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Iris
*shrugs* Ehh... it's alright. -Isaac Engelhorn (1/4/2002)
Track List:
  1. Part 1
  2. Part 2
  3. Part 3
  4. Part 4
  5. Part 5
  6. Part 6
  7. Part 7
  8. Part 8

Total Time: (49:59)

Composed by:
James Horner

Orchestrated by:
James Horner

Conducted by:
James Horner

Violin solos by:
Joshua Bell

It's difficult far too often for a composer to write a soft, wistful score that uses delicacy to its advantage to keep the listener interested. Far too often because half of the time, these scores are incredibly boring. It's true that I am a self-professed fan of this style of movie music, with James Horner not often being one of the composers that I find boring. To be indifferent to one of these scores by this particular man is a rare occurance indeed, and I am sad to say that Iris marks one of those rare occurances.

In almost every respect, Iris succeeds just like most other Horner scores similar in nature. The most obvious comparison for most people would be The Spitfire Grill, which used similar orchestrations to its advantage, making it a memorable listening experience. Many people consider Spitfire to be one of Horner's masterpieces. While I wouldn't go that far, I enjoy it greatly, at least the final movement, but this reminds me of why I don't care much for Iris. What made the final parts of The Spitfire Grill so good was a terrific theme. Iris has themes, but none which reach out and grab me. It is possible that the incredible theme from Spitfire has clouded my judgement since I love it so much, but I don't think so. Horner is perfectly capable of coming up with better stuff than he does here.

Stated quite clearly on the cover is the employment of the talents of Joshua Bell, whose violin solos were a very distinguished mark of John Corigliano's Oscar-winning The Red Violin score. Horner is obviously "into" famous soloists right now, especially considering the fact that Charlotte Church's vocals were so hyped in Horner's A Beautiful Mind, released less than a month before the time I write this. While Bell is certainly a talented musician, it is difficult for him to show off with this lackluster music, though he does pretty damn well regardless.

While I might normally say at this point that fans of Horner's more delicate, emotional scores will eat this up, I cannot say it about *this* score when I take into account that I am one of those people I just mentioned, and I don't care too much for this. I'm certain that the music works just fine in the film, but it's just too bland on CD, which makes it good that this is Horner's shortest album release in a long time. The disc doesn't even hit the 50 minute mark, as what we have is just plenty. If you're still interested in getting this CD, make a quick stop at the Official Iris Soundtrack Website and see what they have to say. I know that if you're a Horner fan, you might be excited about this, and while you're perfectly welcomed to get it, you should consider yourself warned.


Iris is Copyright 2001 Sony Classical. CD produced by James Horner. This review is written by and is the property of Isaac Engelhorn and does not reflect the opinions of Tripod.