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THE LOST WORLD
Impressive - if slightly generic - video game action score from a young Giacchino
A review by JAMES SOUTHALL
Music composed by
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Album running time
Album cover copyright (c) 1998 Sonic Images; review copyright (c) 2007 James Southall
A spinoff from the second Jurassic Park film, this video game sees the player take on the role of various dinosaurs roaming around Isla Sorna, attacking and eating prey (including those troublesome, screaming humans). It is notable in musical terms in being, apparently, the first video game for which Michael Giacchino wrote the music - the composer who is now scoring some of the biggest tv shows and movies around. And it was an auspicious start!
Many of Giacchino's scores for games have been released on CD, and of course the majority of them have come from games based in World War II, which call for a specific type of sound. Surprisingly, that sound is heard here too - from the moment the score's main theme appears in "Into the Trees", it is clear why the composer found himself working on so many war-themed games, with its (surprisingly cheerful) Ron Goodwin-esque nature having a kind of quaint charm to it.
There's little that is cheerful anywhere else, though, with Giacchino (as with John Williams in the film) providing mostly dark-hued action music in a series of 19 cues of almost identical length. Naturally there is a Williams feel to some of the music, but it is fairly superficial (coming more from the orchestration choices - which inevitably recall Raiders of the Lost Ark - than anything else); and some of the cues are fantastic. Each builds up its own ideas, with action springing forth at every turn. Some of it doesn't quite work so well, coming off as being slightly generic, but from such a young composer working on his first major project that is hardly a surprise.
The florid orchestration is usually enough to maintain interest nonetheless. Occasionally the big brassy themes don't particularly work (coming off with a pantomime air) but that's a relatively minor complaint. Curiously, the final track is billed as being two minutes long (like all the rest), but after those two minutes are up, there is a brief pause followed by a load more music. I don't know if that's alternate takes, stuff which wasn't included in the game, or what, but it's a bit odd! In any case, this is an impressive debut score, still surprisingly easy to find, and certainly recommended to all those who have come to love Giacchino's music in the years since.