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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Summer Score In The Winter. Zimmer Strikes Gold With Unique Instrumentation For A Jolly Good Time, January 13, 2010
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This review is from: Sherlock Holmes: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Audio CD)
Hans Zimmer explodes into adventure with his highly entertaining and very unique score to Sherlock Holmes. When I first read that Hans would be doing a Guy Ritchie film I became a little curious. Ritchie is known for using mostly songs and little to no score in his films. So, why would he hire a composer who is known for making music stand up and take charge in the narrative? I don't know why, but I'm glad it happened. The score is incredibly fun and is a concoction that only Zimmer and his featured soloists could have come up with.

Hans says the score took inspiration from Irish and gypsy music. So the tunes are off key in places and utilize uncommon instruments such as the banjo or the custom hybrid "Experibass". It has the swashbuckling waltzy feel of his theme for Jack Sparrow yet all the instrumentation and attitude of an Ennio Morricone western score. In other words, it brings what you see on the screen to vivid life. The track "Not In Blood, But In Bond" showcases one of the many amazing soloists in a hauntingly beautiful track. This track plays over the slow motion sequence of the wharf bombing and will honestly give you chills. Yet you will have a ridiculously goofy track like " I Never Woke Up In Handcuff's Before", which has a Middle Eastern flair accented by an accordion that eventually weaves the main theme in.

The film itself is hugely entertaining and there is not a dull moment in the entire score (or the film). The highlight is of course the 18-minute track titled "Psychological Recovery . . . 6 Months". It's practically all the music from the final act of the film and it's one helluva ride. The structures and sounds bleed Zimmer and will keep you riveted and smiling all at once. Hans is still the only composer I know who knows best how to create these grand emotional ascending arcs that continually build and build and then erupt, which is exactly what the final act of the score does.

Sherlock Holmes was a great way to end the year. It was like getting a summer action score in the winter when usually all we have is the "serious" stuff. Hans Zimmer continues to go out of his way to try and not tread over old ground. He continually creates emotionally driven music that lifts the films he scores to new heights. I still love the fact that he can do all this crazy and innovative instrumentation and the sound is still unmistakably Zimmer. I also love the "Black Hawk Down" strings that come in at 10:35 into "Psychological Recovery . . . 6 Months". If there are any Modern Warfare 2 players out there they might recognize it. I don't know if Hans or Lorne is responsible for that one, but it made me smile.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 14, 2010 7:49:36 AM PST
Kaya, i didn't have a chance to see the film yet and i haven't listened to the soundtrack. Hans Zimmer is defenitly my favorite composer and i know of almost evey score he has worked on. One of the things i love about him is the way he always comes up with a strong, sad yet heroic melody for a big action sequence. The one that comes to my mind is "Hummell Gets The Rocket" for the movie "The Rock". You see destruction and death while a sad, slow and heroic melody embraces the images. Another is "Safe Passage" for "The Last Samuraï" and i could go on like this for a while. You seem to be saying that this very thing happens also in "Sherlock Holmes" for the piece called "Not In Blood, But In Bond". Would you say that is correct?

Also, would you say that we recognize Zimmer's famous "sound" where he begins slowly to then finish with a big emotional bang with his synths? Like i say, i love every aspect of his music (Beyond Rangoon, Smila's Sense Of Snow, As Good As It Gets, Gladiator) but my favorite "Zimmerism" is "Roll Tide" from "Crimson Tide". That famous sound was what started it all for him as a major film composer. His army of clones from his school of film music are always copying that sound and it has now become a standard in action films (Transformers, Pirates...). Would you say we recognize that sound in "Sherlock Holmes"?

And last, is the long piece of 18 minutes a recap of all the themes from the movie, including "Not In Blood, But In Bond"?

Thanks in advance if you respond.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2010 10:32:33 AM PST
Kaya Savas says:
The 90's action Zimmer sound is nowhere to be found in Sherlock Holmes. It of course has his structures all over like the ones you've mentioned including incredible ascending arcs that end with a bang. I wouldn't call "Not In Blood, But In Bond" a sad piece of music. It's more tragic if anything, but Alexsey Igudesman plays the hell out of that violin. The 18min track isn't a suite if that's what your asking, but pretty much the whole final act of music as it plays out in the film essentially.
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