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The Hurt Locker Soundtrack

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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HURT LOCKER (OSC)
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Product Details

  • Composer: Marco Beltrami, Buck Sanders
  • Audio CD (January 19, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Lakeshore Records
  • Run Time: 131 minutes
  • ASIN: B0030E5NI2
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #319,821 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
What sticks out about this 12-track effort is that the music is intended to be powerful but subtle most of the time, and not a score that drowns out any of the film's critical scenes. The score was a cooperative composition job between Buck Sanders and music great Marco Beltrami (Hellboy, The Omen, Terminator 3). The duo worked together on a variety of films in the past, and their chemistry shows in their musical work for this movie.

Beltrami was obviously going for a modern day Cowboy flick feel when composing some of the music, to reflect the dangerous backdrop of the film (no surprise considering his past work with Sanders including 3:10 to Yuma). Most of the score is dark and foreboding, with unconventional instrumentation that create a sense of tension. Don't expect an orchestral performance like in Glory; the duo keep instruments to a minimum, but with maximum effect.

The film itself has very little music weaved in (about 30 minutes), and some of the songs from the film won't be found on the CD. A good example of this is "Khyber Pass" by Ministry, a full-throttle metal track that matches the adrenaline-pumping action of the film. As an added head's up, there were also two other Ministry songs, Fear and Palestina, that you won't find on this CD.

The album is only a half-hour long, but this fairly dark work more than delivers if you're a fan of movie scores.
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I missed The Hurt Locker in theaters, but ended up buying it on Blu-ray just based off the word of mouth. The film is quite a masterfully crafted piece of tension. However, what is probably the most unnoticed element to that tension that goes way beyond the direction and editing is Marco Beltrami & Buck Sanders' score.

When Marco Beltrami surfaced as one of Hollywood's "go to" composers I was never really impressed with his work. To me it just seemed like he would churn out stock scores that followed genre formulas. The first score of his that made me eat my words was his brilliant work for The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada. I told myself that if he would compose stuff of this calibre more often I'd be a Beltrami fan. He then went ahead and composed 3:10 To Yuma and ended up getting an Oscar nomination.

Hans is the father of pulling the blanket off of ghost writers. Composers like John Powell, Harry Gregson-Williams, James Dooley and many more have him to credit for their opportunities in this industry. Buck Sanders is to Marco Beltrami as Lorne Balfe is to Hans Zimmer right now. He started doing additional music and producing for Beltrami and now he has an Oscar nomination to his name.

The score itself is a hard stand alone listen. It's mostly ambience with a slight identifiable structure. The two incorporate synths and some ethnic instruments to create atmosphere and setting, but it's really hard to get attached to this score without seeing the film. The main theme carries this score. It's incredibly dreary and pessimistic. It's most notable in the track "The Way I Am". That track embodies what I love about the score in that it is incredibly personal towards the characters. This isn't a "war score" or an "action score".
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Format: Audio CD
I remember while watching the film that a majority of the background was silent and had no music at all to it. And what little scenes did, weren't anything that I haven't heard before. Most of the time it was hard to hear the soundtrack during the film because the action overpowered it. So I thought that getting this would help me be able to enjoy the soundtrack better.

But as I suspected, the CD showed the lack of a soundtrack by having just 12 tracks to it. And many of the tracks don't go up to 2 or 3 minutes and run by very quick.

If you're expecting to listen to a traditional soundtrack with a solid musical score then you may want to steer clear of this. This is not your typical movie soundtrack.

A majority of the CD isn't even music but just variations of sound effects, I felt. And most times, the sound goes very quiet that I'm not able to distinguish that much.

"Khyber Pass" by far is the most memorable from the movie. And I loved "Hostile." I found both of these to be very solid meaningful pieces. The rest of them, I'm afraid I could've heard in other films. One ironic part I found was the track entitled, "The Long Walk" is one of the shortest tracks on the CD and most forgettable. Which is quite unfortunate since I find the scene associated with it to be the most important in the whole movie.

Alongside the scenes in the film, the soundtrack really works. But as a stand-alone CD, it sounds confusing and muddled. If I hadn't seen the film, then I would've given this a much lower rating.

Overall, I believe movie soundtracks can be strong enough to hold on their own and be remembered. But this, I just felt was TOO SHORT to give me any depth into the film and went overboard with the synthesizer.

If you're a big fan of the movie, go for it. Otherwise, I suggest you buy certain MP3 tracks individually.
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