SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2011)

You either love him or hate him, this man named Hans Zimmer. The Germany born film composer has scored music for over 100 movies, and is known to integrate electronic music sounds with traditional orchestral arrangements. Not everyone is a fan of electric synthesizers and guitars, because there are traditionalists who believe that film music should be purely orchestral. Besides, with Zimmer’s pompous style of composing music, you can bet these purists are out to criticize his every single work. 

After composing the Oscar nominated Sherlock Holmes score in 2009, the award winning composer is back again in Guy Ritchie’s sequel. Fans who are familiar with the original movie’s standout tracks “"Discombobulate" and "Psychological Recovery" would be pleased that this 69 minute soundtrack offers very similar material. There aren’t many differences or new material here, and this can be both a good or bad thing, depending whether you are a fan of Zimmer’s works.

Zimmer wastes no time in introducing his signature style of music. After the brief “I See Everything” and “That is My Curse (Shadows – Part 1)”, he launches the eight minute “Tick Tock (Shadows – Part 2)”, a lengthy cue that contains suspense, adventure and in your face action. Before you have any time to take a breather, “Chess (Shadows – Part 3” comes along, another unabashed track that isn’t ashamed to go all out with thumping beats and looping melodies.

There are amusing moments like “It’s So Overt It’s Covert”, a quirky folk tune that features the film’s main theme. “Romanian Wind” continues the folksy atmosphere, while the intentionally melodramatic “Did You Kill My Wife?” features a brass ensemble.

“To the Opera!”, “Two Mules For Sister Sara” and “Die Forelle” are three consecutive tracks which do not seem to gel very well with the rest of the album as they feature excerpts from actual opera pieces.

Things go back to Zimmer style with the action packed “Zu Viele Fuchse Fur Euch Hansel” and “The Red Book”. Things get a little melancholic in “Memories of Sherlock”, but you know the detective is up and running with “The End?” and “Romani Holiday (Antonius Remix)”, two catchy tracks which bring the album to a closure.


Recommended Track: (3) Tick Tock (Shadows – Part 2)

Review by John Li