- Composed by Brian Tyler
- Varese Sarabande VSD-6983 / 2009 / 64:15
Writing film music reviews, I need to try to avoid preconceptions if at all possible; it’s human nature to make them, but they can undoubtedly unfairly swing one’s opinion on something regardless of its actual merits. I have to admit, before I listen to a new Brian Tyler score, I don’t just have preconceptions formed in my mind – it’s almost as if I can write the whole review before I’ve even listened to the album. He seems to have become the most predictable film composer there is. It would be great (and a far better piece of critical writing) if I could follow that up by saying what a delight it therefore is that The Final Destination is such a fresh, surprising piece of work. Sadly I can’t, because it is as predictable as anything. Tyler is stepping into the late Shirley Walker’s shoes here, and incorporates her theme for the series quite a lot; the rest is exactly what we’ve come to expect from this composer, with action music orchestrated to the hilt, sounding like it could come straight out of any number of his other scores, at first full of energy, but by the time the fourteen-day-long album finishes, you’d give anything for it to just stop.
On paper, Tyler has it all. He can do melody, he can do exciting action music, he can (though usually chooses not to) dial it back and be a bit softer – and he knows the orchestra like the back of his hand. But he seems stuck in a massive rut, truly worrying given he’s probably got at least thirty years of film composing to come, if he wants it. It’s hard to say exactly what it is, because he’s got all the talent in the world, and on a technical level you just can’t find fault; but it sounds so soulless! I was so excited when he first burst onto the scene with those terrific scores he did one after another a few years ago; and so disappointed that he’s been unable to do anything remotely as good ever since. He’s young and successful, so it’s completely absurd for me to offer him advice; but I’m nothing if not absurd, so I’ll say how wonderful I think it would be if he stepped back for a bit, didn’t take on one project straight after another, and somehow found a way to inject his music with the kind of love and passion he showed in his earliest scores. **