The three cuts at the end of the score and official soundtrack for Blood Diamond are worth the price of the ticket alone: the Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars "Ankala," Emmanuel Jal and Abdel Cadir Salim's "Baai ," and Bal Burea's "When Da Dawg's Come Out to Play," with Masta Kent and Bullets Rhyme. These three cuts are masterful, poignant and rousing. That said, for a change James Newton Howard's score fits the material perfectly. It seems in recent years he's become less afraid of experimenting with world rhythms (check "Crossing the Bridge," "Fall of Freetown" and especially "Archer Sells Diamond") and big ass guitars ("Village Attack"). In other words, this score is a piece of music that truly does stand on its own apart from the film. There is a journey involved in listening as well as thinking of it in terms of the film itself. His cues are tight, circular and never too long. This is one of his most successful scores in a decade.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek