. The only other thing worth talking about is the song sung by Charlotte Church at the end, which is one of Horner's better songs since it isn't so "pop". In any case, Horner fans should pick up this CD. It's a good one.

A Beautiful Mind is Copyright 2001 Decca Records. Produced by Simon Rhodes and James Horner. Executive producers: Brian Grazer and Ron Howard. This review is written by and is the property of Isaac Engelhorn and does not reflect the opinions of Tripod.