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Whale Rider (Score)

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Audio CD, June 17, 2003
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Paikea Legend 3:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Journey Away 3:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Rejection 1:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Biking Home 3:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Ancestors 1:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Suitcase 1:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Pai Calls The Whales 1:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Reiputa 2:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Disappointed 2:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. They Came To Die 2:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Pai Theme 3:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Paikea's Whale 4:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Empty Water 1:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Waka In The Sky 1:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Go Forward 5:53$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 17, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: July 4, 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: 4ad / Ada
  • ASIN: B00008VAJF
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,772 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This ex-Dead Can Dance member imparts her own mixture of the ethereal, the worldly, the emotionally abstract, and the purely beautiful to all of her projects. She's been universally recognized and acclaimed for her body of work: she received a Golden Globe and was Oscar-nominated for the "Gladiator" soundtrack. She has also worked on such high profile movies as "Ali" and "The Insider". This release is a soundtrack for the New Zealand indie film "Whale Rider", already the biggest grossing film in New Zealand ever. Gerrard's music, combined with the motion picture, provides an experience of profound power and spiritual enlightenment.

Lisa Gerrard, the former voice of Dead Can Dance, returns with a soundtrack following on her acclaimed scores to Gladiator (with Hans Zimmer) and The Insider (with Pieter Bourke). Those hoping for another glimpse into ecstasy through Gerrard's magnificent voice will be disappointed. This score to the New Zealand-set film relies more on texture and mood, with Gerrard's voice planted in a slowly undulating drift of synthesizers and sustained guitar lines. It's not until "Biking Home" that you might even recognize Gerrard's voice in this quietly joyful mood piece. She only gives herself full, if understated, voice on the symphonic closing track, "Go Forward" which echoes Gladiator's "Now We Are Free," but with Maori chanting. Though there is some compelling music on Whale Rider, much of it sounds bereft without the accompanying images. --John Diliberto

Customer Reviews

This is a beautiful soundtrack to go with one of the best movies I have ever seen.
Amazon Customer
The rest of the album reek of the filler syndrome - tracks could be merely interchangeable and it still would not make any difference.
Marc Cabir Davis
The beauty of it is that the music is powered by your imagination and you start to see with your eyes closed.
Janne Heinonen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Manny Hernandez HALL OF FAME on August 5, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Two of my favorite artists are Dead Can Dance and Eric Serra (for his work on "The Big Blue", mainly). With the OST to Whalerider, Dead Can Dance former lead singer, Lisa Gerrard, put together the best of the two. The music that accompanies New Zealand's most succesful and touching movie ever (don't miss it: it's one of the best movies in a long time) carries an atmosphere that I can only compare with the experience of diving... but without the scuba gear. With her unmistakeable angelical voice, Gerrard, who also composed, arranged and performed the music in the album, perfectly fills the air behind the performance of young actress, Keisha Castle-Hughesa, playing a Maori girl that descends from a mythical lineage, and is determined to challenge some of her people's deepest rooted traditions.
Though there are inevitable moments when certain themes remind of Gladiator (Gerrard also brilliantly sang alongside Hans Zimmer for the score of that movie), the work she put together for Whale Rider will be more welcome than the former among both, longtime Dead Can Dance fans (listen to track #2 in particular) and perhaps more, followers of her earlier two solo works from the nineties ("Mirror Pool" and "Duality"). If you are a lover of the sea and its sounds (including the siren-like sounds of whales), I cannot emphasize this enough: get yourself a copy of this beautiful production. You will enjoy it.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Laon on June 24, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is a collection of mood pieces written by Lisa Gerrard for the film _Whale Rider_. There are a lot of echoes of Dead Can Dance here: a tendency for the compositions to involve first laying down a drone, then some slowly changing chords over that, and sometimes some of Ms Gerrard's own vocals on the top: world music with a Gothic accent.
So it's not groundbreaking in any sense. If you've liked Lisa Gerrard's other albums, also Dead Can Dance, then you know pretty much what to expect. But albums don't always have to be groundbreaking: being beautiful is enough.
I have a couple of minor reservations. I love Lisa Gerrard's voice, so I'd have liked to hear more of her voice in the foreground, while on this album she's mostly an ethereal presense, just heard through the mix. And I suppose I might have hoped for a more adventurous use of Maori chant, to produce something more local, more idiomatic to New Zealand.
The use of Maori women's chant (karanga and karakia don't seem the right words, when the chant is addressed to whales, though I'm speaking from ignorance there), also men's working chant, in some tracks is great, and the Maori musical elements work well in the mix. But still, I'd have been interested to have Lisa Gerrard make more of those distinctive Maori sounds. But I'm certainly happy with what I got.
As with any film music, it probably helps to have seen the film (and that's no hardship: you _should_ see "Whale Rider"), but this music does absolutely stand up by itself, without the accompanying images. If you want Lisa Gerrard songs, rather than instrumental mood pieces with vocals, then you might prefer others of her albums. But if you're prepared to take this for what it is, you'll be well rewarded.
Highly recommended.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Janne Heinonen on September 28, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Music has the power to take you to the other world, to the other time. It can make you cry and make you smile and you don't know why. The beauty of it is that the music is powered by your imagination and you start to see with your eyes closed. All of this is more than true with Lisa Gerrard's beautiful and emotional score to the Whale Rider.
Lets just make couple of things clear at first. Whalerider is not another Gladiator in any way. Gerrard's vocals are not as present here as they were in Gladiator. Her voice can be heard only a couple of times, and even then her vocals are not the main instrument. They are used only on the background. This score doesn't include any wagnerian type of recognizable themes like Gladiator did, and most of the scores nowadays. This score doesn't include any "hit tracks" either, like for example "Now We Are Free" in Gladiator.
Whale Rider is pure mood. It is a symphony of ambient. It is like the ocean, it moves and changes without any predictions. People have said that Whalerider score needs the movie to work proberly, with the story, actors and landscapes creating the emotions. Of course the score music always works best with the movie. These two elements needs each other and the music is made to elevate the film. However I think the score for Whale Rider works also on its own. I can say this because I haven't seen the movie yet. I know so little about it. But the funny thing is that after listening to Lisa Gerrard's score for a while, I suddenly started to see the story. I started to feel the atmosphere and sense the mood of the story.
What makes Whale Rider strong is the whole album and the way it is built. It starts with the sound of the ocean, which instantly sets up the mood.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Erica Anderson on September 17, 2003
Format: Audio CD
To be honest, I haven't seen the movie "Whale Rider" itself. I just havent' gotten around to seeing it. I have been wanting the soundtrack for some time now. I love Lisa Gerrard's work as a composer (as well as her work with her former group Dead Can Dance). I didn't have much expectations from the soundtrack. I certainly was well aware that there would be no vocals from Lisa herself. Still her abilities as a composer is pleasing to the senses I think. I really enjoyed her work on the "Gladiator" soundtrack which made me a fan of her post-Dead Can Dance career. I loved her work on "Whale Rider" soundtrack. I found the music to be very soothing and relaxing to listen to especially after a long day at the office. As I am listening to the soundtrack again, I feel like I am on a tropical island (namely New Zealand), riding a bike with the wind blowing through my hair. After listening to "Whale Rider", I certainly now know that I need to see the film to really enjoy the music. The music is just breathtaking. Normally I am wary of buying film scores but "Whale Rider" proved to be one of the best investments I have ever bought.
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