Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Babylon 5: Messages From Earth (Compilation From TV Series)
Genres: New Age, Pop, Rock, Soundtracks
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Will | 05/01/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Messages From Earth" is a second volume of the "compilation" series with music from the Babylon 5 TV series, containing sound tracks from 1995-1997 episodes, fused together and rerecorded. Although less differentiated than its predecessor, "Babylon 5" released in 1995, it is still packed full with themes, tunes and musical snapshots to successfully entertain (and tire) the listener. I must say though that this particular release is the weakest in the whole series. The heavy orchestration is a tad too aggressive, offerring little or no contrapunct, making the listening experience quite exhausting, as was the case with one of the previous releases by Christopher Franke, "Universal Soldier". "Messages From Earth" is divided into four sections, each opening with a shorter 'Season Main Title', followed by a longer piece fused from extremely short pieces that are featured on the episodic CDs available separately. The album totals in 58 minutes, representing supposedly the best music from the corresponding years. That fact alone prevented me from buying the episodic CDs from that era, simply because while I generally like that type of music, and I am fond of Franke's experimentation efforts, "Messages From Earth" simply leaves one way too cold to fret over. Fortunately, the three "compilation" CDs that followed brought a very welcome change, and you I strongly advise "Babylon 5: In the Beginning" over this release."
Epic Music Reaching Its Epic Potential
Will | Flagstaff | 03/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The most fantastic thing about Babylon 5 is its epic scope. The show was already planned out, and then some, for its five year run (and multiple TV movies) and though the 5th year music is somewhat missing on this CD (the final track, Voices of Authority, foreshadows the future opening title theme of Season 5), this collection of 8 tracks provides the listener with a musical explanation of the series. The 1st track, Main Title 1st Season (extended), gives us a sense of adventure; the first steps into a journey that will take us amazing places. It gives us the feeling of alien voices calling out from far away with its synthesized voices...but it also has a powerful "hero" tune giving Babylon 5 a heroic nature (that would be returned in Track 7) The second track, Messages From Earth, gives us clips from the episodes where Sheridan takes control and beats out the rebels going against him and Babylon 5. It has sounds of "oh no, we are gonna blow up" and then redemption music to close the track out confirming victory for the Babylon 5 heroes. The Main Title for the second season (Track 3) is mysterious...giving us a hint that "shadows" (no pun intended) will eventually show their face. The fourth track, Z'Ha'Dum is violent and bombastic, much like the violent turmoil that happens in the third season. The third season has many up and downs and the tone makes sense. The fifth track carries on Z'Ha'Dum's theme with very loud drum blasts and violent tones. The sixth track is the most haunting, starting out very slow and then pumping with energy and then ending with a creepy, what seems like, electronic piano, emphasizing the journey is far from over. It is by far the most beautiful on the CD and haunting. The wild guitars, strange clangs, and odd sounds are just a few of the sounds on this track. The seventh track, the Main Title for the 4th season, is both upbeat and disastrous (in tone, not composition...it is brilliantly composed) making us feel the triumph of Babylon 5 of President Clark and the loss of friends and gain of power. It is a great way to represent the sad and joyous 4th year. The final track foreshadows the 5th Season Main Title theme that would come after this soundtrack was produced. It is perhaps the second best track, being epic in scale (the first few minutes are amazing) and its abrupt ending making you want more...just like the show. Fortunately the 5th season was just around the corner. Christopher Franke, formerly of Tangerine Dream provides synthesized beauty, rocking beats, and epic tones and no one better would fit the same themes Babylon 5, the show, represented in story and character."
Not just for die-hard fanatics
obijokkenobi | 08/02/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, I am a die-hard fanatic. Yes, the music is what got me hooked on the show (c'mon, it wasn't the acting). Yes, the show is a fantastic accomplishment and makes all other television pale by comparison (but that's another story). No, this album is not just for people like me. Heavy metal fans, audiophiles, and even my classical-music-is-the-only-type-worth-hearing Dad all enjoyed listening to this collection. Four of the eight tracks are the 1.5 minute opening sequences from the first four seasons of B5. It's a shame the 5th season opening didn't make it on there, but when the album was released, it didn't look like there was going to be a fifth season (Thank whichever higher power you'd like for TNT). On that note, the other notable omission is the powerful melody from the last ever episode, Sleeping in the Light. But enough of that, for fans of the show, these four sequences are fun but you've definitely heard them before. It's the remaining four tracks (each about 13 minutes) that makes the album worth 5 stars. Unlike the suites of the first album (also good), these play like one or two movement pieces, not betraying their origins as collected snippets from the TV episodes. Unlike most TV themes, which are simple melodies, the power of the Berlin Film Harmonic (geddit?) electronic orchestra is what sets this album apart from almost everything else. The bass and mid-range are gripping, particularly about 6.5 minutes through track 2, while the top end is quite thrilling. You can't say that about Mission Impossible. In short, Christopher Franke has mixed Shostakovich with an 80's emphasis on electronica, but has executed it with some very nice equipment and recorded it so that it's even worth playing on mid-high end audio equipment. How do you know if you're going to like it before you buy it? If you heard any of the credits on the TV show; if you like Hans Zimmer but find his recordings low quality, repetitive and boasting a limited range; if you want to give your speakers a workout; if you like classical music but can't give up your Ultravox (no, really, it's much better than Ultravox); if you want a soundtrack worthy of the epic space-opera saga: Babylon 5."