When I reviewed the score to The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I mentioned that I’ve never much cared for Harry Gregson-Williams’ music. It’s not that it’s bad; it’s just a bit boring, not offering anything that warrants high praise for the album as a whole…at least, that’s what I thought until I began listening to them critically. Now, I’m treated to little surprises every time I pick up one of Mr. Gregson-Williams’ scores – Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time provides plenty of those little surprises.
The opening track of the album is also the best; “The Prince of Persia” introduces the main theme for the film, beautiful and exotic, borrowing heavily from the culture of West Asia. It also introduces a theme for Dastan, the prince of Persia, that is referenced throughout the film in times of triumph or great physical displays from Dastan, such as at the end of “Raid on Alamut” when Dastan takes to the streets of the city and kicks some serious tail. In fact, it is the repeat of these themes throughout the film that adds to its effectiveness as a successful action/adventure film score.
For an action film, Prince of Persia has a lot of very pretty, potent tracks that mainly serve as background to dialogue, such as “The King and His Sons” and “No Ordinary Dagger”. “Destiny” also features some of these rich themes, finishing off the film with a sense of grandeur and – forgive me for this – destiny.
I don’t know why I initially dismissed this score as boring and typical, but I was wrong; with Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Harry Gregson-Williams has created a score that magnificently emulates the culture of this part of the world, supporting the film in a great way. While it may not be as great as The Chronicles of Narnia or film scores from other composers, Prince of Persia is sure to entertain just about any listener.
Rating: 4 (out of 5)
1. “The Prince of Persia” 5:20
2. “Raid On Alamut” 6:32
3. “Tamina Unveiled” 2:34
4. “The King and His Sons” 2:59
5. “Dastan and Tamina Escape” 4:31
6. “Journey Through the Desert” 2:55
7. “Ostrich Race” 0:59
8. “Running from Sheikh Amar” 3:27
9. “Trusting Nizam” 4:37
10. “Visions of Death” 1:46
11. “So, You’re Going To Help Me?” 2:20
12. “The Oasis Ambush” 1:54
13. “Hassansin Attack” 2:59
14. “Return To Alamut” 3:05
15. “No Ordinary Dagger” 4:39
16. “The Passages” 3:09
17. “The Sands of Time” 3:58
18. “Destiny” 3:38
19. “I Remain” (performed by Alanis Morissette, written by Alanis Morissette and Mike Elizondo) 4:57
Total Length: app. 67 min.