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I've always thought there was a difference between posting your opinions on something, and posting a [I]review[/I] of something. Thus, I thought we should have a thread for just that - reviews.

I'll start things off with my review of the Beowulf soundtrack. Post a review of whatever you want, just as long as it is several paragraphs long, and it is well written.

Composed and Conducted by Alan Silvestri; Warner Brothers Records [2007][/B][/center]

Beowulf is the type of movie that just came out of nowhere, and just by its title alone, demanded attention. The poem, which the completely Computer Generated film is based off, had reached a sort of cult status among the populous. It wasn’t as popular Homer’s [I]Iliad[/I] or the [I]Odyssey[/I] , but people were fascinated enough about it for Hollywood to decide to turn it into several movies. Most of them were what you would call trash.

Enter Zemeckis’ vision of Beowulf. With the screenplay co-written by Neil Gaiman of [I]Sandman[/I] fame, this film was either going to soar or plummet. With Beowulf, there is no other conclusion.

Zemeckis had long collaborated with Alan Silvestri, and even if you don’t like the choice of [I]Beowulf [/I]going CG, you [I]will[/I] agree with the composer. This is a soundtrack that exhibits two things – hubris, and pure heroism, much like the tale.

The soundtrack begins with a bang thanks to the main theme, which runs just a few seconds short of a minute. It begins with some sort of rock like musical, and it runs in the background for the remainder of the composition. But what garners your attention is the chorus. It is aggressive, takes you by the horns and tosses you around for a bit before letting you go. The male chorus is loud, and with nearly ever syllable a massive drum beat is sounded. A few female lines are heard in the end, with a different phrase than the males. It is an addicting song which you can play for several minutes and not tire of. The fourth song on the track, What We Need Is a Hero, expands on the main theme, and is another excellent song, adding more lines for the female chorus.

For some reason or another, Silvestri placed in what could best described as lullaby songs. Sung by Robin Penn-Wright, they are very simple, yet at the same time, soothing songs. A string is usually found in the background, adding to the sense of peace. It gives a sense of a mother singing to her babe. It can be debated wherever these add or retract to the soundtrack. Whereas the soundtrack is full of pounding songs, with powerful drums and lyrics, here we have these very quiet songs. They stand out there, for better or for worse. They aren’t the type of songs you can listen to over and over – a few times, and you want to move on, but they will remain in the back of your mind.

Beowulf is focused on the battle between the title character and two monsters – Grendel, and a dragon. What Silvestri gives us is some amazing battle tracks. I Did Not Win The Race and Beowulf Slays the Beast come to mind. Second Grendel Attack follows loosely behind. I admit I do not know much of Silvestri, but I am certain just by listening these are some of the best battle tracks he has written.

Grendel’s mother also has two of her own themes – The Seduction, and The Final Seduction, which appropiatley enough, is the next to final track. Both songs just scream ‘corruption’ and ‘manipulation’, which is exactly what Grendel’s mother does to Beowulf.

The album ends with a pop version of A Hero Comes Home, the seventh track. It is not the worst way to end the soundtrack, but it was not the best way either. It feels alot to desire for. After the epic magnitude of the previous sixteen tracks, we are left with [I]this[/I]. Its an enjoyable listen, but it doesn’t remain in your memory.

Overall, Beowulf is exactly as you expect: proud, and manly, with alot of drums and horns and epic chorus. For those who like to sort of things, Beowulf is an excellent choice to fill you with adrenaline. For everyone else, it will leave you with some disappointments. It might provide you with an enjoyable listen, though. And with it just running for a mere 46 minutes, it’s not a very long soundtrack either.

Four out of five stars – take off a star if you’re not much of a fan of ‘epic’ soundtracks.
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