Having begun life as a modest 1932 horror vehicle for the great Boris Karloff, the Mummy franchise went on to encompass a whole cycle of classic Universal fright flicks and, most recently, a big-budget, if equally popcorn-... more »friendly, reincarnation laden with computer-generated effects. What with the success of Gladiator, The Mummy Returns also expanded its scope to include the Rock's Scorpion King and his legions, giving the saga a distinct sword 'n' sandal epic sweep in the bargain. Alan Silvestri's music echoes those concerns in a score that's one part galloping '40s throwback, with a dash of Stravinsky-lite, and heavy on the Zimmeresque Sturm und Drang. It's a far cry from Silvestri's mostly comedic canon, and a radical departure from The Mexican, its breezy, tongue-in-cheek predecessor. And if the sheer scale of the score's blazing brass, thundering tympani, crashing cymbals, and soaring choirs effectively disguise its paucity of memorable melodies and substance, they perfectly echo the thrill-ride intentions of the film itself. Live and über-producer Glen Ballard also contribute the obligatory pop end-title song, "Forever May Not Be Long Enough," a darkly urgent little ditty with suitably exotic production flourishes. --Jerry McCulley« less
Having begun life as a modest 1932 horror vehicle for the great Boris Karloff, the Mummy franchise went on to encompass a whole cycle of classic Universal fright flicks and, most recently, a big-budget, if equally popcorn-friendly, reincarnation laden with computer-generated effects. What with the success of Gladiator, The Mummy Returns also expanded its scope to include the Rock's Scorpion King and his legions, giving the saga a distinct sword 'n' sandal epic sweep in the bargain. Alan Silvestri's music echoes those concerns in a score that's one part galloping '40s throwback, with a dash of Stravinsky-lite, and heavy on the Zimmeresque Sturm und Drang. It's a far cry from Silvestri's mostly comedic canon, and a radical departure from The Mexican, its breezy, tongue-in-cheek predecessor. And if the sheer scale of the score's blazing brass, thundering tympani, crashing cymbals, and soaring choirs effectively disguise its paucity of memorable melodies and substance, they perfectly echo the thrill-ride intentions of the film itself. Live and über-producer Glen Ballard also contribute the obligatory pop end-title song, "Forever May Not Be Long Enough," a darkly urgent little ditty with suitably exotic production flourishes. --Jerry McCulley
"No doubt a number of people were disappointed when they heard that Jerry Goldsmith would not score "The Mummy Returns," and an equal number had serious concerns about Alan Silvestri in this genre. Goldsmith is missed, to be sure, his original venture with "The Mummy" is one of his best works, and is a cut above the score wriiten by Silvestri for "The Mummy Returns." All of that said, Alan Silvestri clearly surpassed expectations with a score that fits the film quite well, and is a good listen on CD, although one has to leave Goldsmith's music behind. The tempo is appropriate, the Oriental motifs work quite well, and there is a heroic/action theme that is as good as Silvestri has ever produced, along with brief romantic passages (brief because they are indeed brief in the film, as well). The opening grabs you and pulls you in, but it takes a few tracks, on the CD, for the music to unfold. By track twelve you are convinced that this music works. Aside from an impressive opeing, tracks 12 through 18 are the best, and Silvestri's use of percussion and some of his main thematic material really come together in track 14, "Sandcastles," so well, in fact, that this is the basic music used in the end credits (missing on the soundtrack album, this repeated music would have been a much better choice than the song by Live...an interesting song, but not as good as Silvestri's music). "Sandcastles" should releive any lingering doubts that this is a worthy effort. The oritental percussion and motifs, and the heroic themes take off here. Silvestri's music proved a good fit for the movie, and will be a welcome choice on CD, too bad that track 19 is not a concluding suite though."
A slice of Egypt, although it may not always be pretty!
dilinator | Lansing, Michigan USA | 05/03/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There are two ways that I come at rating this soundtrack: from the standpoint of how it conveys the mood and setting that the movie is in, and fits there; and how it is on a purely listening enjoyment basis. The reason for me bringing up this difference is that this soundtrack is a perfect example of these two perspectives. As far as the pure beauty of the listening experience is concerned, it isn't all that great. Similar to the first "Mummy" soundtrack, it is comprised mostly of action music, including some large, harsh sounds, and startling noises here and there. In the "Mummy" soundtrack, there was at least a theme for parts of it, including a love theme. In this one, there really is no theme to speak of, at least not one that's used much. Several of the tracks briefly go into what I would call the "Mummy Returns Theme", but not for very long. Only in the final score track, #18, does this theme really mature into a noticable capacity, and this is probably during the end credits of the movie. There is really no love theme, surprising since Rick O'Connell and Evy are now married in this movie, and you'd think there would be a strong love theme to go with that. But there really isn't. Once again, there is a slight theme that might be what is used during the movie to represent Rick and Evy, but it comprises very little of the score with the exception again of track #18. As far as themes go, there is really only one other one that pops up, and this one sounds very high- spirited and adventurous. It is actually quite rousing, and is my favorite part of the score. It is the best developed in track #6, and is again used towards the end of track#9. It of course also makes it's appearance in track #18, which is definitely the theme compilation track of the soundtrack. In summary, I don't dislike this album from this perspective, but it is definitely not one my favorites. However, looking at this score from the perspective of how it fits in with the movie and the type of music it's trying to portray, it is a great score! At the time I'm writing this, the movie hasn't come out yet, so I have not heard how exactly it fits into the movie, but just listening to the music, I can picture in my head what is probably happening during it. That is a great sign of a soundtrack's success in representing the movie. After the famed Jerry Goldsmith scored the original "Mummy" soundtrack, many wondered of course how Alan Silvestri would do coming in to score the sequel. Silvestri is by no means a slouch at scoring movies, and has done many famous scores like "Forrest Gump", "Contact", and the "Back to the Future" trilogies. However, he is replacing a soundtrack legend, and trying his hand at a new genere of music. I say that despite as pronounced of a main theme as Goldsmith had for the first score, Silvestri has actually captured the essence of Egypt, and even the whole mummy concept better than Goldsmith did. I was amazed at how well in fact he did at this assignment, even creating a score that is very similar to Goldsmith's so that a casual listener might not notice that a different composer scored it. My thumbs up to Alan Silvestri for capturing so well the spirit of "The Mummy" in this score.So the CD is definitely a success from this second perspective, and the listening enjoyment has actually grown on me with repeated listenings. Once you're properly in the mindset of "The Mummy", or even far off Egypt, this score will prove an entertaining listen. And if you liked the first "Mummy" score, or John Williams' Indiana Jones scores, than you will probably like this as well, and maybe even better, like I did. Just know that there will be no sleeping or getting into intense thought on something else while listening to it. You'll be thouroughly transported to another world, of mummies and pyramids.One last note, the final track, a song by "Live", is horrible in my opinion, and has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the score in sound or significance. It's a shame it's even on the score, but at least it's at the end, and you can just stop the CD after the appropriate finale of track #18, "The Mummy Returns"!"
