Inception Soundtrack – Good but ain’t Great

Inception Review – The Emperor Has No Clothes

Oftentimes great Hollywood movies are accompanied by peerless music.

Would Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly or For a Few Dollars More be the same without Ennio Morricone’s timeless soundtrack.

Now schmuck, don’t you dare go and respond to that by way of a comment because it was a rhetorical question. Not a real question, comprende.

Hans Zimmer
While we’re not as familiar with Hans Zimmer as with Morricone, still Zimmer is not a complete stranger to us.

We’ve enjoyed Zimmer’s work in Sherlock Holmes and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight.

Buried in the dark recesses of the bits and bytes of our iTunes collection on the PC and iPhone are Zimmer’s Aggressive Expansion (Dark Knight) and Discombobulate (Sherlock Holmes). Both are a joy to listen to.

A short while ago we purchased the soundtrack of Christopher Nolan’s new movie Inception (on sale for $9.99 at Border’s).

The Inception CD has 12 tracks:

1. Half Remembered Dream
2. We Built Our Own World
3. Dream Is Collapsing
4. Radical Notion
5. Old Souls
6. 528491
7. Mombasa
8. One Simple Idea
9. Dream Within A Dream
10. Waiting For A Train
11. Paradox
12. Time

For reasons not completely clear to us, we eschewed the iTunes tracks and purchased a physical CD this time.

Maybe we’re fooling ourselves  that the fidelity is superior in a CD compared to iTunes.

We’ve listened to the Inception soundtrack a few times already.

Our initial impression is that while they’re certainly pleasing they’re not extraordinary. Not the stuff of legend.

We can’t visualize this soundtrack withstanding the rigorous test of time.

Among the 12 tracks, our current favorite is Dream is Collapsing. It’s also the one we’ve listened to the most number of times.

The 2.24 minute track starts beguilingly slow, gathers furious strength and verve along the way as if heralding the advent of a momentous event, pauses for just a nanosecond and then resumes its fiery course toward a glorious destination.

Surely the moment when Dream is Collapsing plays out in Inception must be one of the high points of the movie. You just feel it in your bones.

Radical Notion is reminiscent of Aggressive Expansion in Dark Knight. Or is it our Bloody Mary speaking out of turn?

At 7.44 minutes, Old Souls, the second longest track in the album, is a soothing piece suggesting a romantic pause or a nostalgic look-back at halcyon times.

Half Remembered Dream is short (1.12-minute) but covers considerable territory, starting slow, quickly getting muscular, then ebbs and again crests as if for one final gasp before giving up the ghost.

Desperate to hammer home its non-pussy credentials, Mombasa roars and comes charging out the gate from the get-go and maintains the racy tempo for the most part.

The oddly-named 52841 was alright but nothing spectacular.

One Simple Idea didn’t set a fire between our legs. Neither did Paradox.

The longest track, Waiting for a Train (9.30 minutes) was also the least endearing, slow until the last minute or so and seemingly going on forever.

Dream within a Dream is another longish track (5.04 minutes) with a slightly ominous sound, twice almost coming to a still as if to catch its breath before rising to a fury in the last few seconds.


Punctuated by thumping knocks, We Built Our Own World has a menacing, eerie and ultimately pleasing tone.

A seemingly multi-layered composition, Time trots along at a steady gait until it slows down in the last 60-seconds as if the reins are yanked back in preparation for the carriage to slowly come to a halt.

One caveat: The Inception sound track is not the kinda music that plays out well over the tinny speakers of a PC or laptop.

Related Comments:
Inception Review – The Emperor Has No Clothes
Christopher Nolan’s Insomnia Review – Delightful

16 Responses to "Inception Soundtrack – Good but ain’t Great"

  1. rakeshbaba   July 15, 2010 at 8:25 am
    check this new movie trailer Responds:

    Watched. Looks interesting.

  2. rakeshbaba   July 15, 2010 at 8:27 am

    hans zimmer has done a fine job in rain man Responds:

    Was unaware Zimmer worked on Rain Man too. Thanks.

  3. 1012900   July 15, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Is there any Imax theater near your area? Responds:


  4. gk   July 15, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Gladiator, lion king, pirates of the carribean…how come you are not familiar ? btw madarasapattinam is too good…try to catch it. Brave attempt for a low budget tamil film.Although the plot is simple and has shades of several other films it still impresses. Responds:

    1. You Write Above: how come you are not familiar

    As we said, familiar but not intimately familiar.

    Listening to Zimmer’s Discombobulate (from Sherlock Holmes) in the background as we type this.

    2. Madraspattinam? No.

    We didn’t line up any sponsors and don’t feel like a 400-KM trip.

  5. STG   July 15, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Accidently booked Inception for 6 PM show on Sunday when I was trying out the new website of the nearby multiplex (AGS – Royal) 🙁

    Not sure whether I could refund the amount or switch the film since i dont find any such options in that website. Actually I was planning for Madarasapattinam… Responds:

    Madraspattinam vs Inception?

    Hard choice indeed. 😉

    • STG   July 16, 2010 at 9:39 pm

      wwwattt? you want us to show middle finger for this film? but how? I have already booked (two tickets – 120*2 + 33 for online booking charges) and now i would look like a blithering idiot before my bf. I convinced him by showing RT ratings and other reviews…if he happens to read your review, i have sleep at couch tonight. Responds:

      RT gave 82% to Kites. Go figure.

