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Fal J. M. Skywalker

Do You Truly Hate Hans Zimmer? (Musically.)

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No, I don't hate him or his music. When he's left to his own devices or encouraged to go out of the box, he can conjure up some wonderful music. But he's been slumming it for a couple of years.

And I don't like his his style of music has essentially taken over every action film out there now. What works in The Thin Red Line doesn't for the Red Dawn remake.

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Would you believe Hans Zimmer has scored for every single genre conceived for the cinema; action, drama, romance, comedy, even animation & Westerns. Still I can't help but think his music palette is still not varied enough.

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I think its Ironic, that the reason (they say) that this style was "created", was because they wanted something that wasn't the norm for POTC....

and now its the norm.

Well I wouldn't call the POTC sound incredibly unique. It is the 90s MV/RC sound adapted to the pirates setting, but I suppose its application could be considered unique for the genre.

I used to be a big Zimmer fan and I still do really like his work from the 90s and some great 2000 scores. The man is also notorious for having several underrated gems in his career.

But recently, he's been crossing redundancy that's starting to get tiring. His last really enjoyable score was Sherlock Holmes (Rango had its moments too though).

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I'm also not a fan of the broad copy and paste approach he took particularly with TDKR. The sort of conceptual composition process worked well with Inception, IMO (I actually rather like that score, both in film and on album), but it doesn't fit with something like Batman; it needed more nuance all around, and a more tailored fit, and that makes more perhaps my biggest complaint currently is that the stereotype of the "modern Zimmer" sound is just too much of a broad-strokes approach to things. I'm actually liking a lot of the colors he's coming up with, and there are actual musical ideas I enjoy. I guess the thing I would most like to hear him do is to take the kind of passion and time he puts into finding his soundscapes and apply that to the actual scoring process.

But no, I don't hate his music. I'm definitely a fan of his work for animation (especially his big '90s scores: The Lion King and The Prince of Egypt), and even in the case of the Batman scores, which I'm not particularly fond of as far as their application to the films, do have their own certain atmospheric appeal. I quite enjoy Inception and what I've heard of his Sherlock Holmes scores. I do definitely need to familiarize myself with his '80s and '90s stuff. I liked the samples I heard of Black Rain (and was shocked to hear the end of "Molossus" almost verbatim!), for starters. Need to hear (and see) The Thin Red Line, for sure...

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I don't hate Zimmer at all. I actually have enjoyed most of his music i've heard, even the Batman scores. But I do wish he was a little bit more creative at times, because when he does something creative, imo it's a hit (Inception's theme based off the Edath Pilaf song, Bane's theme, Joker's theme.)

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Game composers adore him because his music is musically easily copyable. You can write down his scores by ear without much training. You don't have to be a true 'classical' composer to mimic Hans Zimmer. You don't have to understand all the complexities and compositional techniques of music. Most guys with a pop background and a midi setup understand what he's doing. Now imagine that John Williams was popular, huh? All these guys would be in a lot of trouble.

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Alexander Cremerus

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One of my favourite recent game scores is co-written by Zimmer, but yeah; his sound generally represents the more generic and bland game score, especially to the untrained ear. People like me are able to discern the difference between a Zimmer soundtrack and a copycat.

Fortunately there's many different styles working in the medium, same as there are in movie music.

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Now imagine that John Williams was popular, huh? All these guys would be in a lot of trouble.

Randy Edelman had a huge career when Williams was popular, so...

As for Zimmer, overexposure is the only problem. And that Hans should at least take a composition class so that some of his longer pieces have more form. When you listen to his BATMAN-stuff unenhanced like i did with the DARK KNIGHT-portion of this year's JNH concert in Gent, it really is a chore to sit through such a meagre offering that barely breathes life into a beer commercial. It was truly the downside of the event.

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Randy Edelman had a huge career when Williams was popular, so...

Who? What? You say it as if my words don't contain any form of truth. Are you suggesting that any guy with a pop background would prefer to mimic Williams instead of Zimmer because Zimmer's music is too complex to imitate?

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If not, what's with the "so"?

Alexander Cremerus

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Randy Edelman had a huge career when Williams was popular, so...

Who? What? You say it as if my words don't contain any form of truth. Are you suggesting that any guy with a pop background would prefer to mimic Williams instead of Zimmer because Zimmer's music is too complex to imitate?

I say nobody got ever into trouble because of lacking academic credentials. Moroder, Levay, Faltermeyer, Edelman etcetc. All successful musicians in Williams' most successful phase. So it's not like you weren't wildly popular if you could not or would not mimic a classically trained composer.

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I like 11 of his scores, and selections from others.

I find the rest at best uninspiring, and at worst, just plain bad. However, I would complain more about his influence on the style of music and the 'production line' approach. Although I personally believe his excuse of wanting to mentor others on a project is partially a result of farming out work when he's either too busy or uninterested in the project.

This thread will end really well btw, and Joey will of course refrain from reminding us that Zimmer's music is fucking atrocious noise.

