Connect with us


Desert Island Disc Challenge: ‘Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron’

Relaxing, inspiring and beautifully composed.

Robyn McDonald



Editor’s note: As part of CMN’s ongoing music journalism program, we asked our team of music writers to take on the age-old challenge of choosing one piece of music they would like to have with them if they were stranded on a deserted island. It’s an absurd notion, but also irresistible. See all the different approaches they took to the challenge right over here.

If I could only take one album to a deserted island, it would have to be Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (Music from the Original Motion Picture). The album/movie was released in 2002, and I’ve been in love with it ever since.

The movie is an American animated adventure film, produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by DreamWorks Pictures. It was based on the homeland of the mustangs and Lakotas near Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, and the Grand Teton Mountain Range. The Calvary outpost in the movie was also based on Monument Valley.

This soundtrack is relaxing, inspiring, beautifully composed, and well played. I chose it because a child with colorful pictures telling a great story with music that’s catchy and easy to sing/memorize is everything!

I watched it over and over sometimes just for the music. Some tracks have an airy vibe, some have a harder hitting sound based on a few tough scenes, and some easy-going sentimental beautiful pieces. It’s just a great, realistic, emotional soundtrack that fits in anybody’s everyday life.

This album also has one hell of a singer, Bryan Adams, who recorded with real instrumentation, not just the same recycled beats and tracks you hear in today’s movies and albums. Hans Zimmer is the mastermind composer who combines electronic, orchestral, and full blasting acoustics.

The music was composed, written, and expressed to be viewed through Spirit’s (horse/main character) eyes. These songs always represents Spirit’s inner thoughts, feelings, and inner strength through every lyric.

I keep re-listening to the album because it’s just so powerful and inspirational, it almost makes me want to rethink some choices in life and follow what’s right and in my heart. It just has that effect. Following my dreams, protecting family, and saving/enjoying our freedom would be three great points that describe this album.

I can listen to this album when I sad, happy, stressed out, or relaxed, because it can just calm you down with the softness the vocals provided by Adams. I can honestly say this is one of my favorite albums because I won’t ever get tired of hearing it, or watching the movie for that matter. This is something that would complement my island home, for the relaxation, positivity, and peace of mind it would provide me with.

The movie is about a horse in the wild west, who ventures out and gets into trouble by stumbling upon a calvary post with a stubborn captain. Spirit is that unbreakable soul that lets no one get near him and is posted near a young Indian man who later befriends Spirit. They escape and travel back to the west in their homelands together where Spirit finds his love, family, and freedom again.

So, these songs are being told and explained as Spirit’s voice through the whole movie and it’s a wonderful, family movie/album to listen to. I would highly recommend listening to and watching the movie to get the full experience. This would be the perfect soundtrack if I was stuck on a deserted island.

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

Robyn "RJ" McDonald is a musician from Paducah, KY, living in Nashville, TN. She began playing drums, keyboards/piano by the age of seven, and studied Videography/Journalism throughout, starting in middle school through high school, and going to SAE Institute of Technology for two Associate's degrees in Audio Engineering/Music Production and Music Business.

CMN Music

Music6 hours ago

Viewpoint: Year-End (or Decade-End) Lists are Healthy for Music Fans

At least we're having the discussion about what makes our favorite music so fantastic.

Music4 days ago

Don’t Be Stale, Mate – Try Snailmate

Nerdy, asthmatic, expulsive, and self-critical songs.

Music1 week ago

Viewpoint: Pitchfork’s Best of the Decade is Full of Pleasant Surprises

A notable balance between well-known artists and smaller independent acts.

Music2 weeks ago

Pitchfork’s 200 Best Albums of the 2010’s has Plenty of Gaps

How does one come to the conclusion that Death Grips come out just above Leonard Cohen but below Janelle Monáe?

Music4 weeks ago

Album Review: Tamino – ‘Amir (Deluxe)’

An expanded edition that offers poetic drama from beginning to end.

Music1 month ago

What Makes A Scary Song? Three Things Every Spooky Tune Needs

Genuinely scary sounds, an unsettling story, or just party jams with eerie sound effects?

Music2 months ago

React: Paste Magazine’s Best Albums of the 2010’s List

It's difficult for any one person to approach a list with complete objectivity,

CMN Vibes2 months ago

CMN Vibes: Spooky Season

The only playlist you'll need as Halloween gets closer.

Music2 months ago

4 Places to Read Great Music Journalism

Where to find great, free music writing and journalism on the web.

Essentials3 months ago

Four Useful Spotify Features for Music Writers: Part One

Tips, tricks and cool shortcuts to deepen your knowledge.

Music3 months ago

‘We’ll Carry On’: Examining the Legacy of Rock in the 2000s

The seeds planted by these bands are the reason rock will thrive for generations.

Music3 months ago

Man Arrested in Connection of Death of Rapper Mac Miller

28 year old Cameron James Pettit was arrested today on allegations of supplying deceased rapper Mac Miller with lethal drugs....

Music3 months ago

5 Things You’ll Quickly Learn After Moving From the USA to New Zealand

So you graduate college without any real career plan and decide to spend a year bartending so you can travel...

Music3 months ago

Review: Captain Beefheart, “Hair Pie: Bake 2”

An odd intrigue.

Essentials3 months ago

4 Podcasts Every Music Writer Should be Familiar With

Music journalists these days need to listen to a whole lot more than just music.

Music4 months ago

Cocaine and Rhinestones – Breaking Down Merle Haggard’s ‘Okie from Muskogee’

Tyler Mahan Coe brings the facts and the feel of history.

Music4 months ago

Track Review: Pool Kids – ‘$5 Subtweet’

Diving into a new age of confrontation.

by , SUNY Brockport
Music4 months ago

Hip-Hop’s Most Influential Artists of the Last Half -Decade

Drake, Migos, Travis Scott and more make the list.

by , SUNY Brockport
Music4 months ago

Podcast Review: The Needledrop: How To Get Into Death Grips

Dominick Rabrun joins Anthony Fantano for some intense chat.

Music4 months ago

Desert Island Disc: ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’

This album challenges misogyny, materialism and issues within relationships

Music4 months ago

Liily: Aiming to Turn the Music Industry Upside Down

California band is on the way up and has new music due out this fall.

Music4 months ago

Interview with Singer Natalie Clark

A CMN Q&A that touches on playing guitar, growing up in Glasgow, and being starstruck on 'The Voice.'

Great Reads

1 Step 1

Copyright © 2019 College Media Network