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Monday, February 27, 2006

CD REVIEW - The New World

The New World
Music by James Horner
Silva Screen SILCD1200
13 Tracks 79:37 mins

For this live-action telling of the Pocahontas/Captain Smith story, James Horner has written his customary wall-to-wall score, though parts of it were apparently sacrificed for classical compositions in the finished film - another episode in the "curse of the temp-track" saga, I suppose. Thankfully however, the score is preserved for our enjoyment on this lengthy album, even if its impact is slightly lessened by the annoying presence of birdsong over the title track and again during the vocal "Listen to the Wind," well-performed by Hayley Westenra, which closes the album.
Horner has written a score of delicate beauty for the most part, with his usual familiarity of style, but also with a hint of minimalism. Echoes of previous works can be found in the Titanic-like female vocals that subtly pervade the score, and there's also a touch of Braveheart to be found in the broad theme, first heard in the title track, after its initial awe-filled choral beauty. Pocahontas receives delicate romantic scoring, with tender piano and strings accompanying "Rolfe Proposes." Some of the tracks are perhaps over-lengthy and fail to sustain the interest throughout but, for the most part, this is another engrossing listening experience and a worthy addition to your Horner collection.


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