Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) – Hans Zimmer

This was one of the few soundtracks that I didn’t buy on my own, waiting instead to receive it as a gift. Why? Because, after Zimmer’s score to At World’s End, I didn’t think that it would be good. Christmas rolled around, I got it, and I listened to it…and guess what? I was pleasantly surprised.

The best part of this album is the addition of Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela. Their flamenco guitars add a wonderful Spanish influence to the whole album, giving a new spin on some classic themes. “Angelica” is a blend of the duo with some Zimmer orchestration; it’s infectious and fun and manages to be one of the more original themes heard in Pirates of the Caribbean since Dead Man’s Chest. “The Pirate That Should Not Be” features the duo alone, and it’s fantastic, with both conventional and non-conventional guitar techniques adding uniquely to the mix.

Even Zimmer brings some new stuff to the table. “Blackbeard” contains some familiar themes but is on the whole pretty original, with lots of dark, brooding stuff and an almost march-like ending reminiscent of war, and even “Palm Tree Escape” is worthy of being called one of the better tracks of the franchise.

Unfortunately, not everything on this album is new and original. “Mermaids”, which I first thought was really cool – also, it features choral work done especially for the film by composer Eric Whitacre – before realizing that I had heard it before…in the FIRST Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Compare “Mermaids” to this brief moment in Klaus Badelt’s “Fog Bound”. Yes, it’s brief, and, it may even be intentional, but still. Aw, heck, I’ll go ahead and say it’s intentional. Zimmer is smart.

So, yes, there are some moments when you’ll be thinking “this is just the same ol’, same ol’ Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack!”, but it’s worth it solely for the Rodrigo y Gabriela features and to hear some of the classic themes done on flamenco guitar. Also, seven of the eighteen tracks are remixes, and guess what? Those were a pleasant surprise too…I enjoy most of them. Overall, this is a fairly good film score with lots to like and less to hate. A good purchase.

Rating: 4 (out of 5)

1. “Guilty of Being Innocent of Being Jack Sparrow”  1:42
2. “Angelica” (Feat. Rodrigo y Gabriela)  4:17
3. “Mutiny”  2:48
4. “The Pirate That Should Not Be” (by Rodrigo y Gabriela)  3:55
5. “Mermaids”  8:05
6. “South of Heaven’s Chanting Mermaids” (feat. Rodrigo y Gabriela)  5:48
7. “Palm Tree Escape” (by Rodrigo y Gabriela)  3:06
8. “Blackbeard”  5:05
9. “Angry and Dead Again” (by Rodrigo y Gabriela)  5:33
10. “On Stranger Tides”  2:44
11. “End Credits”  1:59
12. “Guilty of Being Innocent of Being Jack Sparrow” (Remixed by DJ Earworm)  2:45
13. “Angelica (Grant Us Peace Remix)” (Remixed by Ki: Theory)  3:08
14. “The Pirate That Should Not Be” (Remixed by Photek)  6:26
15. “Blackbeard” (Remixed by Super Mash Bros & Thieves)  5:26
16. “South of Heaven’s Chanting Mermaids” (Remixed by Paper Diamond)  3:32
17. “Palm Tree Escape” (Remixed by Adam Freeland)  5:28
18. “Angry and Dead Again” (Remixed by Static Revenger)  5:49

Total Length: app. 78 min.

iTunes Album Link



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