- Composed by Hans Zimmer
- Anti Records / 2011 / 34:18
An animated western from director Gore Verbinski, Rango features the voice of Johnny Depp and has generally been praised as something different. Hans Zimmer is no stranger to animation, nor to Verbinski, so it was no surprise to see his name attached to the film. No surprise either to find that it also took five other (credited) composers to write the just-under-half-hour of score represented on this album. The score actually sounds like the more lighthearted moments of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies (the first three of which were of course also Verbinski movies starring Depp), with a bit of Mexican flavour added. The melodies aren’t as memorable, but the arrangements make the music good fun. There’s even the same kind of Morricone homages as were in the third Pirates (and indeed Alan Silvestri’s score for Verbinski’s The Mexican).
The only extended cue is the five-minute “Rango Suite” which is clearly the album’s highlight, though there are plenty of fun little nuggets elsewhere. The Zimmerification of Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” in particular is brilliant. This is an album containing a surprising amount of really good, enjoyable music. Sadly, it is not a good album. 37 minutes long, containing 20 tracks, shows one problem – the music flits all over the place. The bigger problem – several of the tracks feature dialogue. Perhaps it didn’t occur to the record company that if someone wanted to experience the music together with the film’s dialogue then they’d watch the film. Those who want to enjoy the music without the dialogue can’t. Along with all this are a couple of fun songs by Los Lobos. “Fun” is the best word to describe the whole thing – a shame about how it’s presented, but it is still entertaining and those who think Zimmer is at his best when he’s just essentially having a bit of a laugh ought to love it. ***