How do you set the music for a fantasy world called Middle Earth? For Howard Shore and the gang behind the music of the The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring movie, it is to fall back on the usual bag of tricks: bagpipes, “Celtic/new age” stuff (read: Enya), and other wailing clichés.
Could be worse, of course – it could be Yanni. But the soundtrack with its unimaginative music is the weakest element of an otherwise enjoyable movie.
The only times the music actually comes to life are during The Council of Elrond, where Enya’s too-short Aníron (“I Desire” according to the translation in the CD sleeve) sends chills down my spine, and the jaunty Concerning Hobbits.
Everything else is standard if listenable elevator music. How sad it is that a story that breaks through and revolutionizes an entire genre has to boast such an unspectacular, overly melodramatic music that will make even the fathers of bombastic hot air John Williams and Hans Zimmer cringe?