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Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)

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Album Review

As the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy has unfolded, the films' quirky characters have become even more of a draw than the action and special effects. The music for the films has followed suit, although not at the same pace: Hans Zimmer's score for the final film, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End has a few moments of whimsy, spooky drama and exotic flavor mixed with more typical, churning musical backdrops for the action set pieces. With sawing strings and huge brass and choral sections, tracks such as "At Wit's End," "I Don't Think Now Is the Best Time," and "I See Dead People in Boats" are no doubt serviceable in the film's context, but separated from it, they're too repetitive and overwhelming to be enjoyable. However, "Up Is Down"'s Celtic flair makes it more interesting than many of the other amped-up tracks, while the chanted shanty "Hoist the Colours" and mischievous, sinister "Multiple Jacks" prove that the score's quieter moments are the most entertaining. It's also too bad that Keith Richards, who plays Captain Jack Sparrow's pirate dad, isn't featured somehow in the music — it's a missed opportunity that makes this send-off for Captain Jack and his maties just a little less satisfying.

Customer Reviews

Treasure Found

At last the soundtrack to POTC3 has been released! Arrgg! Not having seen the newest film yet, I feel this is a perfect sampling and tone of what’s to come in the theatres. Hans Zimmer expands on his melodic themes from the previous two films and embellishes further on them. Mr. Zimmer goes back to using choral voices along with the blasting horn/brass section. The strings are beautifully sweeping with emotion and at times add an extra dose of suspense. All the tracks are wonderfully crafted, so I recommend purchasing the entire album. However, if you’re looking only for a few tracks instead, here are my choices: Track 2: Singapore (the newest piece in the trilogy. Sets the tone for the excitement to come. A new take on incorporating Asian instruments as East meets Western influences.) Track 3: At Wit’s End (really enjoyed the chorals as well as Will and Elizabeth’s love theme. I’m so glad they have one now! Plenty of emotion packed into this piece. Romance, mystery, action and adventure.) Track 11: I Don’t Think Now Is the Best Time (immediately one can tell this is the climactic ending battle. Zimmer rearranges his past themes to blend into the next at an adventurous pace. Lot’s of fun! I know this makes me want to see the film even more. ) Track 12: One Day (This selection gave me chills. The beginning goes from Sparrow’s theme with added male chorus to a beautiful new romantic piece - a shout back to “At Wit’s End.” It seems like Elizabeth and Will part ways with their mysterious friend.) That’s it! Another epic score. Treasure and enjoy it. :)

Mind-blowing, exceeds expectations

I admit I was a little nervous that the score for POTC: AWE was going to have a lot of re-hashed themse from the first two films, but man was I wrong! The new Hoist The Colours theme is absolutely perfect for the new film and the other two themes, Up Is Down, and Singapore, are simply marvelous. I Dont Think Now Is The Best Time is one hell of a ride and not to be underestimated. It has the intensity of all the major action cues from the first two scores and adds even more to become one behemoth of a track. Hans Zimmer has done it again. Bravo : )

Decent... but the guitars are HORRIBLE!

The greatest test of many scores is emotional how it touches the viewer against the movie. I saw an advanced screening of this film yesterday at the El Capitan in Hollywood. I enjoyed the film far more than the second film, but not as much as the first. At the showing, Gore Verbinski was a guest host and his comments were along the lines of "I don't think that they (Disney) expected what we were going to do... and I have a feeling they may not let us do something this crazy again after seeing this"... I think he was referring to the parts of the film that deal with Jack's "insanity"... I don't want to ruin anything, but when you see it, you will have a good idea of what he meant. Any how, while this is a decent score early in the film, there are a couple moments in the score that struck me as very poor choices in instrumentation. For example, the guitars in "Parlay"!!! Horrible. I am all for a little "Video Killed the Radio Star" (Zimmer was partly responsible for when he was with the Buggles) but MTVs first video's guitars have no place in a PIRATE film that is clearly a period piece. There were moments in this film that they may have fit, but this was not one of them... perhaps during the cameo by a certain aging rockstar. The score is good overall, but a few poor choices practically hit me over the head at moments where I should have been caught up in the most dramatic points in the script. Nearly as bad as Horner's fake electronic choirs in another period piece... Titanic. Apparently there was a DX5 on that voyage. The movie is a fun adventure and has spectacular effects, scenery and some dementia that makes you think that Gore may have lost it for about 15 minutes... perhaps Zimmer was mirroring that with this score. Overall its a decent score, well worth the purchase if you are a Zimmer fan and love his "horny" synth sound. (well actually, his assistants' sound: Gavin Greenaway, Nick Glenie Smith, Jeff Rona, Klaus Bedault and H-Greggson-Williams). Its a good fit for a movie that is meant to be less serious and more fun. If you are fan of more traditional scores and instrumentation... there are moments in this score that will rub you the wrong way, but not so much that you won't enjoy it. You will get exactly what you expect. Oh... little side note... during the "Parlay" guitar moment, take a look at Davey Jones who is there...but can't go ashore except for every 10 years... there is a pretty funny sight gag that most viewers in the theater missed or just didn't "get it". Enjoy the film and the score everyone! ... Digital Crabs Rule.


Born: September 12, 1957 in Frankfurt, Germany

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most prolific film composers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, Hans Zimmer was born September 12, 1957 in Frankfurt, Germany. After relocating to London as a teen, he later wrote advertising jingles for Air-Edel Associates, and in 1980 collaborated with the Buggles on their LP The Age of Plastic and its accompanying hit "Video Killed the Radio Star." A stint with Ultravox followed before Zimmer next surfaced with the Italian avant-garde group Krisma; he then formed a partnership...
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