With his ham-fisted appropriation of ethnic instruments, rhythms and sensibilities, James Horner is the Ugly American of Hollywood composers, bastardizing the musical traditions of other cultures to create bland electronic scores bankrupt of authenticity and creativity. The South African-inspired Bopha remains one of Horner's most tepid efforts, fusing native vocals and percussion with pallid electronic melodies that seem written over a single lunch hour--most bizarrely, Horner makes regular use of his beloved Japanese shakuhachi flute, an instrument with no obvious connection to the milieu at hand. Given the vast quantity and quality of native African music available worldwide thanks to the CD-era reissue boom, a score as faceless and tedious as Bopha is absolutely unacceptable.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny