Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Sunday, February 01, 2009


Music by Mark Snow
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1083 (US)
Disc 1 - 26 Tracks 74:27 mins Disc 2 - 25 Tracks 74:20 mins

As the new millennium approached, all sorts of doom-laden predictions were circulating and in October 1996 a new TV series, entitled simply Millennium, hit the screens. Behind it was X-Files creator Chris Carter and it followed the adventures of retired FBI profiler Frank Black, played by Lance Henriksen, a very capable performer in numerous movies, mainly of limited budget, though, along with this role, his career may well be defined by his performance in Aliens. Black has the ability to enter the minds of serial killers, a useful, if personally disturbing talent put to use by The Millennium Group, as they apparently seek to combat these criminals, with their activities somehow intensifying as the new millennium approaches. Unfortunately, despite this promising premise, I quickly became bored with the show as, to me, it just seemed like another cop show with a twist. I was already locked firmly into the X-Files, and preferred its much more compelling format. Also, the series didn't fare well with its scheduling over here, often appearing late at night and so, I soon drifted away. Reading the excellent booklet that accompanies this extensive collection of music from the series, it seems I perhaps should have stayed with it, as it appears to have become more fantastical as it progressed.
Mark Snow had by this time written the scores for all the great X-Files episodes and Carter obviously turned to him for the music to his new baby. However, whereas his electronic music for the former was a key element and perfectly suited, yet virtually unlistenable away from the images it accompanied, he chose to turn his synths and samples in a more melodic direction for the latter.
The character of Frank Black is delineated by a solo violin sound, with a Celtic feel, backed by heavenly choir, best heard in the "Main Title" of the show; which signifies his "alienation, his loneliness, and the weight of what he had to carry around," to quote the composer. This material, along with a secondary, peaceful synths theme representing Black's Seattle home, the "Big Yellow House" is, at times, pitted against hellish, dissonant sounds representing the underworld, but there are also plenty of spiritual, poignant or mournful moments, either for synths or with choir again featuring, with Snow's sensitive keyboards atop; and folksy, both Celtic and Americana elements, featuring the sounds of dulcimer and slide guitar in episodes like "The Well Worn Lock" and "The Wild and the Innocent." All-in-all then, a much more varied and melodious landscape than that which the composer provided for the X-Files, yet still with plenty to interest fans of that show and its music.
The aforementioned booklet, liberally sprinkled with colour stills, features extensive notes by Randall D. Larson on the show and its music, including contributions from the composer and writer/producer Frank Spotnitz, together with a cue-by-cue guide to the action and the music accompanying it. Limited to 2000 units, fans of the show and its composer will be delighted that this music has finally been made available in another wonderful collection from the enterprising La-La Land Records. Go to for your copy.


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