Sunday, February 8, 2015

Michael Giacchino [2015] (ost) Jupiter Ascending

listening to this ost was an interesting exercise for me. normally when i listen to film scores it is for films i have already seen and enjoyed and normally i let the coupling of the memories of the film, its story, and my fondness for the music take me on a journey back into the story or to aid me in my own imagination. i don't often think about scores in any sort of critical terms (at least not beyond this is awesome, or this is boring), and as i listen to this album i feel like scores for some reason have a completely different set of criteria than any kind of rock music. i find myself at a loss in terms of measuring a score in any sense. i can't comment on its measurability within its own 'genre' or against other composers or era's of scores or anything like that, because i've simply never thought about that. for me film scores have always been about taking time to imagine stories with the music, or to set dramatic moods. so while most of my critiques and gut reactions are about how satisfied the music makes me feel, that seems to not quite have the same quality when talking about film scores. so, i'm just going to throw that whole thought process right out the window, and i am not even really sure why i am telling you... really i'm just working through it in my own brain as i go.... 'thinking out loud' if you will..

so, i have not seen the film jupiter ascending yet, but i was very much in the mood for a film score to add to the blog since its been a while since i've made time to listen to any. with the above thought process initially underway i had given more thought to that than to letting the music take me to other places. so i gave up thinking about how to approach the soundtrack and just let it take me away about halfway through. my gut says this is a really good soundtrack. there's a lot of movement, a lot of ideas, a lot of variability and provocations throughout, and it sounds really great and powerful. there are catchy moments here and there, but better than that there aren't any dull moments. i have definitely heard a lot of soundtracks where there is one or maybe two central themes that dominate the score and have variations built off of those to make up the rest of it or where the one or two primary themes are just surrounded by really uninspired filler and those are usually poor soundtracks in my opinion. jupiter ascending does not fall into those traps, but rather feels fresh and imaginative throughout its full 2 cd span. its dynamic range is well utilized and well stated, but never annoyingly vast where you can't hear the quiet bits and then are frightened by enormity of the loud bits. see! these are things you don't really engage with when talking about rock music. all in all, i had a very pleasant listening experience with this release and even though it doesn't have a really powerful or identifiable theme to go 'ah! jupiter ascending score! i love this!', it does have all the elements i need to get swept off into dreamland while i'm listening, so it's a winner.

voodoo says 7/10 on first impression

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