Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Universal Soldier (1992 Film)
Genres: Dance & Electronic, New Age, Rock, Soundtracks
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Heavy texture, orchestral avant-garde
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Universal Soldier" is the first full-fledged soundtrack release of Christopher Franke, dating from 1992. Chronologically though, "New Music for Films Vol.1" should be considered first, since it contains film music material from 1989-1990. Universal Soldier continues the darker moods explored on "New Music for Films", with a very heavy orchestral texture. Being a score for an action flick with Claude van Damme, the movie with enormous emphasis on suspense, this album delivers what is expected. Hard to listen to at moments, it does not constitute a significant item in Franke's musical heritage, but still, for those who like electronica and orchestra playing together, it is worth having in a CD collection.The album starts with 'Vietnam Jungle', a blast of orchestral forte, to set the mood for the whole album. 'The Explosion' is a short number taking us back to 1990's "New Music for Films" collection. 'Unisols on Fire' is a dark cantata with a sophisticated orchestral rhythm, hinting at Franke's penchant for compositional complexity, which will be displayed in full form and class in "Babylon 5" series of 1995-2000. It's also interesting to note that the symphonic passages from 'Unisols on Fire' constitute the starting point for 1995's soundtrack of Christopher Franke, "Night of the Running Man". 'McGregor' is a miniature, which might be just as well recorded by Preisner, if it occurred to him to use full orchestra. The track is quite scary, with a more than usual element of chaos thrown in. 'Grand Canyon' continues the mood, which progressively turns to be more and more avantgarde. The tracks, 'I'm Already Dead' and 'Going Home' are slightly lighter mood-breaks, adjusted to the slower scenes from the film, but only just a tad lighter. Increasingly chaotic avant-garde compositions 'The Fight' and 'Back From Dead' must have provided an excellent background for breath-taking scenes from the movie, but as standalone compositions they are quite leaded, requiring maximum concentration from the listener. The remaining tracks continue to deliver the variations on a theme. In fact, it's hard to distinguish one from another. It's best to think of "Universal Soldier" as one long suite, broken into pieces for the filmmaking purposes. The album lacks a leading motif, which is my only peeve. It's an ideal when it comes to the encyclopedic definition of a film score, it's interesting and well-performed, but it is also hard to justify as a standalone album. If you liked the film and its music while watching the film, don't hesitate. If you are new to Christopher Franke, I'd rather recommend "Babylon 5", which is also orchestral, but infinitely superior to this release. Finally, if you have tried Franke on his own, or are a Tangerine Dream wandering fan (there are many of us after 1991), consider this album seriously, but only after you try Franke's flagship albums like "The London Concert", "Babylon 5", or "New Music for Films Vol.1"."