Search - Hans Zimmer :: Inception

Hans Zimmer
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

Warner Bros. presents the new film by The Dark Knight's Christopher Nolan, this one taking on a sci-fi psychological spin for the serious-minded action auteur, with Leonardo DiCaprio spearheading the cast. Emma Thomas serv...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Hans Zimmer
Title: Inception
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Watertower Music
Release Date: 7/13/2010
Album Type: Soundtrack
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 093624965039


Product Description
Warner Bros. presents the new film by The Dark Knight's Christopher Nolan, this one taking on a sci-fi psychological spin for the serious-minded action auteur, with Leonardo DiCaprio spearheading the cast. Emma Thomas serves as producer, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Marion Cotillard, Cillian Murphy, and Ellen Page rounding out the supporting roles. Inception opens in theaters July 16, 2010.

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CD Reviews

Ambient and Atmospheric
John Green | Brooklyn, NY USA | 07/18/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)

""I'm not interested in the massive heroic tunes anymore. Now I'm interested in how I can take two, three, or four notes and make a really complex emotional structure. It's emotional as opposed to sentimental. It's not b-s heroic; it has dignity to it."

This quote from Hans Zimmer about his approach to scoring Inception reveals both its strengths and weaknesses. The two-note motif ideal popularized in the Batman Begins score comes full circle here, and like in previous works is both effective yet overused. Nearly every track is built around differing two-note motifs layered upon each other but as Zimmer states above, there's no identifying themes for the characters; it's all based upon the emotional impact of the scene itself.

Empasizing this is an anecdote about how Nolan refused to grant Zimmer any spotting sessions (previewing a rough cut of the film); all the themes were formed from Zimmer's impressions of the characters from the script. It was only in the post-sessions that the suites and cues were tailored to fit the sequences- some Radical Notions, indeed (Special thanks to Tuco for reminding me of this!). At times it can be compelling, but also often ends up as background noise as there's not enough to hold your attention for long- mine drifted more than once while listening to this. To be fair, this is one where you really should see the movie in order to fully appreciate it. The atmospheric composition and overall ambient feel compliments the movie perfectly.

Some highlights: *Potential Spoilers Alert*

We Built Our Own World- Built upon a two-note pulsing rhythmic base underneath another two-note synth key, it captures Cobb's emotional arc while revisiting the dreamscape he and Mal fashioned together. I especially liked the Portishead-style 'vinyl skip' beat at the end.

Radical Notion- 'Vinyl skips' continue through the intro before flowing into a 'white noise' support. Brad Fiedel-style synths carry you along before the electric cello two-noters overlap with some bottom from Batman Begins (Molossus) before rising to a nice up tempo beat that ends all too soon.

Old Souls- Delving into Cobb and Mal's backstory, it begins with a sub-tonal electronic fluttering underneath solo piano notes before laying in four and six-note elements. More Brad Fiedel synths appear before the cello rushes and accelerated tempo carried by a rising 8-note motif before ending on more 'Molossus' bottom.

528491- Opens with electric cello that blends into typical Zimmer percussions driving the urgency. Ends on the 'elephant blast' two-noter from the trailer.

Mombasa- Full-tilt action as Cobb is pursued through the streets of Mombasa by his former employers. Several 6-note synth motifs overlap the percussion and help fuel the rhythm. Lots of fun, actually.

Waiting For A Train- Clocks in at 9:28, the longest track on the cd. Two-note motifs flood the composition, supported by a sub-harmonic rumble. At 7:03 the Edith Piaf vocal sample (Non Je Ne Regrette Rien/I Regret Nothing At All) used for the 'sound kick' makes its lone appearance.

Time- Used in the movie's finale to underscore the end of Cobb's character arc it opens with the most familiar of the two-note motifs- alternating the second note's rise and descent- first as solo piano notes before morphing into synth. Alternates versions are layered into along with an emphasizing guitar pick. At 3:37 it rises to its full potential before dipping into reflective solo piano keys and a tonal finale. Zimmer achieved his ends by effecting emotional response very well here. *End Spoilers*

This is a hard one to rate. While it more than does a soundtrack's job of enhancing the movie you're tempted to yield to its appeal as an ambient cd release, and it doesn't quite have enough to stand on its own legs. But that doesn't mean you won't like it for its overall scope. This is where Amazon could use a 10-star ratings system: it's better than 3 stars, but not quite a 4.

Dream is Collapsing.
mikey mike | 07/14/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"My past experience with Hans Zimmer had always being similar to my experience with the Yankees in the sense that he was a composer that I loved to hate. After the brilliant and daring "Sherlock Holmes" all negative feelings are almost gone and replaced with respect and a wee bit more understanding into how the man's mind works. With "Inception" Zimmer gets back with Nolan and despite the movie supposedly being a mind altering and highly intelligent experience, the score is pretty direct and in your face with very little subtleties.

