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CD REVIEW: James Horner - A Beautiful Mind (Soundtrack)
By Ben Ohmart - 12/08/2001 - 03:20 PM EST

Artist: James Horner
Album: A Beautiful Mind (Soundtrack)
CD Review: The Titanic could sail again for James Horner. The old formula, which worked for that mega-movie, returns in the form of a very emotional, soft score, underlined with the hit song sung by Charlotte Church, lyrics by Will Jennings (though I still think any lyric, Titanic or not, that includes the phrase Ďnear, far, wherever you areí is pure fudge). I donít know if the song will be near the hit as ĎMy Heart Will Go Oní however since the basis for this tune is classical (an air, letís say), rather than based on the Irish ballad sound that made that previous ship stay afloat so long.

But. This film and this score - itís not about drowning, itís about Russell Crowe (or John Forbes Nash, Jr.) as a math genius, and traces his life of self-discovery until his eventual Nobel Prize.

This is one of Hornerís more thoughtful scores. Gone is the Star Trek 2 man. Missing is the frivolity of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. But as Horner (who is probably the #1 movie composer in the country now) continues to prove, heís a man of infinite sensibilities who looks at each script and shot footage on its own merits, composing to suit the senses of the characters involved. With A Beautiful Mind, the brilliant brain of a scientist is given subtle, almost non-active arranging, as if we are visiting units entering a wondrous and new masterful brain.

Just this side of new age (since even classical music rises and falls more than this), Hornerís newest music is simpler than most, completely peaceful, and ultimately a thoroughly-composed ballad thatís more for violin whispering than a score all on its own. It probably needs a film to surround it.

Aside from the 71 minutes worth of music, this enhanced cd also contains footage on the scoring session, the movie trailer, photos and a nifty screensaver. Thatís a packed package.

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