November 2001 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

index page/ monthly listings / November /


Kevin KINER, David G RUSSELL
Black Scorpion  
  Original TV soundtrack
  GNP Crescendo GNPD 8073   [73:17]

Black Scorpion

A double offering of music from the TV series and movie chronicling the adventures of the comic strip style super heroine ‘Black Scorpion’.

David G. Russell’s Black Scorpion: The Series begins with ‘Fairy Tail Main Title’, initially a tinkling music-box motif before becoming strident and percussive. And it’s this heavily percussive synthesiser music that figures predominantly in most of what follows, with lots of very bland action/suspense work, epitomised by cues like ‘The Heist’ and ‘A Smashing Time/Tracking System’. Even worse though is to be found on the frenetic, entirely dispensable ‘To be a Hero’, a real low-point in what I’m afraid to say is a generally dismal affair. Sadly there is very little to compensate for this wearisome material, with only the would-be romantic, bluesy piano led ‘Darcy’s and Steve’s Love Theme’, the similar ‘For You’ and the guitar led quiet interlude of ‘Honey I’m Home’ providing a welcome change of pace. But the truth is that even the best of these pieces is only passable. Rounding out the score are a number of dull atmospheric cues that rely mostly on droning synths to create tension, such as ‘Fix Their Clocks’ and ‘A Little Kiss’. In an effort to be scrupulously fair, ‘Fall From Grace/Angel of Death’ is a cut above the rest, as is the action music of ‘Parameters Perfected’, but that’s only in comparison with everything that has gone before.

To be frank, I just cannot understand why anyone would feel it was worthwhile releasing this generic, unimaginative music. Unless there are a huge number of Black Scorpion fans out there, this surely has no appeal to any casual listener. It plays like a study in how to write banal and forgettable production-line television music and personally that’s a lesson I’d rather not attend.

The remainder of the CD is devoted to music taken from Black Scorpion: The Movie by Kevin Kliner and while it is admittedly superior to the work from the TV series, it still never really amounts to anything of real value. Best of all is ‘Main Title/Adult Darcy’, a wordless vocal line over a low-key exotic rhythm, although this eventually degenerates into some less appealing funky bass guitar driven pop. The main theme is also recalled to reasonable effect in both ‘Making Love/Stung’, a nice piano led version and ‘Russo Finds Gas Mask/Russo Doesn’t Remember’, but the majority of the other tracks are merely workmanlike action/suspense fare and are soon forgotten.

All in all, I find it impossible to see any merit in this being generally available except for die-hard fans.

Mark Hockley

Black Scorpion: The Series: (*) and 3 paracetamols
Black Scorpion: The Movie: **

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