The Lone Ranger: Movie Soundtrack Plus A Various Artists “Inspired By” Album – albums review

Hans Zimmer – The Lone Ranger OST (Disney Music)

Various Artists – The Lone Ranger (Disney Music)

CD / DL / LP

Out Now

Heigh-ho Soundtrack Away! Louder Than War review the official soundtrack to the film The Lone Ranger.

A few weeks ago I reviewed the latest Johnny Depp blockbuster The Lone Ranger, finding it to be another worthwhile, fast-paced action outing for Disney and the team behind Pirates of the Caribbean. To accompany the film, they have released the soundtrack scored by the Academy award-winning composer, Hans Zimmer, plus an album of songs inspired by the film, chosen by Director Gore Verbanski.

I’ve seen this concept rear its head before and I’ve always wondered how it worked. Do the band actually get to see the whole film? Do they get their own copies so they can rewind bits and feel the inspiration again? Do they just get a bit of the film as inspiration but don’t get to see the whole thing, thus creating a soundtrack inspired by different bits? If all the artists were inspired by the same bit would it count as being inspired by the whole film? I digress.

Released by Universal Music, the Lone Ranger soundtrack actually makes for a decent collection of songs that reflect both the Wild West-ness of the film’s context, and some you can imagine being in the film if Disney were so inclined. The ‘Inspired By’ soundtrack features 14 tracks of entirely new recordings including tracks from John Grant, Iron & Wine, Iggy Pop, Gomez and Grace Potter among others. Fans of Americana-inspired music won’t be disappointed with the invocation of imagery relating to exploration, wide open spaces and lonesome cowboys. Overall, it’s a mixed collection of artists, genres and quality that would make a good soundtrack to a dinner with your parents in law over.

There were a number of stand out tracks for me. The first, Ben Kweller’s album opener ‘Holy Water’, reminded me of dark clouds gathering over the desert. An image created by masterful use of a trembling Hammond organ. The second is punky-reggae outfit The Aggrolites, whose contribution ‘The Truth Lives On’ is also worth a couple of listens. I personally could listen to Jesse’s voice singing phone book excerpts, but this is a beautifully crafted lullaby of a track.

I also loved Sara Watkins’ cover ‘Central and Union’, painting a picture of the trials and tribulations of life in the early days of the railroad, accompanied by her signature bluegrass fiddle, of which there are few musicians who can hold a candle to her. Despite not being a fan of her other work particularly, Lucinda Williams’ voice and the cautionary tale she outlines in ‘Everything But The Truth’ is probably worth the cost of the album alone.

Out of place for me was Shane McGowan’s ‘Poor Paddy on the Railway’, which jarred with the softer Americana feel to the rest of the collection. One for the diehard McGowan fans but not for me.

Overall, an eclectic collection but generally positive verdict on (inspired by) The Lone Ranger: Wanted Soundtrack.

Track listing:

1) Holy Water – Ben Kweller
2) Devil’s Train – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
3) Poor Paddy on the Railway – Shane MacGowan
4) So Long Gone – Pete Molinari
5) Central and Union – Sara Watkins
6) The American Dream – The White Buffalo
7) Lonesome Whistle – Dave Alvin
8) Sweet Betsy from Pike – Iggy Pop
9) Rattling Bone – Iron & Wine
10) Cowboy – The Rubens
11) Everything But the Truth – Lucinda Williams
12) The Truth Lives On – The Aggrolites
13) Butch’s Ballad – Gomez
14) Saddle the Wind – John Grant

All words by Hannah McFaull. More writing by Hannah on Louder Than War can be found at her author’s archive.

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