Total Time: (57:46)
When the soundtrack to The Mummy hit the shelves a couple years ago, Goldsmith fans clamored more loudly than usual about the greatness of his new score, so much so that many seemed to entirely miss the soundtrack to The 13th Warrior which was recored some time earlier, yet released some time later than The Mummy.
At first glance of both scores, The Mummy manages to impress a little more, but repeated listens reveal this to be the weaker of the two (IMO). First of all, while this is certainly a much more "busy" score, it lacks the thematic power of its predecessor, even though it has some great themes. Also, a lot of this score seems to be lifted straight from the pages of The 13th Warrior. Same instruments and orchestrations, and in some cases, even the same notes. This probably wouldn't be much of a problem to me if I had heard The Mummy first, but as it is, I can't place this score on such a high pedastal.
This doesn't mean that I don't like it though, in fact this is still easily one of the best scores of 1999, and one of the most fun. Its hard to say anything negative about some of the action music, because it is simply so exciting, and its apparently hard to get Jerry to slow down one he's really going. Many action cues have a sort of snowball effect where they gain power and intensitly as they go along.
Getting back to comparisons to The 13th Warrior, or in this case contrasts, this score has contains dissonance where The 13th Warrior had none (or at least very little, if memory serves). My own feelings are split down the middle on this topic. While it was good to see Jerry going back slightly to some of his earlier musical ideas, the absence of any cacophany in the earlier score actually added to its intensity.
Basically, if you already own The 13th Warrior and not this, but just need to hear it, by all means, pick it up. However, if you have neither and only really feel like buying one of the two, I'd have to suggest skipping this and getting the other.