I don’t know why, but the brass sound that is a Zimmer standard really irritated me. I kept going back to thinking the brass sounded exactly like that of Pirates (which the timbre of it does) and my ear rejected the sound.
Another reason for the possible distaste… could be the overall ambient sound of the score. I get it, a lot of the movie centers around people going into dreams and doing stuff, and ambience is very dreamlike, but can be boring. These bits actually reminds me a little bit of another Zimmer score: Frost/Nixon.
It’s big, beefy, and really quite epic! It’s crazy and seems very logical for the subject matter. It has everything (but woodwinds… I keed, I keed) from sweet mind blowing action cues, to very open ambient/atmospheric chords (not as cool as Debussy’s Nuages, but still damn cool).
If you’re a fan of the action cues, then you need to listen to “Dream is Collapsing”. It ends with huge brass stings and an octave motif in the strings. Its so huge that I have to turn down the volume a bit so my coworkers don’t get mad at me.
Another great, quick-feeling cue is “Mombassa”. This cue is very reminiscent of some of the Dark Knight music because of the loop-like synthy percussion. But its so cool! The way Zimmer weaves the synths with guitar strings and the percussion. This definitely gets the blood pumping!
I’m not sure how much Zimmer used the trailer music for reference, or if he had any input on the trailer music when he was composing, but there are a couple spots where the familiar brass sting is quoted, and it’s so awesome to hear that. Zack Hemsey did such a great job (coloring between the lines) with his music for the third inception trailer, that many people confused him with Zimmer, but that’s a good thing. Having written that I must say that one of my favorite parts is the score is when the stings happen in a very strange and wonderfully orchestrated manner, at about 2:30 in the beautiful cue “Paradox”.
I’m very excited to see this movie, especially after having let the score marinate and then blow my mind.