Re: Hans zimmer's score for Man Of Steel
Yes, "time" is a great track, but, like almost any Zimmer composition, it heavily relies on the soundscape. Play it on the piano or an acoustic guitar and you would end up with some pleasant chord changes - nothing more. The melody is basicaly just whole notes in leaps (leaps, any interval greater than a major second, are always dramatic). Zimmer is not very good at melodies which means he can't re-use them in another context. John Willams is a master of melodies and fantastic chord progressions and chord voicings (he is a skilled pianist) and he presents them in parts, as counterpoint (a secondary melody within a different theme) and many other methods of knitting a complex, yet accessible texture.
Unfortunately we live in a world which doesn't like "melody" much. Check all that singer-songwriter stoff in pop music, where the piano is undeniably amateur level with clean triads and all knowledge about sophisticated and smooth voice leading is out of the window because everything needs to sound "authentic". A great singer is all about timbre, acting and the "marriage" of a self-righteous or grotesque-funny lyric and its interpretation. The melody can be the very definition of suckage. So Zimmer is right on the money in these current times. Write something beautiful, romantic or too skilled - it will be dismissed as "uncool". Zimmer is great at being downright aggressive and raw. Strip down the soundscape to its musical content and you end up with cliches and simplicity itself.
Zimmer is a great sound tweaker - a really good one. But he isn't an accomplished musician. BUT if people like his stuff: so be it.
P.S. I think the idea to include electric guitar in his scores can be traced back to "Thelma and Louise" where he used a (great) guy from Suffolk, UK to play the road movie slide guitar. Zimmer comes from electronic punk rock. Which is basically anti-music and all about attitude and aggressive sound texture. Well he got that down and he even managed to expand it to epic proportions in "time". I'd say it's not a great "tune" - it's a great soundscape. Re-arrange it and it will be something else. Re-arrange (say) the main theme from "E.T." for tuba, viola, cigar box guitar and accordion, Frank Zappa style, and you still will recognize it. That's because the content was there in the first place.