Too Many Cooks by Shawn Watson (February 17, 2004)
The Rock is not a wonderful or classical soundtrack that deserves any awards but it does contain some great action beats and exciting chase music. But there are too many people working here on this score and it's a bit of a mess I'm afraid to say.
First we have Hans Zimmer, then Nick Glennie-Smith, Harry Gregson-Williams and even some contributions by James Newton Howard. It may sound wicked but there is not distict style to this score other than 'Another Media Ventures Product'.
The first track 'Hummel Gets The Rockets' is very cool. It takes a few minutes to get going but has some powerful stuff in there. One half Battlefield Tragedy plus one half well-organised determination make a whole great track.
Track 2 'Rockhouse Jail' isn't so great. It's a suite of many different musical cues from throughout the film and it's here that you realize the CD just isn't going to play them in chronological order. The result is a track that starts of with the wonderful main theme of The Rock and then loses it in incoherence.
Track 3 'Jade' is a nice little tune that tries to sound Scottish but doesn't. It's makes for a nice break from the action music but isn't likely to make you well-up with emotion.
Track 4 'In the Tunnels' is pretty weak. There is a very cool burst of action near the end but most of this track is boring with just loads of sound effects and weird noises in place of real music.
Track 5 'Mason's Walk-First Launch' is even worse. There is only one ACTUAL piece of music in this track stuck right in the middle. The rest is sound effects and weird noise. Bo-ring. In the 6 years I've had this CD I've only listened to this entire track once.
Track 6 'Rocket Away' is 15 minutes of pure action. Well, almost, 2 minutes of build-up (painful on the ears) and 2 minutes of calm at the end (Jade's theme makes a return) bookend some way cool music. It's not the same music as featured in the film tho. As is the case with almost all these tracks.
Track-7 'Fort Walton,Kansas' is the happy-end music that was played at the end of the film. It's featured nowhere else on this CD (tho it was in the film) so its inclusion here is almost useless considering we've not heard it exercised in other tones and moods.
Track 8 'Chase' is stuck on stupidly at the end of the CD for some reason. It's way cool chase music that takes a couple of minutes to get going and when it does it has no definite 'start'. Tho it is still cool.
If I were in charge of this music project I would have seriously cut down on the amount of composers involved. Gregson-Williams contribution seems to be exactly the same as the rotten score he created for 'The Replacement Killers'. Newton Howard's style is disolved in the rest of Hans Zimmer's and Glennie-Smith's additions. Who was the REAL guidance behind this score?
This CD is not ideal for those of you who like the score in the film as much of it is missing. The CD lasts for over an hour but features many silent parts and, like I said, is badly out of chronological order. It should have just been, in order, actual music tracks instead of suites of different moods and different styles from different composers. It adds up to a thoroughly unsatisfying experience. But for those of you who just love the music in the film; go for it. Typical soundtrack fans may want to consider the points I have just made first.