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Soundtrack Review

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Titanic: An Epic Musical Voyage


Composers: James Horner, John Barry, Howard Blake and John Williams
Conductor: Dan Redfeld
Performed by: The White Star Chamber Orchestra and Chorus
BuySoundtrax Records
RRP: £9.99
Available 10 April 2012

Titanic: An Epic Musical Voyage is released 100 years to the day that RMS Titanic set sail on her maiden, and final voyage (10 April 1912). The album mainly features reworkings of James Horner's music for the movie Titanic (1997). Also featured are tracks from S.O.S. Titanic (Howard Blake), Raise the Titanic (John Barry), 'The Titanic Trot' from TV’s The Time Tunnel (John Williams), and selections from Maury Yeston’s Tony winning musical Titanic. There are also two historical tracks, an arrangement of traditional Irish Music (by Joohyun Park) and 'Nearer, My God, To Thee', the hymn which has wrongly slipped into legend as being the last track performed by the Titanic’s dance band as the ship went down.

Now it could just be because I know Horner's score for Titanic pretty well, and the fact I recently reviewed the Titanic: Collector’s Anniversary Edition, but I have admit that I didn't really warm to this release at all.

My main issue is that some of the arrangements sounded terrible when compared to their original source material. Zoë Poledouris's vocals just don't sound right on 'My Heart Will Go On'. It could be that Celine Dion's voice is burned into everybody's mind, but I think it's more to do with the fact that here Poledouris sounds awful - to the point where I'm sure some of it hasn't been slightly digitally altered. The fact that she sounds bored, doesn't help - this is a song that requires a certain amount of passion. In addition, the ending just goes on and on - which makes it sound a little odd - I think it was the tambourine that made it too much to stomach.

Likewise, on 'Rose' the wind instrument sounds slightly off key, and you can hear at least one rough cut as the vocals are abruptly inserted.

There's an impressive reworking of John Barry's wonderful score for Raise the Titanic (1980). In fact, this is probably the only track on the album that I'll listen to again in the near future. I'd never heard any of this score before, and was surprised to hear how similar it was to his later work for Chaplin (1992).

The last track, 'My Heart Will Go On', performed by Kristi Holden is quite well realised though - but if you've got the original, why would you settle for a slightly rougher reworking?

While this isn't a terrible album, as it's mainly reworkings of Horner's score you're probably better off buying that.

Track listing:

01 - 'My Heart Will Go On (vocal version)' - Titanic - James Horner - vocals by Zoë Poledouris
02 - 'Never An Absolution/Unwilling to Stay, Unwilling to Leave' - Titanic - James Horner - vocals by Kristi Holden
03 - 'Southampton/Take Her to Sea, Mr. Murdoch' - Titanic - James Horner
- vocals by Kristi Holden
04 - 'Third Class/Steerage' - Traditional (arranged by Joohyun Park)
05 - 'Rose' - Titanic - James Horner - vocals by Kristi Holden
06 - 'Titanic Trot' - Time Tunnel Pilot (Rendezvous with Yesterday) - John Williams
07 - 'The Portrait (Piano Sketch)' - Titanic - James Horner - solo piano by Dan Redfeld
08 - 'Doing the Latest Rag' - Titanic - Maury Yeston
09 - 'No Moon' - Titanic - Maury Yeston
10 - 'SOS Titanic Theme' - S.O.S. Titanic - Howard Blake
11 - 'We'll Meet Tomorrow' - Titanic - Maury Yeston
12 - 'Nearer My God to Thee' - Traditional (arranged by Steven Ganci)
13 - 'Raise the Titanic' - Raise the Titanic - John Barry
14 - 'Hymn to the Sea' - Titanic - James Horner - vocals by Kristi Holden
15 - 'My Heart Will Go On' - Vocalise - Titanic - James Horner - performed by Kristi Holden


Darren Rea

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