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Section Header
Enemy of the State
Composed and Co-Produced by:
Trevor Rabin
Harry Gregson-Williams
Tim Heintz

Conducted by:
Gordon Goodwin

Orchestrated by:
Bruce Fowler
Gordon Goodwin

Co-Produced by:
Paul Linford

Hollywood Records

Release Date:
November 17th, 1998

Also See:
The Replacement Killers
Deep Blue Sea
Con Air

Audio Clips:
2. Enemy of the State Main Theme (0:30):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

6. Zavitz Chase Part 1 (0:31):
WMA (204K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

14. The Tunnel Part 1 (0:31):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

17. Wish You Were Here (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

Regular U.S. release.


Enemy of the State

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Sales Rank: 191424

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Buy it... if you aren't bothered by a predictable combination of the simple themes from Armageddon and the wildly frenetic, electronic chase cues from Con Air.

Avoid it... if you consider either or both of the above elements to be trashy, or if you expect your techno-thriller scores to exhibit some true sophistication.

Enemy of the State: (Trevor Rabin and Harry Gregson-Williams) The techno-thriller Enemy of the State is widely considered a stereotypical Tony Scott/Jerry Bruckheimer testosterone-laced chase flick, hailed as an above-average entry in an ever-growing list of films that seems to be weighed down on the latter end by disappointing flops. The film presents the idea that America's NSA had the capability in 1998 to spy on its own citizens in frightening ways, utilizing satellite technology to pinpoint people and conversations seemingly at will. And that was before George W. Bush got control of it. The subject of the film in this case is a labor lawyer who unwittingly comes in possession of evidence damning to the agency's top tier, and, with the help of a reluctant but brilliant ex-spy who has a stake in the game, they elude NSA agents while deciding what to do about the evidence. While Enemy of the State is a chase story, it is better remembered as a snapshot of government technology in the late 1990's, whether real or imagined, and it is along these technological lines that Scott and Bruckheimer's usual composer, Hans Zimmer, could have had a field day. While Zimmer was reportedly signed on to the project, time conflicts caused a handful of his Media Ventures pupils to take the assignment with little time to spare. The resulting score by Trevor Rabin and Harry Gregson-Williams is typically noted as an acceptable companion to the film, though it does absolutely nothing to distinguish itself from the field of other similar scores from the Zimmer factory at the time. Whether this was a comment on the composers' talents or the very short time with which they had to provide this music remains to be determined. When you look back at Enemy of the State almost a decade later, you can't help but get the feeling that music like this was primarily the brainchild of Trevor Rabin, for Harry Gregson-Williams has matured into such a more dynamic and intelligent composer in the following years.

There has been speculation that the roles in Enemy of the State followed similar boundaries as had been established in Armageddon, the blockbuster score for which the two same composers collaborated earlier in the year. If those roles stayed consistent, then you can thank Rabin for the wild, frenetic chase cues and Gregson-Williams for the development of the score's two simplistic, but more sensitive main themes. Neither of the two themes from Enemy of the State will knock you off your feet. The primary one is very similar in structure and progression to the Irish-laced theme from Armageddon, but without any of the notable instrumental solos. The chord progressions march forward in the form of a static anthem, utilizing the same synthetic instrumentation as the previous score, and while there's something satisfying about these unchallenging movements in a basic emotional sense, they clearly define this score as a knock-off of limited intellectual merit. The second theme exists for the Gene Hackman character in the film, and ironically contains instrumental connections to several of Zimmer's ideas for Crimson Tide. While slightly more compelling than the title theme, the cue "Brill's Theme" is littered with increased techno-sample garbage, making it more difficult to digest. These synthetic effects, many of which spawned from Zimmer's library of samples, are the primary personality of the score for Enemy of the State. There is an orchestra employed for the project, but it consists mostly of the string section being aided in the bass region by its synthetic equivalent. As usual, you can hardly tell if the mid-range brass in scores like this are real or synthetic; it doesn't really matter in the end, because there are no notable orchestral solos in Enemy of the State outside of the trumpet in "Brill's Theme."

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The title theme would reappear only once in the score, in the short "Free Ferry" cue that oddly dumps all the electronics for a strictly string section layering that embodies far too much class for the rest of the score. A light, descending, keyboarded motif runs throughout the music, and its role is unknown. The remainder of the score is a bonanza of percussive rhythms pulled from Rabin's disastrously unlistenable Con Air score, with little improvement made to the concept over the years. The chopping keyboards are the same, the sound effects are the same, the drum pads are the same, and the lack of ingenuity is definitely the same. An assortment of odd electronic noises utilized as random accents include the static sound heard when initiating or terminating a short-wave radio. Clanging metal, occasional scraping noises, and deep heartbeat thumps in the bass region are all tired and predictable. A few trademark Graeme Revell sounds (including double bass thumps and cymbal manipulation from The Saint) are even hijacked. For a film about technological gadgets and radical advancement in surveillance, some of these sounds make perfect sense, but their employment is so simplistic that it almost seems counterproductive. There is a distinct and almost devious intelligence behind the technology that the government uses to track all of us, and yet this music makes it sound like such a blunt instrument. The score is especially weak when attempting any emotional depth, as in "Rachel's Found Dead," a cue in which an absence of score would have been more effective than the drab noise produced. Light percussion in the "gotcha" cue of "Wish You Were Here" is a relief, with fragments of Brill's material reprised. The lasting impression of Enemy of the State remains one of disinterest, though. For such a sophisticated concept and sophisticated system of music-making machines, the score for Enemy of the State has a disappointing lack of sophistication in its writing and rendering. ** Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For Trevor Rabin reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 2.5 (in 12 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 2.61 (in 12,887 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

For Harry Gregson-Williams reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 2.94 (in 32 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.01 (in 50,728 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 2.62 Stars
Smart Average: 2.68 Stars*
***** 114 
**** 120 
*** 344 
** 326 
* 225 
  (View results for all titles)
    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
              to counterbalance fringe voting.
   Re: Even as a one-time Rabin apologist...
  A dissenting voice -- 9/16/07 (1:00 p.m.)
   Re: Good review, but...
  Greg -- 9/13/07 (8:57 p.m.)
   Even as a one-time Rabin apologist...
  Greg -- 9/13/07 (8:49 p.m.)
   Good review, but...
  A dissenting voice -- 9/13/07 (7:04 p.m.)
Read All | Add New Post | Search | Help  

 Track Listings: Total Time: 54:10

• 1. Main Title (2:43)
• 2. Enemy of the State Main Theme (2:55)
• 3. Brill's Theme (3:28)
• 4. The Ferry (1:16)
• 5. Hotel Chase Part 2 (3:45)
• 6. Zavitz Chase Part 1 (2:02)
• 7. NSA Research (2:35)
• 8. Brill and Dean Meet (4:13)
• 9. Free Ferry (0:37)
• 10. Nanny Drive (1:32)
• 11. Final Confrontation (8:43)
• 12. Coal Yard Part1 (3:42)
• 13. Face to Face (3:09)
• 14. The Tunnel Part 1 (1:57)
• 15. Coal Yard Part 2 (4:53)
• 16. Rachel's Found Dead (5:18)
• 17. Wish You Were Here (1:59)

(track times not listed on packaging)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert includes no extra information about the score or film.

  All artwork and sound clips from Enemy of the State are Copyright © 1998, Hollywood Records. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 12/21/98 and last updated 1/21/07. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 1998-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.