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Then this must be the best time of your life, Thor, with everything Zimmer and all. I never had that. I always had a taste different to the general public. It must be fun to love something of which there is no shortage of supply. It's sorta like being into Rihanna, rap music, or whatever the entertainment industry wants you to like.

Alex

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I love scores like The Last Samurai or Gladiator. But when I listen to them now, I still cringe at some of the synths. Scores like that would sound so much better if he just refrained from augmenting an orchestral recording with his synth samples.

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Then this must be the best time of your life, Thor, with everything Zimmer and all. I never had that. I always had a taste different to the general public. It must be fun to love something of which there is no shortage of supply. It's sorta like being into Rihanna, rap music, or whatever the entertainment industry wants you to like.

Alex

It's a good time, yes. Zimmer keeps on inventing and reinventing himself. As much as I absolutely adore his power anthem style, I'm glad he's also moved on to explore more ambient textures and hypnotic soundscapes.

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I like or dislike Zimmer depending on the score. Some of his big material develops a loud, flat sound on the synths that I don't like. On the other hand, he's come up with nice sounds and ideas on occasion.

I dislike that everybody in the industry has to copy Hans Zimmer, even if I do like what's being copied. For example, I really enjoy his Inception score, but I don't like hearing pseudo-Inception music on every trailer out :mellow:

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Generally, I find Zimmer's scores to be effective when heard with the film. But since they tend to focus on timbre, rhythm, and texturing, when the music is taken on its own, I find it a bit on the dull side, especially because it usually involves a lot of repetition. This is why I tend to prefer the more classical approach to scores, which instead focuses on the development of melody, harmony, and motives in a constantly changing, organic way. In Zimmer, these elements often remain fairly static for the sake of exploring other musical elements.

So, no I certainly don't hate Zimmer's music - in fact as film music it can be quite good, but I think it works best when heard with the film.

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I love scores like The Last Samurai or Gladiator. But when I listen to them now, I still cringe at some of the synths. Scores like that would sound so much better if he just refrained from augmenting an orchestral recording with his synth samples.

Jerry Goldsmith did this very frequently. It only bothered me on occassion, like his Supergirl score. If done appropriately and conservatively, it does augment- but it sure stands out when handled poorly.

The first Zimmer score that caught my ear was for Backdraft. Great score, until the studio marketing depts. got ahold of it and used it in every action trailer for a time. For me, I think he's very talented but his sound has become oversaturated over the years. He needs to mix it up. It's a trap a lot of composers- good ones- can fall into. Look at James Horner, for instance- what happened there?!

Mr. K

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It's a good time, yes. Zimmer keeps on inventing and reinventing himself. As much as I absolutely adore his power anthem style, I'm glad he's also moved on to explore more ambient textures and hypnotic soundscapes.

The only reinvention he does is updating his sound library and putting a new cover on a CD with the same music.

He's still doing the same old music, the only difference is that his power anthems become shorter and he reads way too much into them.

It's a trap a lot of composers- good ones- can fall into. Look at James Horner, for instance- what happened there?!

What happened is that he doesn't need the hassle of today's filmmaking.

And when he crawls out from under his rock, a score like The Amazing Spider-Man still beats the hell out of a Zimmer job like Dark Knight Rises.

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I think his music is alright in the context of film. Outside of film, it has little value.

I do think a lot of arguments against him/his music are preposterous though.

"He sucks because he writes on a computer" is a wonderful example.

Y'know, the same batch of idiots who think writing music with pencil and paper somehow makes John Williams as good as he is. The same idiots who no doubt believe driving a Ferrari would make their penis bigger and better in bed.

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It's a good time, yes. Zimmer keeps on inventing and reinventing himself. As much as I absolutely adore his power anthem style, I'm glad he's also moved on to explore more ambient textures and hypnotic soundscapes.

The only reinvention he does is updating his sound library and putting a new cover on a CD with the same music.

He's still doing the same old music, the only difference is that his power anthems become shorter and he reads way too much into them.

Right, because THE THIN RED LINE, the BATMAN films, THE DA VINCI CODE, SHERLOCK HOLMES, INCEPTION are oh-so-full of 90s-style 'power anthems'. :rolleyes:

GLADIATOR was really the major turnover score for him -- containing bits of that style, but also elements of the style to come (and ushering in the popularity of wordless, middle-eastern vocals). Since then, has has only very rarely tapped into that territory (the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN themes being a late example).

I dig Zimmer's music -- both in the film and outside. His music just connects to me on a very emotional level. As an age-old fan of prog rock, eletropop and other electronic music, he fits right in, in his own unique way. I like the old stuff, I like the new stuff. The only place I don't really connect that well is when he's doing comedies. That's not really his forte, IMO. But give me a serious drama or an action film, especially with ethnic undertones, and I'm in 7th heaven!

LONG LIVE ZIMMER! Screw the critics!

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For me, Zimmer appears to be the most skilled in the team of composer that works on a score... Take PotC 2, for example. The suites are well arranged; he clearly knows how to build structure, unlike the other composers that mostly make a mess.

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