The Good: Amazing orchestral score, great themes, deep and heavy!
The Bad: Weaker songs toward the end
The Basics: A must for anyone who enjoys orchestral music and a good body of music for those who don't know if they do or not!
The soundtrack to The Last of the Mohicans is one of the few that comes to mind that both enhances the film and works perfectly as a musical body. The soundtrack opens with a series of themes that are remarkably similar, but include variations on the basic melody. It lends a cohesiveness that feels like the album is telling a story through the music.
The bulk of the tracks on the soundtrack are big; they are bold, epic songs. They are orchestral works that have rousing themes: strong drums (expert use of bass and tympanies!), powerful horns (the brass section in tracks 1 - 6 is nothing short of amazing) and fluid strings that evoke both emotion and motion. The "Main Theme" is hummable and pretty addictive!
The Last Of The Mohicans songs are dominated by strings with frequent use of tympany drums. The songs use violins and cellos predominantly and the repetitive use of the violin gives it more a fiddle sound on themes like "Main Theme." The result is that there is both a sense of grandeur and folksy charm on many of the musical works on the album. Even for those who have not seen the movie, the themes on this album still resonate for anyone who loves Classical music; the orchestral sound inspires creativity.
The only true weakness in the album is as it goes on. Attempting - successfully - from becoming repetitive, the music grows significantly weaker on such tracks as "River Walk and Discovery" and "Cora." They're not bad tracks, but they give the feel of an overlong denouement and there is a noticeable difference in power between the beginning and the end. The last two tracks "Pieces of a Story" and "I Will Find You" do bring the album back, so there is a good feeling of closure and completeness to the work.
Strong in engineering and instrumentation, this soundtrack is an example of how wonderful some composers these days are; not just making pieces for a film, but for the collective consciousness as well.
For other soundtracks, please check out my reviews of:
Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack
The Heights Soundtrack
For other music reviews, please check out my index page!
© 2010, 2001 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.