2 out of 5
Label: Waxwork Records
Produced by: J. Yuenger (vinyl master)
Not that these things have to go hand-in-hand, but for such a visually striking movie – or, not having watched it in years, certainly something that stood out from other action films to a fledgling flick viewer – I just cannot forge much of a connection with the score. This makes me want to go back to see if the score matters to me as a viewer; perhaps swirling some visual ties with the aural experience would make it more impactful. However, I do believe in rating soundtracks separately from whatever they accompanied, unless it’s been implicitly or explicitly (by the composer or someone else involved) expressed that the music is only intended to be cues, or not to necessarily work as a standalone. But here we are, with a remaster and fancy WW repackage, so we have to assume someone believes there is value here… but I’m not hearing it. I don’t get a sense of a film; I don’t get a consistent sense of theme or emotion. I get an excellent opener – Noon – which combines orchestral, contemplative work with industrial clanks and clatters, and it’s a concept that occasionally pops up in other areas of the soundtrack, though not as strongly as this first cut – and then many, many light-handed vignettes that don’t tell me much. Late in the album, the four part ‘The Fight’ is, indeed, appropriately cinematic, and I suppose this is akin to the way the film subverts our assassin-movie expectations into a Odd Couple emotional bonding type thing, exploding into its frenetic conclusion, but I know I found the interceding bits of the flick much more grabbing than the comparatively unnoteable music on the B and C sides of this vinyl.
The packaging is slick, but the color scheme is sorta bland, and this is earlier-era Waxwork, so the remastering isn’t crystalline, though I don’t believe I had the extreme issues some listeners had with their copies, it just didn’t sound particularly crisp.
More of a “I love the movie so I own the soundtrack” affair, pending my going back and rewatching the movie with more attention paid to background soundz…