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Has the score to Titanic aged well?

Has the score to Titanic aged well?  

40 members have voted

  1. 1. Has the score to Titanic aged well?

    • Yes
      25
    • No
      15


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I recently listened to this score, after being absent from it for more than 15 years. I listened to it very much when it was fresh, and it was one of my favorite soundtracks. Now I think parts of it sound horribly dated, to the point of being cringe-worthy - I'm of course referring to some of the electronic elements. What do you think?

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I have this problem with it myself. All the action and peril cues I will always really enjoy, because it's top tier Horner suspense writing regardless of the subject. But that whole gaelic element of the score and the endless ahhhhhing of Rose's theme, I can't abide any of it.

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10 minutes ago, Quintus said:

I have this problem with it myself. All the action and peril cues I will always really enjoy, because it's top tier Horner suspense writing regardless of the subject. But that whole gaelic element of the score and the endless ahhhhhing of Rose's theme, I can't abide any of it.

 

But you have always felt like that havent you? Meaning it's not because it's dated over the last 21 years.

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16 minutes ago, Thor said:

It’s aged very well. Timeless film and score. The action music is OK, but ultimately not that interesting to me. But dig the music for love scenes, mystery of the ocean, the choir, the electronics, all that stuff. That’s TITANIC to me.

 

Titanic to me is Cameron's virtuoso mounting of the sinking and the epic camera work utilised in its capturing. I enjoy it on a technical level first and an emotional level somewhere after that, but the writing holds that aspect back a bit for me; any emotional reactions the film does elicit in me are usually the result of Horner's grand disaster scoring.

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4 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

I think the electronic choir sounds like 90s midi samples.

that's kind of the point. TAlthough Simon Franglen said they used synth choir  for financial reasons. But James Horner stated:

 

The synthesizing aspect causes time to fade, like in The Name of The Rose. Music has to be timeless, like a painting. If a painting is too rooted in its own time, it loses some of its universality. It’s the same with music. Between 1997 and 1912 there is just an image, a reduced space of time. I'm back to unity again. A linear dimension, one that is anachronistic because it is atypical, particularly here in the States. A desire to lose one's reference points, too, of course.

 

http://jameshorner-filmmusic.com/words-james-horner-3-titanic/

 

So the synthesizers clearly mark it as a 90s movie but also timeless. Imagine the 1912 scenes with lush strings and heroic brass fanfares, horrible....

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Quintus said:

 

Titanic to me is Cameron's virtuoso mounting of the sinking and the epic camera work utilised in its capturing. I enjoy it on a technical level first and an emotional level somewhere after that, but the writing holds that aspect back a bit for me; any emotional reactions the film does elicit in me are usually the result of Horner's grand disaster scoring.

 

The second half is a masterpiece of film making, IMO. 

 

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25 minutes ago, lemoncurd said:

that's kind of the point. TAlthough Simon Franglen said they used synth choir  for financial reasons. But James Horner stated:

 

The synthesizing aspect causes time to fade, like in The Name of The Rose. Music has to be timeless, like a painting.

 

In this case I think Franglen's explanation sounds more sincere, while Horner's explanation sounds like he felt the need to gloss over the fact that he wasn't given a sufficiently large budget. 

 

25 minutes ago, lemoncurd said:

So the synthesizers clearly mark it as a 90s movie but also timeless.

 

It might have sounded timeless in 1997 but not anymore, IMO.

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Financial reasons or not, the synth choir better captures the "Enya" sound Cameron was going for better than a real choir could.

And Horner chose to retain the synth choir when he was given a chance to rerecord a suite of the score for the Back To Titanic album.

 

1 minute ago, Quintus said:

I love the endgame 'this is it' feel of this cue:

 

 

 

Those final few minutes, that pulsating rhythm, ever increasing. Damn fine bit of film scoring.

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49 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

I think the electronic choir sounds like 90s midi samples.

 

This! and

 

54 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

I think the Gaelic elements are interesting enough, but there's probably too much of them.

 

that!

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12 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

And Horner chose to retain the synth choir when he was given a chance to rerecord a suite of the score for the Back To Titanic album.

 

Are you sure the budget would have allowed a choir?

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28 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

Those final few minutes, that pulsating rhythm, ever increasing. Damn fine bit of film scoring.

 

After grand fanfares, slightly hopeful scrambling and a moment of quiet, the finale is just unrelenting doom now 100% inevitably coming towads you, there's nothing to do anymore but face it. It's great.

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I don't think it has aged badly. Half of it is very good suspense music, and the other half is horribly sappy synth choir kitsch that wasn't any better when it came out. I like the Enya original, and I imagine either using that or have Enya write original music with Horner just doing the suspense stuff would have been better than Horner's synth noodling.

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1 minute ago, Quintus said:

Those themes are the 'soul' of the movie, no arguments there. But that doesn't automatically mean I can't find that music overdone and monotonous.

 

So would you have preferred it if they weren't there?

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No. I'd prefer it if those themes weren't referenced quite so often and paid so much tribute to on the OST. It meant I required a second disc to eventually get the other music I liked.

 

Guess what: I also get really tired of the Force theme in Star Wars movies, too. An amazing theme, overused.

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Fair enough. For my own part, I find my mind wandering in the latter part of the album, with all the 'sinking' cues. Makes me long for the more ethereal first part of the album (which thankfully returns at the end, before the song). But I think both are essential to give the album a varied, ebb-and-flow experience.

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1 hour ago, Thor said:

I must admit I don't understand the negative remarks surrounding the choir/mystery/love bits of the score here. It's my favourite part of the score, it's the very SOUL of it, and if there was just the action and suspense cues, it would be a rather run-of-the-mill affair.

 

Oh, the score needs its romantic side, no doubt. Narratively and musically. Doesn't change the fact that I think, and have always thought, that what Horner came up with for those parts of the score is really bad.

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3 hours ago, Quintus said:

 

The herald of doom choir there is ghoulish.

I get chills whenever I hear the actual sinking portion. It sounds like a mythical portal to hell. "Ghoulish" is a good word actually.

 

Karol

 

 

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Has Titanic aged well?  Yes and no.  Horner knew his stuff, so, for the most part the score is rooted in technique and approach that indeed lasts, and definitely leaves genuine impact.  

Yet, I feel he was being too contemporary with some of the material, especially the synth choir.  Electronics can be a mixed bag to be sure.  

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3 hours ago, mstrox said:

I don’t remember how it was in the movie

 

I saw it not too long ago. There are some parts where the synth choir sticks out in watching the film, and it does sound dated.

 

Otherwise, I think its great. But still...

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55 minutes ago, Steve McQueen said:

Has Titanic aged well?  Yes and no.  Horner knew his stuff, so, for the most part the score is rooted in technique and approach that indeed lasts, and definitely leaves genuine impact.  

Yet, I feel he was being too contemporary with some of the material, especially the synth choir.  Electronics can be a mixed bag to be sure.  

 

This is how I feel 

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6 hours ago, Thor said:

It’s aged very well. Timeless film and score. The action music is OK, but ultimately not that interesting to me. But dig the music for love scenes, mystery of the ocean, the choir, the electronics, all that stuff. That’s TITANIC to me.

THIS. I only discovered this score a few years ago and it gets better every time I revisit it. Whether the choir samples are dated is irrelevant to me, there's something so unique about it for me, it just defines the score. Only yesterday I fell in love with Leaving Port (album version). And of course all the love/Irish music.

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