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Vangelis - Alexander (OST) CD (album) cover



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3 stars Let's get one thing straight, I thought that the movie "Alexander" was a very average film and didn't properly explore the story. When I first saw the movie I felt disgusted and waited impatiently for it to end. I didn't at all listen to the music from it, I just hoped in vain that the film would some how get very good all of a sudden. I've never walked out of a cinema, or stoped watching a movie before save "Hero", but this film was very average.

It was only until very recently that I discovered the soundtrack to Alexander was in fact written by Vangelis, one of my favourite musicians. After much contemplation I purchased the soundtrack and tried to forget that it was written for a movie. On its own the soundtrack is fantastic, try to forget the film and if you haven't seen it then that's even better! By itself the album is far better than the movie and it gives an instrumental interpretation of the life of, and conquests of Alexander the Great.

The album is full of both beautiful and savage moments. The solo violin melody on "Roxane's Veil" is amazingly beautiful and as a whole the album is very nice. In particular "Across the Mountains" is cool. More aggressive moments pop-up in songs like "The Drums of Guagamela" and "The Charge" both of which are based around the same melody although there is some variation between the two.

While not quite up to scratch with "1492 - Conquest of Paradise","Alexander" became one of my favourite Vangelis albums. I have to admit though that this album is truly not progressive at all and is more orchestral and New-age based than anything else, as is most post eighties by Vangelis. In addition to this there is also a strong ethnic influence in the music. There is that element of Vangelis that makes the sound of an orchestra and choir unique in that he is able to make the instruments speak their message - if you know what I mean.

"Alexander" is quite an easy album to listen to as it is split-up into 18 shortish songs, opposed to what he did with "Heaven and Hell." I guess that was one of the many things that made that album different I suppose. SO basically you get around an hour of "conceptual" music which has something for most music fans.

1.Introduction(4/5) 2.Young Alexander (4/5) 3.Titans (4/5) 4.The Drums of Guagamela (4/5) 5.One Morning at Pella (4/5) 6.Roxane's Dance (4/5) 7.Eastern Path (4/5) 8.Gardens of Delight (3.5/5) 9.Roxane's Veil (5/5) 10.Bagoas' Dance (4/5) 11.The Charge (3.5/5) 12.Preparation (3.5/5) 13.Across the Mountains (5/5) 14.Chant (3/5) 15.Immortality (4/5) 16.Dream of Babylon (4/5) 17.Eternal Alexander (5/5) 18.Tender Memories (5/5) Total = 69.5 divided by 18 (number of songs) = 3.86 = 4 stars

Excellent addition to any (prog) music collection

To all of you who have seen "Alexander" and hated it I suggest that you forget you ever saw it and by this album. Treat it as though the story is new to you, in this way you may be able to enjoy the album more than the film. Take the cover CD booklet out of the CD case to help you forget for god sakes. I'd recommend this album to fans of new-age Vangelis, just don't expect something like "Heaven and Hell."

Report this review (#100290)
Posted Friday, November 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars Quite dreary album that insults Vangelis capabalities as a composer.I would struggle to say anything positive except about this.Ok I'll try...well played and well produced Vangelis 'stuff' that is truly for fans and collectors only.Hope the sales helped pay a few bills at least but considering the film did so badly on release I doubt whether it will be sufficient to keep his family warm but for a few days only during a cold winter.1.75 stars.
Report this review (#110782)
Posted Monday, February 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is the first composition of Vangelis' in over ten years to not somehow exceed its predecessor, and it thus breaks the great run he had throughout the 90s. At the same time, the music here is still excellent and way above most other offerings. It stands up to Mythodea better than I would have thought. Vangelis goes back to his electronic arsenal here to make himself sound like a real symphony orchestra, and he has hired some notable soloists to enhance the performances, most predominantly violin ex-wunderkind Vanessa Mae, but there are a host of others. This is an excellent soundtrack to an awful movie. The music made me curious to see the film even though I heard it was bad. It was terrible ? the script was bad, the casting all wrong, and the story muddled. Still, I can follow the sequence of tracks better now that I have seen the film. Shouldn't that be the other way around? Shouldn't the soundtrack enhance the movie? I hope Vangelis does not get a bad reputation for soundtracks because he creates such good music, and yet the last two films he scored, this one, Alexander, and 1492 Conquest of Paradise both stunk. This soundtrack is so rhythmic that I almost consider it a world beat album. This style serves two purposes in the film: to convey battle and/or preparation for one, and local peoples entertaining the new emperor. There are also a lot of orchestral style pieces that convey a grand sentimentality commemorating the glory of one of the pivotal figures in human history. Unfortunately, there is only so much of this I can handle. By the end of the album, I am "gloried" out, yet there always seems to be one more piece. There are also a few soft moody pieces that are really the best ones on the whole album. Vangelis' compositions and scoring are vintage, but the music is not as moving as it is meant to be. Perhaps the film itself did not provide ample inspiration, although the subject matter should have. Most Vangelis fans should be satisfied. A worthy addition to one's music library if not one's film library. Let us hope his next soundtrack has a movie worthy of Vangelis' artistry.
Report this review (#295279)
Posted Thursday, August 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars If you have read some prior of my reviews from this good artist, you have noticed that his production since the nineties couldn't thrilled me a lot.

I would lie to tell you anything different with this soundtrack. I quite liked the movie (because I am highly interested in history) but when I was listening to the music without the support of the images, I have to recognize that there are little to be impressed during this "Alexander".

Some tribal sounds with "The Drums Of Gaugamela", some very sweet moments during "One Morning At Pella".

The theme of the movie is of course represented in the music, and there are several tracks that do hold some Oriental feel ("Roxane's Dance", "Eastern Path" and a couple more). But to be honest, this is not adding a lot of interest to this album.

This work is a long and dull experience as far as I am concerned. No track features an enjoyable melody, there are no powerful moments, no interesting track as such. As I have said previously, you should just watch the movie to put the music into its context, but no more.

Two stars.

Report this review (#307291)
Posted Friday, October 29, 2010 | Review Permalink

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