James Horner,
(RCA Victor, 2002)

James Horner conjures a melodious voice for the wind in his classic style in the Windtalkers original motion picture soundtrack for the MGM film of the same name. Sometimes passionate, sometimes urgent, sometimes defeated, sometimes triumphant, Windtalkers provides a mystical listening experience, highly characteristic of Horner's previous works.

Songs appropriately titled "Navajo Dawn," "A New Assignment," "An Act of Heroism," "Taking the Beachhead," "'First Blood' Ceremony," "The Night Before," "Marine Assault," "Losses Mounting," "Friends in War," "A Sacrifice Never Forgotten" and "Calling to the Wind" chronicle the title story about the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II. The instrumentals sometimes feature Phil Ayling on Indian flutes, but for the most part, not enough American Indian flavor exists. Surprisingly, while low on native influence, faintly familiar strains from a previous Horner original motion picture soundtrack (Enemy at the Gates) prevail. Neither of these observations reflect on the excellence of the music, just originality and tie-in to the movie.

While full of depth and emotion, Windtalkers rates slightly below my favorite Horner soundtracks: A Beautiful Mind, Braveheart, Glory, Legends of the Fall and Titanic. Nonetheless, it is a rousing score and well worth a purchase for those who enjoy listening to instrumental soundtracks.

- Rambles
written by Lynne Remick
published 7 December 2002

Buy it from Amazon.com.