December 1999 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

David ARNOLD The World is Not Enough 007 OST Radioactive/MCA 112 161-2 [68:13]

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This new album begins with the obligatory Main Title song sung by Garbage (hmm). The lady is so laid back, she is in danger of keeling over; she sounds not sexy, merely lugubrious. Come back Shirley! Much more appealing is the song that brings the album to a close - Scott Walker singing, 'Only Myself to Blame.'

David (Independence Day and Stargate) Arnold puts a nice imaginative spin on the old James Bond theme we have grown to love and would hate to miss. Arnold writes richly polyrhythmic and polytonal music that keeps the ear attuned. The longueurs are relatively few (except in the longest (10-minute) track 'Submarine' which does tend towards the tedious but then we have a full 68-minute programme here). He adds some interesting electronic effects too appropriately for the hi-tech world Bond moves in. One or two tracks fall back on synth clichés but they are few; and even they are made interesting by the acoustic elements of the mix. For instance, buffs will no doubt discern a strong Herrmannesque influence in the string writing of 'Torture Queen' - and Bernie's influence seems to be close to 'M's Confession.'

Romance (or quick lust) is never far away in any Bond epic and the engaging broad melody that is Elektra's Theme gives welcome quieter respite. 'Access Denied' is an interesting track; it begins quietly and meditatively, as if the music is questioning or love is on hold but it is the electronics that bemuse with sinister shudders and well, 'has somebody left the tap on? [I have yet to see the film]. 'Welcome to Baku' has a wailing female voice introducing an exotic touch with material appropriate to the locale using ethnic drums behind the Bond and Elektra themes. 'Casino' [the obligatory location to allow Bond to sport his tuxedo] is a laid back lyrical if slightly sleazy jazz track for piano, drums, clarinet, muted trumpet and vibes. 'Body Double' is another interesting track with an eccentric beat and colour and harmonies that stray between the oriental and the Arabic and embroider Bond's and Elektra's themes. Another nice relaxed track is 'Christmas in Turkey' - a romantic interlude for piano and strings.

But it is always the tense action music that makes this series and Arnold delivers mightily. His 'Going Down - The Bunker' is tense as a coiled spring and as exciting as any comparable music I have heard for Bond.

The US Movie trailer is an enhanced bonus track, available to those with a PC. Don't worry if you have not it is no great shakes. A worthy addition to the Bond music archives notwithstanding Garbage


Ian Lace


Ian Lace

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