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LOST - SEASON 2
Enjoyable extension of first season style in entertaining new album
A review by JAMES SOUTHALL
Music composed by
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Album running time
Album cover copyright (c) 2006 Touchstone Television; review copyright (c) 2006 James Southall
My review of the first season soundtrack from Lost attracted more hate mail than anything else I've ever written; I can't imagine I would have provoked any more had I announced that I was involved in child trafficking or that Mel Gibson's views on the causes of warfare were quite innocent compared with my own. And yet - my simple assertion that I found the show ridiculous, but compeeling proved inspiration for people the world over to mobilise themselves and email me to tell me what an idiot I was. I particularly enjoyed the person who went on my (short-lived) messageboard and announced that he would never visit my website again, just because I didn't think Lost represented the pinnacle of small-screen achievement - if he's being true to his word then I can freely insult him in the knowledge that he won't read it - so I will say in no uncertain terms that his mother was a hamster and his father smelled of elderberries.
The second season was far stronger - the nonsensical mumbo-jumbo was toned down a lot and the characters made a little more believable - and it was just as compelling as before. It benefits from the "24 phenomenon" still so rare in episodic television that you genuinely don't know with any certainty that any of the regular characters will actually survive whatever trials they are facing - and this adds a genuine tension. Musically, Michael Giacchino established a very strong identity for the show in its first season, virtually unheard-of in terms of his extremely distinctive approach, and it certainly represented the finest season's tv scoring in a very long time.
For the second season, it's very much more of the same - it's a standard (modest-sized) tv orchestra, but the sound Giacchino extracts uniquely inhabits the world of Lost, there are several recurring themes, and a consistency in orchestration which makes the music such an important part of the show. In common with much "sequel" music, this album is essentially an extension of the first, with fewer highlights, but probably a more consistent appeal.
Giacchino's music is equally-impressive when in action mode, or emotional mode, and again both strands provide much to enjoy here. The comedic opening to "Hurley's Handouts" quickly gives way to a touching expression of warmth and humanity; and "The Gathering" and "Shannon's Funeral" pull no emotional punches. Suspense is handled adeptly in "Just Another Day on the Beach"; action, in "Peace Through Superior Firepower", the gritty "The Tribes Merge", the fiercely hypnotic "I Crashed Your Plane, Brotha" and the uncompromising "The Hunt", in which Giacchino cleverly melds his usual orchestration with a lovely tribute to Jerry Goldsmith's Planet of the Apes.
Anyone who bought and enjoyed the first season's soundtrack will surely enjoy this one too, though perhaps the very consistency it has with that one (which makes the show so musically strong) makes the album ever-so-slightly feel superfluous. Lost remains easily the best-scored show on television, and (providing Giacchino can continue to fit it into his ever-growing schedule) one can only hope that standards are maintained for a while to come yet.