Buy Invictus (soundtrack) Kyle Eastwood and Michael Stevens



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Invictus by Kyle Eastwood
and Michael Stevens


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 Invictus (Soundtrack)  by Kyle Eastwood and Michael Stevens
Invictus (Soundtrack)  by Kyle Eastwood and Michael Stevens
Invictus (Poster and Memorabilia)








Invictus (Soundtrack) by Kyle Eastwood and Michael Stevens

Composed by Kyle Eastwood and Michael Stevens
New Line Records (2009)

Rating: 4/10

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Sound samples below from AmazonMP3


“While KYLE EASTWOOD and MICHAEL STEVENS do provide a few interesting moments, the majority of the soundtrack disappoints.”

Musical Misalignment
Review by Christopher Coleman

With the coming of December, "for your consideration" season is upon us and that has come to mean some sort of entry from director Clint Eastwood. 2009's apparent submission from the prolific director/producer is INVICTUS. The evocative title of Eastwood's latest project comes from a poetic work of William Ernest Henley, who penned his powerful and moving words in the wake of the loss of his foot due to tuberculosis back in 1875. The one-word title is Latin for "unconquered."

INVICTUS stars Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela, newly elected president of the Republic of South Africa and Matt Damon as Francois Pienaar, captain of South Africa's national rugby team. It is Henley's poem that serves as a key source of strength for both men in their respective pursuits: one to win a world cup, the other to utilize that win to unite his historically fragmented nation. INVICTUS sets before us the potent combination of two of Hollywood's finest actors, one of its most celebrated directors, and a story that focuses on one of recent history's most memorable times; making it a virtual shoe-in for a gaggle of nominations and awards...Or is it?

As Mandela has to deal with racial tensions among his own staff, Pienaar must deal with the task of motivating his team to, at the request of Mandela, win the seemingly unwinnable - the 1995 World Cup, which happen to be hosted in South Africa. The general story arc is laid out clearly enough but the actual execution is as flat as the pitch of a rugby field. Morgan Freeman's portrayal of Mandela may garner him nominations-talk, but INVICTUS doesn't offer enough personal exploration of neither Mandela or Pienaar to allowthe audience to emotionally invest in them.  Eastwood wouldn't have been the first to utilize the musical score to inject some much needed life into a film that is otherwise dull, but that's not his route here.  Despite a loose-handful of engaging moments of score from composers Kyle Eastwood and Michael Stevens, the numerous vocal pieces included do little to lift the film...and, in fact, hurt the film further.

There is a great misalignment in INVICTUS, but only a fraction of the fault lies with the principal composers; specifically their title theme.  The overarching musical idea for INVICTUS is represented by a classic-Eastwood-styled theme. The central motif is lead on trumpet and is thankfully used with restraint throughout the film (2).  A decent enough theme for film's like GRAN TORINO or MILLION DOLLAR BABY, where we follow lonely veterans, or lonely boxing coaches, but the main theme for Invictus doesn't capture the essence of the central characters or the story being told. 

It's hard to minimize the effect of a misplaced title theme on the whole of the score, but outside of this, KYLE EASTWOOD and MICHAEL STEVEN's do offer more embraceable music. Their theme for Nelson Mandela heard in "Madiba's Theme" (6) and "Thanda" (8) is where their music works best.  Such pieces definitely carry that deep sense of strength, pride, and inspiration that I longed to hear.  To varying degrees, we do find some of those qualities in tracks such as: "Siyalinda (The Waiting)" (4), "Inkathi (Time)" (10) and "Unkunqoba (To Conquer)" (14), but not nearly enough to make up for the problems created by the remaining tracks.

This soundtrack contains numerous vocal tracks and this is where INVICTUS falls quite hard.  A vocal version of the main theme, entitled "9000 Days," both launches and concludes the soundtrack and features Henley's poem as the song's lyrics (tracks 1, 18). The idea behind using the South African, vocal talents of YOLLANDI NORTJIE, as well as the a'capella group, OVERTONE, is a commendable one - as it echoes the film's idea of unity; however, the blending of their particular voices comes off oddly homogenized and rather "commercial."  In truth, the tracks which feature OVERTONE, convey the precision and polish of the contemporary West rather than communicate the beautifully-rugged soul of South Africa.  And somehow the musical experience is rendered inauthentic.

This musical misalignment is best exemplified in the placement of Overtone-lead song "Colorblind" (3). In the context of the film, both the style and placement of this song simply do not work.  We hear it played over the landing of Mandela's helicopter as he visits the national rugby team during practice.  This is one of the most mismatched experiences of music in film this year. It makes no sense to use the song at that point and wedging it in, wedges the viewer right out of the moment. With the soundtrack featuring Overtone in some nine tracks, their "sound" greatly influences just how enjoyable this release is. Preferring the more passionate and soulful sounds of South African artists such as Ladysmith Black Mambazoo, Lebo M. or Lucky Dube, (whose sound who have easily fit into this film) I find INVICTUS in need of something that Overtone, did not provide.

INVICTUS doesn't live up to the events or the people it is built upon. INVICTUS is far from Eastwood, Freeman or Damon's best material and the soundtrack is far from the best fit for the film's topic. While KYLE EASTWOOD and MICHAEL STEVENS do provide a few interesting moments, the majority of the soundtrack disappoints.  If you happen to enjoy Clint Eastwood's well-branded sound and can stand a superficial dash of South African vocals, then INVICTUS may be an enjoyable soundtrack for you; however, if you are looking for something in this vein, but with much more emotional weight, then soundtracks such as CRY FREEDOM (George Fenton) or THE POWER OF ONE (Hans Zimmer), will provide a much better listening experience.

Rating: 4/10


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Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 9,000 Days (Overtone with Yollandi Nortjie) 3:14  **
2 Invictus Theme 4:09  **
3 Colorblind (Overtone) 3:24  *
4 Siyalinda (The Waiting) 2:27  ***
5 World in Union 95 - (Overtone with Yollandi Nortjie) 3:50  **
6 Mandiba's Theme 1:17  ****
7 Hamba Nathi - (Overtone with Yollandi Nortjie) 1:35  **
8 Thanda (Love) 2:08  ***
9 Shosholoza - (Overtone with Yollandi Nortjie) 3:30  **
10 Inkathi (Time) 2:34  ***
11 Ole Ole Ole - We are the Champions - (Overtone with Yollandi Nortjie) 2:06  *
12 Enqena (Anxious) 0:59  **
13 The South African National Anthem - (Overtone) 1:57  **
14 Ukunqoba (To Conquer) 2:32  ***
15 Victory - (Soweto String Quartet) 4:01  ***
16 Xolela (Forgiveness) 1:54  **
17 The Crossing (Osiyeza) 2:18  ***
18 9,000 Days (Acoustic) - (Emile Welman) 3:13  **
  Total Running Time (approx) 47 minutes  
* Khumbula (Remember) [Amazon MP3 Exclusive] - (Overtone, Yollandi Nortjie) 3:13  ***



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