Hans Zimmer

The Prince of Egypt

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The Prince of Egypt Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

How confident was DreamWorks about the success of their animated Bible epic The Prince of Egypt? So confident that they decided to simultaneously release three soundtracks for the film, each targeted at a different audience. It was an audacious move, since there were few songs in the film -- which means that not only did "the official soundtrack" feature only a handful of tunes from the movie, but there were two companion records that had nothing to do whatsoever with the actual picture, other than existing as tributes. Ironically, those two records turned out to be better and more focused than the original soundtrack. The Prince of Egypt [Original Soundtrack] combines elements of the score with songs from the film, adding a few tracks by contemporary superstars (Boyz II Men's "I Will Get There," K-Ci & Jo-Jo's "Through Heaven's Eyes," Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston's unexpected -- and unexpectedly dull -- duet "When You Believe") for good measure. If that sounds similar to Disney's approach to soundtracks in the '90s, it's because the men behind the album -- Stephen Schwartz and Hans Zimmer -- worked on Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and The Lion King. Schwartz and Zimmer try valiantly to write ambitious songs that remain accessible, but they don't always reach their goal. Part of the problem is that the subject itself is difficult to tackle, since the life of Moses doesn't really lend itself to this style. More often than not, they succeed, but the results are often easier to admire than love, especially since the big names are considerably less successful in their efforts than the singers from the movie. In addition to that problem, the score sometimes feels out of place on the record -- even though it's written by Schwartz and Zimmer, it doesn't fit with the emotional tenor or flow of the album. There are enough strong moments to make The Prince of Egypt a good listen, but it simply isn't as rewarding as its two cousins.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Mariah Carey / Whitney Houston 05:04 Amazon
2 Ofra Haza / Eden Riegel 07:15 Amazon
3 04:05 Amazon
4 01:00 Amazon
5 Amick Byram / Linda Dee Shayne 02:51 Amazon
6 Ofra Haza 05:33 Amazon
7 Brian Stokes Mitchell 03:41 Amazon
8 07:17 Amazon
9 Steve Martin / Martin Short 02:52 Amazon
Ofra Haza 03:50 Amazon
11 00:42 Amazon
12 Amick Byram / Ralph Fiennes 02:40 Amazon
13 01:07 Amazon
14 Sally Dworsky / Michelle Pfeiffer 04:55 Amazon
15 05:14 Amazon
16 K-Ci & JoJo 05:05 Amazon
17 Amy Grant 03:57 Amazon
18 Jessica Andrews / Clint Black / Shirley Caesar / Jesse Campbell / Beth Nielsen Chapman / Boyz II Men 04:32 Amazon
19 Boyz II Men 04:20 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick