Music Webmaster Len Mullenger


Mark SNOW The X Files (Fight the Future) - The Movie OST
 ELECTRA 7559-62217-2 [67:20]


The L.A. Times on June 14th commenting on the summer blockbusters CDs, suggested that this score and its OST CD might share Titanic’s success. Quoting the article: "...After all, Snow’s music mostly improvised on a Synclavier as he watches hot-off-the-seat videotape, has been one of the popular television series’s most consistent pleasures. With "The X-Files" moving to the big screen, a big score was called for, and Snow has delivered. Working with an 85-piece orchestra as well as smaller ensembles, Snow has crafted a score that is deeper, darker and though not necessarily spookier, certainly more disturbing in its disquietening sonics. Snow’s moody textures and brooding pulses are suggestive of classicists like Bernard Herrmann and Alex North and modernists like Howard Shore. There’s an emotional richness and a depth of orchestration to Snow’s writing, and this atmospheric score is far superior to the electronic television score released in 1996."

I wish I could share the writer’s enthusiasm.

The X-Files theme is never heard apart from the opening sequence but it is used as a basis for variations. The Herrmann and North allusions are apparent and so too are echoes of Ligetti and Philip Glass’s type of minimalism plus a certain atonality not too distant from Schoenberg and Webern. So if there are all these riches why don’t I believe the hype and why do I have a feeling of "I’ve heard it all before?" Well, for me, this score treads too familiar territory and while it probably fits the screenplay very well (which was under wraps up until its release - in fact there was almost an aura of paranoia about the production for the musicians were sworn to secrecy about what they had seen projected on the scoring sound stage.) Considered as music for listening away from the film it fails; the ear soon grows weary with all its dark intensity and lack of variety (how often do I key-in these same words?) and the attention wanders. I am seriously thinking of setting up a special FILM MUSIC ON THE WEB, headache factor rating - Snow’s score would rate seven out of ten. As usual the booklet notes are skimpy to say the least with too little real information about the music and how it relates to the film to interest the customer (who wants to know in minute detail all the people who were involved in the production of this CD - this is another of the regular bitches we air on this site!) Anyway the horrific booklet design of all but the opening page makes reading the notes almost a mission impossible. Mainly for X-File addicts.

Ian Lace

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