Composer Hans Zimmer (Gladiator, Thin Red Line, Batman Begins) successfully fused his signature brand of overwrought but highly effective melodrama to the backbone of director Ron Howard's 2006 movie adaptation of Dan Brown's controversial religious thriller The Da Vinci Code. That film's main theme, "Chevaliers de Sangreal," has been retooled for the 2009 sequel (the book was actually a prequel) Angels & Demons, preserving all of its elegiac atmosphere while bringing in more choral elements, as well as the nimble fingers of Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell to reflect the story's central character, Vatican City.
Call it a soundtrack producer's dream. One of the most vital and influential bands in modern-day music cuts a song entitled "If God Will Send His Angels" just months before you are hired to put together a soundtrack for a movie entitled City of Angels. The band is U2, and their song not only opens the City of Angels soundtrack, but it is also the anchor of a group of tracks that narrowly escapes the sappy trail that the movie blazed when it hit theaters. In all actuality, the soundtrack sounds much too dark, menacing, and legitimate to be attached to the film. Alanis Morissette assures the direction of the album when she follows U2's less-than-perky offering with "Uninvited," which is nothing if not vintage Alanis. From there on the quality drops off somewhat, but not until after Jimi Hendrix comes in with "Red House." It's still amazing to this day how the sounds of Hendrix on the guitar could be so many things all at the same time – soothing, moving, eerie, and untouchable.