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Comments about the soundtrack for Jurassic Park (John Williams)

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Best of the best.
• Posted by: Mike   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Friday, July 20, 2001, at 10:46 p.m.
• IP Address: syr-24-169-83-20.twcny.rr.com

This is the soundtrack that turned me on to movie scores. I saw Jurassic Park as a sophomore in high school, and spent the entire summer enthralled by what I had seen. Like, full obsession. The movie captured my imagination in a way that no movie ever had, and, for the first time that I recall, the musical score played a large part. I remember being upstairs at home, and the commercial for the film would come on downstairs... I'd come running, because I knew what that music meant. The first movie in this series is pure magic, and the score is just as awe-inspiring as the effects which amazed us all eight years ago.

The JP theme is majestic and beautiful... and sort of moves with the same lumbering grace of the larger beasties in the film (though it best fits the brachiosaurs). To this day, when I hear the theme, I am brought back to my first glimpse of the brachiosaur feeding from its tree, and I am reminded of how stunned and mystified I was the first time I saw what Dr. Grant and crew saw -- perhaps I'm silly, but this cinema moment is (to a dino-lover like myself) deeply moving, and the music pulls no stops to convey that fact. Meanwhile, Journey to the Island mixes this sound with the adventurous tones of Indiana Jones, setting the audience up for the ride of their lives. It retains the beauty of the main theme, but adds heavy doses of thrill-seeking. The bells and choirs add to this grandeur, and provide a momentum that subtly holds the entire piece aloft.

The rest of the music on this disc is clever and thoughtful... sometimes sappy, sometimes aggressive, and always manipulative (in that fabulous Spielberg/Williams way). You will be made to feel exactly as you're supposed to, and you'll be powerless to stop it. That's what music is meant to do, and this soundtrack succeeds on a level that no other (even Star Wars, dare I say it) has ever done. Faint glimpses of the main themes appear at the right time, generally as punctuation, and handily ramp up the audience's excitement when called on. The non-thematic tracks are also very nice. Dennis Steals the Embryo has a very gritty synth feel that matches its source, and Petticoat Lane is, easily, the best part of what was a very lame scene in the movie. The only weak point on the entire album is the second half of My Friend the Brachiosaur, which, after a grand start, lapses into silly Disney fare. A minor point on a soundtrack of such exceptional caliber.

No score enthusiast should be without this disc. It will simultaneously remind you of why, precisely, you like movies so much... and why you like music so much. Easily a crown jewel in my collection.




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  •   Best of the best.  (5456 views)    We're Here
       Mike - Friday, July 20, 2001, at 10:46 p.m.


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