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Titanic: The Ultimate Collection

An album by Original Soundtrack/James Horner

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A Titanic collection of songs to die to

  • Oct 5, 2010
  • by
Pros: nice clarity

Cons: a relatively bland and boring collection

The Bottom Line: This is a collection of very relaxing, yet boring music that really has little difference from one song to the next.

I am a very avid music lover, listening to several hours of radio each and every day. With all of the driving that I do, I listen to far more music than is probably healthy. To make matters worse, I carry by musical obsession back to my office where I have my XM radio playing 24 hours a day, and of course back home where I have the same setup. There is no moment of the day when I am not in some way around music in some form. This of course means that I hear a great deal of variety in music, I try out a very diverse selection of styles and sounds, and I really have a feel for what is available to entertain my trained ears.

The Songs
The songs themselves were mildy uplifting, with an upbeat tone to them. Unfortunately if you heard one song, you pretty much felt as if you had heard all of them. The orchestra really didn't make much effort to change from one song to the next. It seemed more like they were attempted to create the music as quickly as possible, matching with the tone of the movie, without really considering the actually entertainment value of the standalone music itself.

One thing that you will notice is that a lot of the songs are very obvious songs within the movie. The problem is that while the songs lent a great deal to the actual movie, I don't think that they work quite as well when they are played without the drama of the events happening in the movie itself. One of the biggest issues that I have with these songs is that they just don't have that added feel that they would during the movie so it makes them a little on the boring side.

1. Never An Absolution - While this song is one of the more well known songs in the movie, I find that the tones that are used have a horrible blend to them in places and really take away from the overall feel.

2. Distant Memories - A very light, upbeat song however it doesn't have any real designation as being much different than the other songs. It is mostly an orchestral piece, with a slow melodic sound.

3. Southampton - One of the better songs on the list, has a light tone to it, with an orchestral backing.

4. Rose - Again like the other songs in the collection, this song has an orchestra, with more of a choir type of feel to it. The song is quite slow and keeps with a short range of tones.

5. Leaving Port - A very high pitch song, with a somewhat upbeat sound. The drum beats throughout the song are about the only thing that really make it something that can even be listened to. For me the tone is a bit high pitched.

6. "Take Her To Sea, Mr. Murdoch" - This particular song is orchestral as well and has a bit of anticipation and tenseness to it. The song builds up in the beginning to a nice song in the middle. This is one of my favorite songs on the soundtrack as it has a great overall feel to it with a wide range of tones.

7. "Hard To Starboard" - Honestly this is just like 9 of the other songs on this soundtrack. While it features an orchestra, much like the others, the high pitched squeel is mildly uplifting and painfully dreadful to the ears.

8. Unable To Stay, Unwilling To Leave - The somewhat eerie drumbeat makes it sound like they are preparing to sacrifice someone and then suddenly the opera like voices open up without words adding to the orchestral sound. The song is definitely light and of a nature that is more aimed at the lover in us all.

9. The Sinking - There is a great sense of urgency in this song. There are a lot of horns and drum hits throughout it. You can definitely tell that there is something horrid happening in the song and it really builds up quickly. This is a fun, yet somewhat sad song.

10. Death Of Titanic - Another somewhat charged song. This one however speeds up substantially to build on the events that are unraveling on the Titanic. I love the complexity and depth of the song, with a variety of different ones. The mix of opera/orchestra is excellent here.

11. A Promise Kept - For me this is a horribly slow and boring song. It takes so long to really get into the meat of the song that it really loses any sort of decent feel for me. I think this song has a lot of potential, especially at the beginning, but it really doesn't go anywhere.

12. A Life so Changed - In this particular song, it is sort of a farewell. It sounds like a final farewell of sorts. The music is slow and dramatic. While it is a decent build, it gets boring after a while.

13. An Ocean of Memories - With an operaesque woman in the background of this orchestra style song, it gives a bit of human dynamic to it. The song sort of reminds of something you would hear in one of the many princess movies, when they are singing their songs of oppression. I think that it has a nice blend of tones to it, and definitely takes advantage of a variety of instruments.

14. My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme From 'Titanic') - Celine Dion = This is by far the most popular of all of the songs in the movie. While I don't typically like Celine Dion, I found the song to be quite fitting and the tone to be delightful. While I dislike the song itself as it doesn't meet with my own personal taste, I feel that in popular culture it would be appealing to the greater public.

15. Hymn To The Sea - An obvious end to the movie. The song is very light and wispy with a good upbeat feel to it, without being so overall down as to overshadow the sad dramatic close to the movie itself. Great blend of tones and use of harmonizing to bring the song together.

Where to buy
I have found that even though this soundtrack is somewhat old, you can still find it with relative ease at any of the major music stores. A lot of times you can even find this item in the music section of random retailers and often times you will even find it at a substantial savings over the other soundtracks that are grouped along with it.

Final Thoughts
While the Titanic was one of the greatest ships ever created and later one of the most popular movies of all time, the soundtrack to the movie is something that is significantly less than wonderful by comparison. With a great deal of music that is purely for support of the movie with no real entertainment value, you will find yourself with a wonderfully moderate blend of musical worthlessness. While some of the songs have much more value than others, I felt incredibly disappointed with the overall value that I received for my music buying dollar.

While I don't think that the majority of the listening public would find much value in this particular soundtrack, I do believe that it could definitely prove to be worthwhile to those that just want a little noise in the background. There are times when I turn on the CD when I am simply looking for ambiance over quality listening. To me this soundtrack serves little more purpose than to be a substitute for elevator music.


Great Music to Play While: Reading or Studying

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Clacky McSnackins ()
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Original music written by James Horner. Recorded at Todd-AO Scoring Stage, Studio City, California. "My Heart Will Go On" won the 1999 Grammy for Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Song Written For A Motion Picture Or For Television. TITANIC contains new orchestral versions of themes from various productions of "Titanic" including the 1953 20th Century-Fox film, the 1958 British classic, the 1996 television mini-series, the Tony award winning Broadway musical, and the 1997 Oscar winning film. Recorded at Martin Sound, Los Angeles, California. Includes liner notes by Jon Burlingame. All tracks have been digitally mastered using HDCD technology. "My Heart Will Go On" won the 1999 Grammy for Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Song Written For A Motion Picture Or For Television. Composer: James Horner. Penned by award-winning cinematic composer James Horner, the soundtrack of TITANIC re-creates the romance and adventure of the hit film. The story of the expensive and unsinkable behemoth...
Song List: Disc 1
1. Never an Absolution
2. Distant Memories
3. Southampton
4. Rose
5. Leaving Port
6. "Take Her to Sea, Mr. Murdoch"
7. "Hard to Starboard"
8. Unable to Stay, Unwilling to Leave
9. Sinking
10. Death of Titanic
11. Promise Kept, A
12. Life So Changed, A
13. Ocean of Memories, An
14. My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme from "Titanic")
15. Hymn to the ...
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Label: Sony Music Distribution (USA)
Release Date: November 18, 1997

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