Pompeii

Pompeii by Clinton Shorter on Grooveshark
It's when film's 'rain their terror', that scores 'rain their glorious splendor'. This score is no exceptional.
Pompeii. The ill-fated city of the Romans.
Mount Vesuvius. A live volcano that threatens to erupt any minute.
Lot's of people are aware of this ancient historical event. Pliny the Younger in a letter to Tactucus writes this about the eruption:
"Ashes were already falling, not as yet very thickly. I looked round: a dense black cloud was coming up behind us, spreading over the earth like a flood.'Let us leave the road while we can still see,'I said,'or we shall be knocked down and trampled underfoot in the dark by the crowd behind."
Pompeii, focus's on; Chaos, destruction, action, sword fights, and groundbreaking effects. Yet, amongst all that, the story of, love? Yes of course, a romance. The film has been getting a lot of criticism for be un-original and very cliche story-wise. Apparently, so is the score.
That exact description is what the 2014 film,
The album, composed by Clinton Shorter, has been described fittingly as 'trailer music'. And trailer music it is. The score is big, brassy, and epic. The main theme appears in all of it's glory, in the opening cue, Pompeii. The theme is a powerful, choral chant.
Most of the music is pure, epic-action music, heavy on the vocals and percussion.
The music takes a drastic change near the end of the album in the cue, I Won't Leave You. The cue starts off with synthetic vocals reminiscent of James Horner's Titanic. It transitions as slow strings play a mellow tune and female vocals take over. The cue is gorgeous and ethereal.
The main theme re-appears in the form of an all-men choir heard in the final powerhouse cue of the album, Praying For Help.
Praying for Help by Clinton Shorter on Grooveshark
So, does trailer music belong in a movie score? Most critics agree that, 'no, trailer music doesn't belong in a film score' (Click here to read that particular review). I tend to agree however, it depends on the film. I believe that an epic film deserves an epic score. Is Pompeii an 'epic film'? Yes, it is and thus needs an appropriate score to follow suit.
I absolutely loved Shorter's score. It's breathtaking,  beautiful, and very listenable. The music isn't chaotic for the most part and though it lacks a healthy helping of thematic material, the score grabbed my attention and kept it throughout the entire album. Maybe it's because I enjoyed the movie or due to the fact that I love trailer music, but this score will probably be a guilty favorite of mine.

Rating ****1/2

Best Cues
  • Pompeii
  • Away From You
  • My Gods
  • I Won't Leave You
  • Praying For Help

2 Comments:

  1. Alicia A. Willis said...
    Another good review, Joshua.
    Joshua Hoppman said...
    Thanks Alicia!

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