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Composer: Hans Zimmer, Blake Neely, Geoff Zanelli
Rhino Records
Release Date: March 9, 2010



Honor [Main Title Theme From "The Pacific" (2:569)
With The Old Breed [End Title Theme From "The Pacific"] (4:05)
You Have No Idea (2:15)
Terrible Solomons (1:40)
Torn Souls (1:23)
Nightfall On Okinawa (1:41)
Private First Class Robert Leckie (2:40)
Fallen Friend (1:50)
We've Gone Respectable (3:04)
Iwo Jima (4:08)
Praying For You (3:19)
Even The Trees Hate Us (3:41)
Get The Wounded Aboard (1:55)
Memories Of Home (2:32)
Landing Peleliu (3:22)
Adagio For Peleliu (2:07)
The Peleliu Hills (4:37)
Dear Vera (1:46)
Where Do We Go From Here? (1:55)
Men At War (2:33)
Sledge's Humanity (6:08)
War Is Hell (2:15)
Homecoming (4:51)
New Kind Of Bomb (2:19)
Honor [For Oboe And Strings] (2:59)


We remember listening to the sombre soundtrack score to the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers some nine years ago, and thinking to ourselves: Thanks to the emotions created by the music, we were brought on a stirring journey of the soldiers who served in the US army in Europe during World War II. The credit goes to the late composer Michael Kamen (1948-2003).

Nine years later HBO has produced another miniseries based on the books "With the Old Breed" by Eugene Sledge and "Helmet for My Pillow" by Robert Leckie, along with interviews conducted by the filmmakers and historian Hugh Ambrose. It tells the stories of the battle fought against the Japanese at the Pacific theater during the same war. The music again wonderfully transports us to a world where courage, pride and love prevail in the harshness and brutality of war. This time, the credit goes to composers Hans Zimmer, Geoff Zanelli and Blake Neely. It is apt to assemble this trio for its chemistry, because Zanelli and Neely have worked with the more famed Zimmer on several projects like The Last Samurai (2003) and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007). Furthermore, Neely himself was an orchestrator for 2001's Band of Brothers.

While we hear that almost nine hours of music was produced for this big budgeted 10 hour miniseries, we are only treated to 72 minutes of score in this disc- but that is a generous offering considering today's standards of soundtrack albums.

The well produced soundtrack kicks off with the main title theme "Honor", a sombre track which sets the tone for the entire album. Following that is the end title theme for the miniseries "With the Old Breed", which is less engaging but equally effective in reflecting a solemn mood for the dramatic setting. Those who are familiar with Zimmer's trademark bombastic action packed music will not be able to enjoy them here. The Oscar winning composer (The Lion King) has adopted a more subtle and grounded approach to scoring the music for this miniseries based on real life events. And that is why, for following cues like "Terrible Solomons", "Torn Souls" and "Fallen Friend", we get a feeling of remorse and forlorn, and even some quiet moments of reflection. These exquisitely orchestrated tracks are evident indications of well thought through music compositions and arrangements.

Emotions are adequately stirred in tracks like "Landing Peleliu", "Where Do We Go From Here?" and "Men At War", while a touch of delicateness is well blended with soaring sentiments in tracks like "Sledge’s Humanity" and "Homecoming". The album closes with a heartbreaking rendition of "Honor", thanks to the beautiful oboe solos accompanied by an orchestra of lush strings.

This is a wonderful companion piece to Kamen's 2001 soundtrack for Band of Brothers, and even if you have not heard that one before, you can be assured that the trio of Zimmer, Zanelli and Neely has done a great job in reminding you about the graveness and solemnity of war.


Recommended Track: (25) Honor (for oboe and strings)

Review by John Li

Posted on 4 April 2010

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This soundtrack review is made possible with the kind support from Warner Music


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