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Thursday, November 30, 2006

CD REVIEW - Destroy All Humans! 2

Destroy All Humans! 2
Music by Garry Schyman & various artists
Lakeshore LKS 338802 (U.S.)
23 Tracks 66:39 mins

Whilst I applaud Lakeshore Records for putting out this disc, I cannot help having reservations about it, in that though there's plenty of Garry Schyman's fine score on display, a) often the score tracks ends abruptly or are cut off, slightly ruining one's appreciation of them, and b) after each score track we have a rock/pop number by a multitude of artists I have never even heard of. OK, so mostly they are in a style which compliments the '60s feel of Schyman's score, but if only the score and song tracks could have been kept separately, it would have made for a much better listening experience for fans of both kinds of music.
Anyway, it's obviously the score I'm concentrating on with this review and, as previously mentioned, whereas Schyman's score for the original Destroy All Humans! game evoked Bernard Herrmann and '50s sci-fi scores in general, time has moved on slightly and now we're in the '60s, which means the composer now draws his inspiration from greats of that period, like John Barry, Lalo Schifrin and Jerry Goldsmith, among others, with a score that is more evocative of the '60s spy genre, because basically there wasn't much sci-fi around on the big screen in the '60s, when it had retreated to TV with the likes of Lost in Space and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.
So what we have here are a mix of sneaky, suspenseful sleuthing tracks and full-on action cues, often with Bond-like brassiness, but with almost ever-present bongos, more evocative of the Man from U.N.C.L.E. scores. It's largely an orchestral score, but electronics are mixed in and regrettably occasionally take over, as in the ominous Russian-styled theme for "Tunguska Disguised." But this is just a minor irritation in what is at times a very exciting score indeed, and in addition to the Russian feel of the "Tunguska" tracks, there are a couple of "Takoshima" cues, that are not full-on oriental in nature, but do draw successfully on far-eastern elements.
So, in conclusion, whilst it's great to have Schyman's music represented on CD this time, you may find it somewhat irritating having to programme all the songs out. When will the record labels ever learn that film score collectors generally don't want songs on their CDs, but if, for commercial reasons, they must be present, please keep them away from the score cues, and then everyone will be happy.


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