The album is largely an atmospheric album, the closest thing to a theme I could pick up was a long drawn out two note motif reminiscent of his stuff for Nolan's Batman movies. It's a very simple little statement but works amazingly well on the album. The motif is first heard on "Dream is Collapsing" which is pound for pound my favorite piece of music all year. I became obsessed with the track after hearing it on the movie's website and now glad I get to play it ad nauseam on my little Zune. Was blasting it today whiles driving and it's amazing to listen to when you're speeding on the highway. Makes one feel like a complete bad*** when racing down the highway with the enormous brass section just yelling right in your face then you have the strings weaving in and out and some very cool guitars to help complete the total bad*** feeling. Say what you want about Zimmer, the man knows how to do exciting music.

"Radical Notion" is a track that walks in familiar territory in terms of the string ostinatos that we're accustomed to from "The Dark Knight" but is not just a copy and paste job. Starts off playing the main motif rather dramatically then dips into some too cool for school stuff before playing around with the little motif some more. The last moments of the track gets aggressive, which I imagine will make sense after seeing the movie.

"Old Souls" is a long and effective track that continues the atmospheric feel of the album. A nice little break from the ridiculously large brass section. It gets busy and kinda wanders into Davy Jones territory towards the end. Tracks like "One Simple Idea" and "Paradox" contains some similar atmospheric laid back moments. "Dream within a Dream" brings back the motif heard in "Dream is Collapsing" but adds some too cool for school percussion that I dare anyone not to tap their feet or rock out like they were at a rock concert.

"Mombasa" kinda sounds like a "Sherlock Holmes" wanna be but breaks off into it's own little groove. I can't say i'm a huge fan of the track but it is a lot of fun to listen to. If Zimmer ever gets bored with filmmusic he can try his hands at being a rock producer. The last track on the album is a nice little way to end the album. Builds up and up till it quites down to a sad little piano and the strings.

The hierarchy and the elitist of the filmmusic world will hate this. The type that eat fried chicken with a fork, wear a top hat and a monocle I imagine, whine and complain about lack of themes and originality then turn around give "Avatar" 5 stars. Yeah they'll hate this alright. But like I told one of my favorite people on facebook the other day, my main attraction to filmmusic is the fact it's not a specific genre set in stone. Anything can be filmmusic, one day you're listening to something challenging and avant garde like "Planet of the Apes" or "Alien 3", then the next off to a whimsical fantasy world with "Alice in Wonderland" and "Stardust".

These artist have to be good at everything, not just orchestral music, but every form of music because you never know when you might need use some electric guitars, or need to do some Asian music in a movie. So far in 2010 we've had so many great scores from a lot of great composers from the digital age that range from full blown orchestral, to something like this which uses the orchestra but uses a lot of stuff too as well. If anyone can find a better type of music out there that offers such great range and requires the musicians to have such an expanded musical vocabulary, then good luck.

Not sure if this movie will be as big critically or box office wise as "The Dark Knight", and I don't know if i'll be watching the movie 3 times in one day like I did with "The Dark Knight" *yes I have no life*, but so far the album especially "Dream is Collapsing" is very well done and incredibly addictive. "Dream is Collapsing" alone much like "Discombobulate" from "Sherlock Holmes" more than justifies purchasing the album.

Recommended if you have don't have your nose in the air and think every filmmusic has to be full on orchestral."
A soundtrack for your imagination (or dreams?)
James W. Janeri | USA | 07/16/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Listening to film music, I've found that the "great" composers adapt to the story ... and to their director's vision. I've liked a lot of Hans Zimmer's scores over the years, but not "on purpose". I thought he was more of a "corporate" composer (i.e., Pirates of the Caribbean), doing big-budget and obvious scores. But then I started to really listen to his work. I really liked Mission Impossible II ... I liked his mix of Spanish influences and electronica (who can do that!!? = Hans, I learned). Batman Begins (w/ James Newton Howard, one of my favorites) was "great". I didn't think they'd top that. Then ... The Dark Knight. Outside the box in so many ways. I've listened to it constantly since it was released. Then, he surprised me with Sherlock Holmes! WOW! Completely unexpected! That's when I realized that this guy really absorbs what the director is trying to do .. and then contributes what he can with the score. That SH score really rounded out that film.

Inception is outstanding. I agree that "Dream is Collapsing" is the most memorable song. And I'd counter that "Mombasa" is not what you were expecting ... but then becomes very powerful. The rest is an aural journey into one's imagination. I hear echoes of Tubular Bells, The Last Emperor, The Saint, great chase scenes, and some faceless sci-fi films (not sure which ones, but the musical cues are there). I even hear Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon in "Waiting for a Train". I realized that since the film has not been released yet at the time of me writing this, that in the meantime I've created images and story lines in my mind. In fact, though I know this film will be amazing, I'll be a little saddened when the actual film's imagery replaces mine. It is a soundtrack to the imagination ... or perhaps ... dreams. :)"