This is a score that every Zimmer basher out there should listen to. "Zimmer can only compose loud, electronic action music..." Yeah, right! Hans Zimmer's score for Beyond Rangoon is forty minutes of pure beauty. From the first statement of the wonderful main theme in "Waters of Irrawwady" to the souring finale of the last cue, "Beyond Rangoon". Zimmer uses a mix of orchestra, ethnic pipes (such as the pan pipes), solo voice and synths, and the result is simply stunning.
The music is mostly very soft, airy and relaxing, and revolves around the main theme, which is a classic Zimmer theme - very melodic and beautiful - and a couple of other minor themes. The theme is mostly carried by the pan pipes or the wordless female solo voice, supported by subtle orchestral accompaniment. The score also has a more dramatic side. The latter part of "I Dreamt I Woke Up" (written by Hans Zimmer and Nick Glennie-Smith) is a rather typical Zimmer action cue, but with a very acoustic, exotic and airy sound, in tone with the rest of the score. The synths never take the lead, instead they are hiding behind the orchestral sound.
The best cue on the soundtrack is the superb ten minute long "Beyond Rangoon", which opens softly, and then builds towards a simply wonderful statement of the main theme. This cue is worth the prize of the CD alone - that is how good it is. I cannot recommend this score enough. Everyone should have a copy in their record collection.
Read other recent reviews by Andreas Lindahl: The Rocketeer
, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
, The Phantom of the Opera