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Soundtrack Review

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Music From the Films of James Cameron


Composers: Various
Silva Screen Records
RRP: £13.99
Available 26 April 2010

Few directors can claim both the critical and commercial success of James Cameron. Cameron directed the highest grossing film in history (Avatar), a film which won a record-tying 11 Academy Awards™ (Titanic) and directed films from several beloved film franchises, (Terminator, Aliens, and Rambo). This recording features music composed by James Horner, Jerry Goldsmith, Alan Silvestri, Brad Fiedel, and Cliff Martinez...

Music from the Films of James Cameron is another one of those loosely thrown together affairs aimed at those who have only a passing interest in soundtracks. It's more a gift for that film nut, who you don't know what to buy for, than it is a collection you'd actually buy yourself.

This time the main hook seems to be Cameron's Avatar movie, but if you were such a huge fan of the film surely you'd have already picked up the original soundtrack. So some poor soul has had to track back through Cameron's back catalogue of movies and pick tracks suitable for a 'best of collection.' Sadly, Cameron's movies are not exactly well known for having incredible soundtracks. Thankfully we are spared tracks from Piranha Part Two: The Spawning.

The press information didn't offer up any information on who arranged the music, mixed it or which orchestra/s performed it. While it's a lot better than some of the compilation albums out there, there were still a few too many issues I had with the finished mixes. Compare them to the originals and they sound pretty poor.

The album starts off with a track from Avatar, which is a good solid way to start this album. It sounds pretty faithful to the original.

'Titanic - My Heart Will go on' - Instrumental' sounds a lot more twee than the original (which had vocals) and it feels as though it was recorded with less than a full orchestra. Also 'Titanic - Taker her to Sea Mr. Murdoch' has a few instances where instruments sound off key when compared to the original. The mix is also very different, focusing on different parts of the orchestra than James Horner's recording. This makes for interesting listening, and in one instance actually improves on the original

'The True Lies' tracks are electronically synthesized as, I assume, the original would have been. It sounds incredibly dated, and not a track I personally enjoyed.

The rest of the album is made up of three Terminator 2 tracks; the end credits from The Abyss; one track from Aliens; one track from The Terminator; the main theme from Rambo 2 and a track from Solaris.

For true lovers of soundtracks this collection will be a bit of a disappointment. You'll probably own a few of these scores already, and those you don't probably aren't worth having. But, to be fair, whoever compiled this collection has done a good job of choosing tracks that don't all sound the same.


Darren Rea

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