Tracksounds Rating = *4/10
by Hans Zimmer
by Christopher Coleman
Singer/songwriter Elton John with
the cooperation of Dreamworks Records have released what could turn out to
be the greatest injustice to the film music world in the year 2000.
Somehow Elton John usurped
control of the highly anticipated animated film from Dreamworks and dubbed the only music release for the movie,
“Elton John’s The Road to El Dorado.”
While this title seems a little grandiose it is an accurate
description of this release. The
CD is packed with seemingly endless Elton John tracks that, at times, have
entertaining musical themes, but whose lyrics are devoid of any depth,
humor, or continuity whatsoever. This
is something lyricist Tim Rice is certainly not known for with lyrical
gems such as Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin under his belt.
It appears the formula employed
for “Phil Collins’ Tarzan” has been utilized for Elton John’s El
Dorado. The pop song has
replaced the Broadway-esque cues that most associate with such animated
films. While this worked marvelously for Tarzan, mostly due to
Collins’ apparent superior talent, it fails for El Dorado. Having said this, we will leave the realm of the forgettable
and move on to token score tracks.
The greatest tragedy for this
release is the meager sampling of score rudely stuffed into the last
vestiges of space on the CD. For
those who have bashed Hans Zimmer and crew for churning out score after
score of “uninteresting, synthetic, concoctions,” The Road to El
Dorado provides a feast of lively musical moments that have been all but
completely abandoned by Dreamworks Records. The
cues that are included provide a teaser amount of music that, with a few
exceptions, one would not associate with the composing mind of Hans Zimmer
and John Powell.
Mellow grooves evoking relaxing
images of a South Pacific coast beach or the Caribbean?
Sweet guitars, smooth woodwinds, soft vocal accents, zesty strings?
These are certainly not Zimmer trademarks, yet here they are for
the film music fan to relaxingly enjoy in Cheldorado (track 12), and The
Brig (track 13).
The liveliest and most memorable
track is the last, Wonders
of the New World. After getting over the Augie’s Great Municipal Band (The
Phantom Menace) flashback, brought on by the young vocal chorus in the
first few moments of the piece, I
found the music thrilling. John
Powell delivers a bang-up finale, here!
This cue exhibits the more familiar Media Venture traits, but still
is a bit “happier” and “bright” than most have come to expect from
these ominous-music-makers. It
is wildly refreshing and a joy to listen to.
The second segment of the final track, brings us into the tried and
true Zimmer feel, with low voices and strings moving into driving rhythms
and percussions and the brass of a whirling dervish!
The third section of the track features a tribal march before
quickly moving into a dramatic mariachi mode.
What a combination of music for one track- worth the full price of
admission by itself.
Zimmer and company certainly did
this Dreamworks film proud by their music once again. The Prince of Egypt may remain this studio’s crown
jewel, at least as far as the total music package is concerned, but The
Road to El Dorado comes close and might have even surpassed had their
been a proper release of the score.
This release demands a special rating. The score receives a 9. The CD release; however, falls far short, earning a 5. The rating certainly would be higher had they included more score and dispensed with…oh, let’s say the Elton John songs which did not even appear in the film. The songs themselves are only mediocre due to unexpected subpar lyrical content from Mr. John and Disney veteran, Tim Rice. This release should have been “Hans Zimmer’s: The Road to El Dorado” in title and in conte
|2||Someday Out of the Blue (Theme from El Dorado)||4:47||**|
|4||Friends Never Say Goodbye||4:20||**|
|5||Trail We Blaze||3:53||**|
|6||16th Century Man||3:39||**|
|7||The Panic in Me||5:40||**|
|8||It's Tough to Be a God||3:49||**|
|10||My Heart Aches||4:51||**|
|11||Queen of Cities||3:56||**|
|14||Wonders of the New World||5:55||*****|
|Total Playing Time||62:08|
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|All artwork from Elton John's The Road to El Dorado is exclusive property of Dreamworks Records (c) 2000. Its appearance is for informational purposes only. Composer photo courtesy of Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks)|
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