Essential Silvestri, Great music
Finnius McArbuckle | OakTown | 05/01/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Two composers known for their vast knowledge and ability with horns are Alan Silvestri and Jerry GOldsmith. SO it seems somewhat fitting that Silvestri would score part 2 of the Mummy series, begun by Goldsmith (who delivered one of his best works since Total Recall). Try to imagine a mix of Back to The Future or The Abyss with Goldsmiths Mummy and you'll get a good idea what this CD is all about. It's very rich, if not the most original piece of work created. It's a good bet if you enjoy solid, melodic orchestral works, it doesn't disappoint for an instant and it's Romantic themes and Motif for The Scorpion King are particularly strong. If you've seen the trailer or teaser for the film you'll know what kind of heroic theme to expect - Horns Galore. What surprises me the most is how articulate Silvestri is with the string sections, he really gets every ounce of energy out of them, especially in track 9. The end title Track, Forever May Not Be Long Enough is a little lite given the dense orchestral work preceding it. It is however nice and perfectly benign. I might even find it adding to the CD before long, but this time it felt like a tacked on promotional toy. A great effort, executed very well"
Exciting and fun ... but could have been more!!
Eric Scott | Bloomington, California USA | 05/15/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was initially leery of purchasing the soundtrack for "The Mummy Returns" when I learned that Jerry Goldsmith was not coming back to follow up his masterful score to "The Mummy" (one of the best works Mr. Goldsmith has turned out in recent years). I eventually caved, however, and am now very thankful that I did so. Alan Silvestri's "The Mummy Returns" captures all the bold action and adventure of the movie, and is highly listenable. Like the movie, the score opens with a bang and carries one along for an exciting ride that hearkens back to Silvestri's robust work for the "Back to the Future" series (actually I failed to notice this similarity, but my wife Kim picked up on it after listening to just a few bars of Track 9). The new themes for the various characters are both appropriate and memorable; that for Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser's character) is a delight, with the only problem being that it is employed only infrequently throughout the CD.This last observation touches on the CDs biggest flaw (and the reason I gave it only 4 stars rather than 5): the complete absence of the music from the finale of the movie! Other CDs have had this challenge, to be sure, but here the music was so much fun and the themes had such triumphant, ringing power to them that its a shame they were in a sense "left hanging" with no resolution. The conclusion of the film was in fact a seemingly endless -- and very exciting! -- action sequence, cut between four different locales and with multiple characters (and their respective motifs), that featured some of Silvestri's most powerful and inspired music to date. Yet this music was dropped for a closing-credits rehash (not bad, but we'd just heard it all already, elsewhere on the selfsame CD) and a "hit" song, "Forever May Not Be Long Enough", that while interesting and kinda fun would not otherwise be missed if replaced by more of Sulvestri's score.Oh, well. Maybe Varese Sarabande will do the job properly next time, and include the music from the last quarter of the film. In the interim, though, "The Mummy Returns" is well worth your money. It's not Goldsmith, and it's not complete ... but it stands on its own very well indeed!"
A solid follow-up to the original
Michael J. Mazza | Pittsburgh, PA USA | 10/24/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I must admit to being a bit disappointed when I found out that composer Jerry Goldsmith, who scored Stephen Sommers' film "The Mummy," would not be returning for the sequel. But not to worry; Alan Silvestri did a fine job scoring the sequel, "The Mummy Returns," also directed by Sommers. While not quite as memorable as the original, the music to "The Mummy Returns" is still fun and exciting.Like the music to Sommers' first "Mummy," this CD is a big, bold orchestral score that hearkens back to traditional Hollywood epics. There is both action and sweeping romance, with a flavor that evokes the Middle East (or at least the "Hollywood" concept of the Middle East). I particularly liked the CD's title track, which I believe was actually used as the film's end credit music. The one jarring note on the CD is the song "Forever May Not Be Long Enough": it's a pretty good song, but it sounds out of place on this CD. Still, if you're a fan of Sommers' "Mummy" films or of fantasy/action film music, I recommend this CD."