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Windtalkers
Very good, but not for those who dislike Horner. -Isaac Engelhorn (5/8/2002)
Track List:
  1. Navajo Dawn 7:54
  2. A New Assignment 4:38
  3. An Act of Heroism 5:59
  4. Taking the Beachhead 6:17
  5. 'First Blood' Ceremony 2:09
  6. The Night Before 3:32
  7. Marine Assault 5:40
  8. Losses Mounting 5:06
  9. Friends in War 7:56
  10. A Sacrifice Never Forgotten 7:11
  11. Calling to the Wind 10:33

Total Time: (66:55)

Composed by:
James Horner

Orchestrated by:
J.A.C. Redford,
Randy Kerber,
James Horner,
Steven R. Bernstein,
Carl Johnson

Conducted by:
James Horner

I don't know what it is about James Horner's music that appeals to me so much. Yes, he copies from himself constantly, and yes, his melodies and chord progressions are of the simplest and most banal construction. Despite this, I enjoy his music anyway, and to tell the truth, I'm glad that I do.

First of all, if you are one of those types who's waiting for Horner to clean up his act (as I used to be), I think that you'd better give up the thought. For better or for worse (I would guess worse), the self-rips are simply part of what makes James Horner James Horner. Throughout the course of this entire album, you will be bombarded with everything that Horner fans or haters have come to expect. Lots of little pieces of other scores (though that isn't too bad this time around), and the four-note "bad guy" motif, which at this point doesn't seem distressing at all to me, I actually find its use anymore to be rather humorous, though I really couldn't tell you why I feel that way.

The one big thing that's sure to catch your ears is the fact that the main theme (or one of the major themes) is yet another variation on the old Schindler's List/Mahler/Enemy at the Gates theme. It is more masked this time and not nearly as in the open, but it is definitely there for the hearing. The majority of the album though, is less like other Horner scores for the fact that you may not be exactly sure of where all of the rips come from. They aren't nearly as obvious as any that Horner has been responsible for in the past couple of years.

One thing that may be an attraction to this CD for people who don't ordinarily like Horner is the fact that the music does have a tendancy to get rather loud and action oriented, which doesn't happen too often any more. Sure, it's not as good as the action music that Horner could have written in the past, but there is a lot going for it here. For one thing, the action music of Windtalkers tends to get very dissonant, which is always cool to hear from Horner, especially now when he's generally known for his smooth, tonal writing. Some of the creative uses of indian flutes also add to the spice of the music, which is also nice.

Overall, I'm going to give Windtalkers a much higher score than most people probably would. For me, it's a solid 8 out of 10. If you wish to debate me, feel free to send an email, but I doubt that you're going to change my opinion. I think that most people will enjoy this album well enough, even if they don't find it to be extraordinarily groundbreaking.


Windtalkers is Copyright 2002 RCAVICTOR. CD produced by Simon Rhodes and James Horner. This review is written by and is the property of Isaac Engelhorn and does not reflect the opinions of Tripod.