Composed by Nick Glennie-Smith, Hans Zimmer and Harry Gregson-Williams, The Rock is a score people who dislike Zimmer's action music, a la Backdraft and Crimson Tide should stay away from at all cost. Like those two scores, The Rock, is rather loud, if not extremely loud, with Zimmer's usual mix of synths and orchestra - and choir - energetic drums beats and rapid percussions of all sorts. And like those two scores, The Rock, is equipped with incredible catchy, lyrical and memorable themes, which are used throughout the entire score.
Since three different composers worked on the score, it has been debated who really wrote what. Zimmer himself has said that he wrote the major themes, and the opening cue, as well as a couple of other cues, and Glennie-Smith and Gregson-Williams the rest. But I suppose we will never know exactly who wrote what, and in a way it is not important. But it is interesting to note that the opening cue from Glennie-Smith's score for The Man in the Iron Mask, almost exactly sounds like the opening from The Rock. Was that Glennie-Smith's way of telling us "I wrote that!"...?
The music really plays a prominent part in the film, and is certainly one of the reasons the film is so exciting. Even my non-soundtrack fanatic friends (read: ordinary, normal people) noticed the score and even enjoyed it - and I have this score to thank I discovered Zimmer's music. On CD it is also very enjoyable, although it sometimes can get a little too loud and disturbing, especially when the percussion kicks in.
The Rock is an enjoyable action score, but there are better scores in the same style, like the already mentioned Crimson Tide and Backdraft.