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Hans Zimmer

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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The always dependable Hans Zimmer took the wheel from Klaus Badelt on 2006's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, the sequel to Disney's surprise blockbuster smash Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. The Curse of the Black Pearl score was a mishmash of several composers, and its weaknesses were derived from the resulting lack of focus. While there is little that positions the Dead Man's Chest score anywhere near the esteemed Spielberg-esque mantle that it strives for, Zimmer adds much-needed zest and characterization to the franchise. "Jack Sparrow," a cello-led waltz that perfectly encapsulates Johnny Depp's cartoonish antihero, finally gives the character the musicality it needs, and the occasional burst of Celtic folk brings a warmth and whimsicality to the series that was sorely needed the first time around. Zimmer, who brings his usual blend of percussion-heavy keyboard orchestration to the action sequences, could do this in his sleep, but it's the kind of mediocrity that dispels negativity. Lastly, the embarrassing "He's a Pirate [Tiësto Remix]" sounds like an outtake from a Project Runway/Zoolander "pirate week." ~ James Christopher Monger, Rovi

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