November 1999 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger



Oh boy ! Just how will the planet react if we ever actually were over-taken by alien forces. It'd be nice to think there'd be the underground resistance that saves the day. And it'd be nice to think there'd be a patriotic anthem for their bravura. Just for a change though, wouldn't it be nice of the victory was less assured ? And for the anthem to be held in check in favour of something a little more unpredictable on the ear ?

If you've been Independence Day'd out, this might be more to your liking. Especially if you go for the stylistic approach to TV sci-fi music of Christopher Franke's Babylon 5. Davis has more recently scored Universal Soldier: The Return, and on that a similarity in style and samples could be heard to both Franke's original and the TV space opera. On this album, you'll find the similarities overwhelming. There's even the baddie Shadow motif to be found...

"Main Titles" is a doom-laden piece that real in 3 and a half minutes you have an idea of what to expect for the next 70. The line between electronics and any live instrumentation is hard to divine. The wordless voices that breathe in and out are a nice colour, as is and intriguing piano phrase midway. Something that looks ahead to his breathtaking The Matrix score. The drum loops and metallic scraping have already become familiar before "The Invasion Begins", but as the album progresses there are effective uses of solo child voice and pizzicato strings (think spidery !) added to the palette.

A little contrast can be found in the sadness of "Alien Fumes" with a lovely harp part, but after the "Main Titles" the album's true gem is the 11 minute long "The Mother of All Motherships" - a title that indicates just how seriously to take Davis' music ! Featuring some interesting 'alien' chanting, this is the most melodically interesting cue.


Paul Tonks


Paul Tonks

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