Our senses need to be evoked when it comes to an encounter with Christ. It's one thing to read about Jesus in black and white print, but it's quite another to see with our eyes the beads of sweat coming down our Lord's foreheads as he makes his way to the Cross. It sure is spine chilling to hear how contemporary Pilate's steely question is when he asked, "What is truth?" And to see with blood dripping down our Savior's back with his haunting screams of pain is enough to shatter our hearts and send gallops of tears down our faces. Thanks are in order to Mark Burnett, Roma Downey,20th Century Fox and LightWorkers Media for bringing the world's great hero Jesus Christ back to the big screens again. Though this is not the first film on Jesus, but "Son of God" does chronicle the birth of our Lord from birth to resurrection. Told with the scope and scale of an epic film, "Son of God" features some power packed performances, breathtaking exotic locales and dazzling visual effects.
The first 11 out of the 17 tracks of the soundtrack features the score of the movie coming from the pens of Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe. With Oscar Winner, Golden Globe Winner and multiple Grammy Award Winner Hans Zimmer on board, the sky is the limit as far as expectations go. Responsible for the beautiful musical underpinnings of blockbuster movies such as "The Lion King," "Gladiator," "The Crimson Tide" and "Inception," Zimmer definitely places his golden touch on these songs that chronicle through the life of Christ giving attention to salient moments. Opening up the proceedings is "In the Beginning" which finds its focus on Jesus as the Creator of the world. Featuring some sweeping orchestral strokes as if to evoke the entire cosmos, "In the Beginning" is purposefully epic sounding so as to reflect the notion that the Savior's hands have not missed forming any square inch of creation.
Not only does the music try to capture the movie's themes, but it also tries to encapsulate the visual aspects of the film. Take a listen to "Fishers of Men:" the slow pulling of strings with its airy punctuations allow us to picture a serene Jesus standing on the shores of Galilee calling his disciples to be fishers of men. As the soundtrack also serves as a memento for moviegoers to re-live parts of the movie, "Through His Eyes" features the narration of Jesus (played by Diogo Morgado) himself reciting words from John 1 while "Truth" contains the chilling interplay between Jesus and Pontius Pilate (Greg Hicks). Lisa Gerrard adds lyrics and vocals to some of the tracks, albeit sparingly, and she is at the best of the morose operatic pseudo-classical "Roma's Lament."
Tagged after the movie score are 6 vocal tracks, all of which are given a "Son of God Remix." This means that they are all imbedded with an ephemeral dragged out backing huddled with the crisp, glass shattering drums of today's pop music. Given the in your face heavy drum riffs, Cece Lo Green's take of Mark Lowrey's "Mary Did You Know" sounds far too mechanical. Incorporating the groaning of the old American spirituals, Steven Stern and George Krikes' "Soul of a Man" is raw and searching. Sara Bareilles adds her own pop-folk touch to the cliché tilted "The Light." Added to the mix is a "Son of God" Remix of Hillsong UNITED's worship favorite "Oceans." The spacey interludes and the song's slowed down pace of this remix really strips away from the crescendo Taya Smith's otherwise gorgeous lead vocals. Though the "vocal" bonus tracks have their peaks and valleys, this soundtrack still needs to be listen from start to finish. It does the soul good for us to walk again in the footsteps of Jesus from birth to resurrection via these songs again.