01/02/2009. Contributed by Tomas L. Martin
pub: La-La Land Records LLLCD 1081. 24 tracks 64 minutes. Price: £18.00 (UK).
check out website: www.lalalandrecords.com
The first two films in the 'Terminator' canon are among those iconic pieces of cinema which are rarely lived up to. The third film 'Rise Of The Machines' was such a disappointment compared to the originals that it seems to have been wiped from the face of the franchise.
Josh Friedman, who rose to fame after getting a screenplay credit for Steven Spielberg's 'War Of The Worlds' despite his version of the script not being used, has produced a solid extension of the war of machine and Connor onto television. Set five or so years after 'Terminator 2: Judgement Day', it follows Sarah Connor, now played by Lena Headey. Together with a 'good' terminator played by 'Serenity' stalwart Summer Glau, Sarah Connor has to protect her son John if he is to grow up to be humanity's leader after the machines take over.
The first two movies, in addition to fantastic direction by James Cameron, had great scores composed by Brad Fiedel. Their dark brooding strings and clashing, jagged drums set the scene for the impending armageddon brought on by the self-aware computer Skynet.
With that in mind, Friedman brought in Bear McCreary, who has performed excellent musical composition for the past four seasons of 'Battlestar Galactica'. His work on that show was incredibly well suited to the gritty realism of Ron Moore's SF re-make and much of this disk continues in that vein.
There are a couple of tracks that are painfully cheesy in comparison to the rest of the work, with the vocal track 'Ain't We Famous' the worst. 'Atomic Al's Merry Melody' is a cute but annoying track that reminds me of McCreary's work on the 'Eureka' soundtrack, which although passable in the show's context is irritating when listened to separately.
The opening track 'Sampson And Delilah' is sung by ex-Garbage singer Shirley Manson, who has a recurring role on the show. The real highlights though are the instrumental tracks, which are fantastic to listen to separate from the show. 'Sarah's Theme' and 'Removing Cameron's Chip' are particular evocative.
When he stays away from the happy jangly tracks, Bear McCreary produces some of the most listenable soundtrack music out there. Happily the 'Terminator' soundtrack plays to his strengths and most of the hour of music on this disk is well worth storing in your library.
Tomas L. Martin
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