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Black Hawk Down
Motion Picture Soundtrack
composer: hans zimmer
label: uni / decca
released: 01.15.01
our score: 3.5 out of 5.0

War of Two Worlds
by: bill aicher

After working with composer Hans Zimmer on films including Gladiator and Hannibal, and seeing the success both enjoyed at the box office, it only made sense for director Ridley Scott to employ Zimmer's services on his latest film, Black Hawk Down. Based on true events, the film is the 1993 account of a group of U.S. soldiers sent into Mogadishu, Somalia as part of a peacekeeping operation only to be stranded and left fighting for their lives while they wait a grueling 18 hours for rescue.

The film's focus is on the rugged and dangerous reality of war, and the inevitable clashing of cultures - which Zimmer's score superbly illustrates. Relying on a combative approach in the music, the majority of the album pits eastern and western musical styles against each other. Using traditional African rhythms and reinterpeting them with modern technology, Zimmer has recreated a sense of clashing cultures and unrest - the gritty reality of war. The addition of vocals from Senegalese artist Baaba Maal on several tracks also contributes greatly to the cultural sound on the disc.

Like Gladiator, Black Hawk Down once again enlists the help of previous Dead Can Dance member, Lisa Gerrard. On "Gortoz a Ran - J'Attends" Gerrard and Dene Prigent's floating vocals over a musical ambience create a dreamlike world typical of Gerrard.

The inclusion of a new version "Minstrel Boy" by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros (the original can be found on their Global a Go-Go album) for the closing credits works surprisingly well, rather than acting as a tacked-on addition. A perfect song of brotherhood, it is perhaps the best choice made on this, the year's most interesting soundtrack to date.
18-Jan-2002 3:00 PM

If you liked Black Hawk Down...

1. Hunger
2. Barra Barra
3. Vale of Plenty
4. Chant
5. Still
6. Mogadishu Blues
7. Synchrotone
8. Bakara
9. Of the Earth
10. Ashes To Ashes
11. Gortoz A Ran - J'Attends
12. Tribal War
13. Leave No Man Behind
14. Minstrel Boy
15. Still Reprise