      BTW, Inception has got other unflattering reviews too.

      • rakeshbaba   July 17, 2010 at 1:08 pm

        in imdb
        batman begins-8.3
        the dark knight-8.9
        inception-9.3 Responds:

        What does the word sheep mean? 😉

      • STG   July 18, 2010 at 11:31 pm

        Watched the film yesterday…what an overwhelming crowd!!! there should be atleast 200 people for 6PM show. Not bad at all…

        The movie was alright but the director has planted lot of myths and his own idea, in the favour for the progress of the movie, over the dream like..

        1. Time elapse more in dream than in real

        2. Using a gadget (totem) to find whether it is real or dream

        3. Injecting some chemical or whatever to dream

        4. The whole ‘limbo’ idea

        5. Whole projection (or dream) moves/tilts/swings based on the dreamers movement

        and blah blah blah.

        The one thing I found missing in the movie was the adrenalin rush…coz the field where all actor struggle/manipulate is just a DREAM – Virtual world which I experience almost daily – and seen breezy valley of flowers to the hell full of ghosts.

        We all know whats a dream look-like and we all know that it is unreal. Even though the film is visually compelling and with lot of twists throughout, its not engrossing just for the reason we know that once the dream ends, everything will return to its normal (so as the film ends with). After all, its a fiction film but the director could have thought of something other than dream since every man in the world had encountered it. Having said that, now i know why the alien/vampire/zombie movies has maximum rate of box office successes (minimum guarantee like we say in kollywood).

        I personally like one sequence for its innovative visual effects – The fight in the hotel between Arthur and sub-conscious defender of Fischer’s dream (i felt like the movie would have been more watchable and silent without these defenders – so much of guns and noise).

        Btw, my bf liked the movie so my marriage is saved 😉 Responds:

        Inception did only slightly better than Karate Kid in opening weekend here – $60 million vs $56 million (Source: Boxofficemojo).

        Would you consider that impressive? 😉

        BTW, Nolan’s previous film The Dark Knight had an opening gross of $158.4 million.

        • STG   July 19, 2010 at 2:00 am

          I guess this film might do well in international markets rather in US/Canada…lets see


          We doubt it, at least nowhere near Nolan’s last movie Dark Knight.

  6. priya890   July 16, 2010 at 5:56 am


    watched Halloween. it was an aweful movie cause i downloaded the wrong one. the one i downloaded was halloween(2007). Not my mistake… the torrent file was written HALLOWEEN UNCUT VERSION, and i thought it contained all the uncensored stuffs. The script was just badddddd. But i bumped into one superb oldie ROCK song!!!.

    Hey, when are u people gonna watch TOY STORY 3. I am eagerly waiting for a REVIEW from u people!!!. Is it going to happen anywhere soon??? Responds:

    1. The Tom Sawyer YouTube song you posted above is featured in I Love You, Man, a movie we watched – and enjoyed – last year.

    2. Toy Story 3? Dunno.

  7. vjcool   July 16, 2010 at 6:10 am

    I want to recommend a film , thats not feel good or just violent action .. but something thats painful to watch, and another that surprises us with our reaction towards it. I’v eseen one of them and hope I’ve seen many more.

    A ClockWork Orange. just knew it’s name and that its by Stanley Kubrick. I was surprised by the feeling of disgust towards the protaganist, then pity and then relieved that everythings ok., in a twisted way, but that feels so natural. Highly recommended and to be viewed with no expectation what so ever.

    Irreversible, this film I’ve not seen, but is said to be very disturbing with scenes depicted very naturally, and filmed in a ‘momento’ kinda style, backwards.

    “Irreversible” is a movie so violent and cruel that most people will find it unwatchable.” -Roger Ebert Responds:

    Thanks for the recommendations. Will try to watch soon.

    • 1012900   July 16, 2010 at 9:54 am

      Clockwork Orange.

      I haven’t seen if fully but it’s a bloody violent film. Watched some clippings of the movie some years back.

      I guess it’s about a group of guys who are obsessed with violence and sex. Responds:

      You write: it’s about a group of guys who are obsessed with violence and sex

      Are men obsessed about anything other than what you list above. 😉

      • 1012900   July 16, 2010 at 1:26 pm

        Nowadays, there is no limit for a man’s obsessions 😉 Responds:

        True. 😉

      • vjcool   July 19, 2010 at 2:03 am

        instead of obsessed, they are shown to like them, the leader of the gang loves it and Beethoven’s music.

        The best thing about the movie A Clockwork Orange is, even though the acts of violence are repulsive, the story is about the guy and we do feel for the guy, be it contempt or relief or sadness. (think many may feel otherwise, it was totally subjective) Responds:

        We’ll try to watch Irreversible this week. Now #1 in our Netflix queue. A Clockwork Orange, maybe after that.

  8. 1012900   July 16, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    I guess you’ll like Blood Diamond, starring Leonardo Dicaprio.

    Do review Titanic and Godfather when you can. Responds:

    What a coincidence. This morning, Blood Diamond was playing on TV and we watched some 10-15 minutes of it.

  9. 1012900   July 20, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Oh, why didn’t you watch the full movie?

    And when are 7G and Great Escape comin? Responds:


    Will watch the other one in full.

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