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Black Hawk Down
I don't care what anyone says, Zimmer's cool. -Isaac Engelhorn (2/27/2002)
Track List:
  1. Hunger
  2. Barra Barra
  3. Vale of Plenty
  4. Chant
  5. Still
  6. Mogadishu Blues
  7. Synchrotone
  8. Bakara
  9. Of The Earth
  10. Ashes to Ashes
  11. Gortoz A Ran - J'Attends
  12. Tribal War
  13. Leave No Man Behind
  14. Minstrel Boy
  15. Still Reprise

Total Time: (67:03)

Composed by:
Hans Zimmer,
BHD Band

Orchestrated by:
Bruce Fowler,
Suzette Moriarty,
Walt Fowler,
Elizabeth Finch

It really isn't very hard for me to judge a score like this, even though it seems as if anyone who's reviewed it already has had a hard time pointing out anything good or effective about it. For me, Zimmer's latest is a definite winner. A score that fits its film like a glove, and I'm not exactly sure why most other reviewers can't see that.

First off, the fact that it contains a lot of heavy electronics and rock-based elements is simple: It portrays the Americans going into hostile territory, using a style of music that those military men might listen to, a sound that is combatted by extremely pronounced middle-eastern styles. The conflicts in the music match the entire idea behind the film so well that I am forced to give Zimmer the credit he deserves, even though the music he presents is not nessesarily something that I would listen to in my free time.

While there's not too much to say beyond that if you don't like the rock and electronic music here, I can say that this is a much different style than those already presented by Hans thus far. What we have heard from this composer in recent years has not really become tiresome in and of itself, but the works of Zimmer's pupils has. With Black Hawk Down, Zimmer has set another precedent for the Media Ventures group that may become tired in the future, but is fresh now, simply because Zimmer has the talent to keep rock-based styles sounding fresh with his orchestra and electronics. It is a shame that most other MV guys don't do it as well, but Hans himself is a genius when it comes to this sort of thing, and the music here shows it very well. Detractors of the composer should always keep that in mind when hearing his new stuff.

Even though I mentioned that this ordinarily wouldn't be the type of music that I would listen to, I must say that the spin that Zimmer puts on it makes it palettable even to me, a guy who generally hates rock, and this is very odd since this score consists of much more "real" rock music than other MV scores like The Rock or anything penned by Trevor Rabin. The stuff we have here is really, really noisy, and when it comes down to it, it sounds listenable, and maybe even somewhat "cool" to my ears.

There are some referrences to Zimmer's older score for The Thin Red Line later on the CD, and though most casual listeners may not notice it, I think that most people that are fans of that score like me (in fact, I think that it's Zimmer's best) most certainly will. I wouldn't call it a self rip-off simply because it actually sounds quite intentional, and for the fact that it doesn't sound as if it was nessesary to the composition. Rather, I think it was very intentionally done to allude to the continuance of the war theme.

Black Hawk Down is now Zimmer's fifth score for a Ridley Scott film and it seems that he is just the man for the job. I have a feeling that since the relationship between the director and the composer has gone this far that it will continue for many years into the future. I look forward to whatever collaborations between the two will come again, because this score is phenomenal in its effectiveness, even though orchestral purists may scoff at it as usual.


Black Hawk Down is Copyright 2002 Decca Records. CD produced by Hans Zimmer, Bob Badami, and Pietro Scalia. Executive soundtrack producers: Ridley Scott, Jerry Bruckheimer, and Kathy Nelson. This review is written by and is the property of Isaac Engelhorn and does not reflect the opinions of Tripod.