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Sunday, November 28, 2010


La-La Land Records recently released these albums. Mirrors 2 is a new score, whereas both Alien Resurrection and Haunted Summer are expanded reissues. Firstly, I'll concentrate on Mirrors 2. The film is a sequel to 2008's Mirrors, which had a score by Javier Navarrete. Here, Frederik Wiedmann (The Hills Run Red, Return to House on Haunted Hill) steps in and utilises orchestra and electronics, supplemented by vocalists Kate Conklin and Katrin Wiedmann, explaining that "the vocals within the score represent the missing girl, and her calling from beyond."
After the largely propulsive "Main Title" gets the album off to a good start, there's some pretty exciting and really quite savage action to be found in the likes of "Slice," "Run!," "Keller Returns," "The Murder," "Want a Slice?," "A Corpse in the Basement," and "Broken Glass For Dinner,"
There are also plenty of mysterious and pretty dissonant passages, along the way, whilst more melodic, emotional fare can be found in "Kayla," "Alive," "Eleanor's Lament," "Max's Theme," and "Mirror Syndrome."
"Loosing Her Up" is quite an interesting track, mixing harsh dissonances with trumpet-lead jazz, and "Revenge" impresses with its sheer power.
The penultimate track, "It's Over," brings a welcome sense of relief, but this is short-lived as the closing title track propels us to an unsettling conclusion.
All-in-all, an above average genre score, with a good blend of melody with exciting action writing.
Mirrors 2 LLLCD 1151 - Total Time: 51:16 mins

1997's Alien Resurrection, the fourth film in the Alien series, saw Sigourney Weaver play a cloned human-alien hybrid (her character, Ripley of course met her demise in Alien 3). The film wasn't as weighty as 1 or 3, nor the great war film that was 2, but it was still pretty enjoyable and the actress seemed to enjoy herself. And anything with Ron Perlman in is worth watching.
With notable composers, Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner and Elliot Goldenthal to follow, James Frizzell faced a tough task in coming up with the music for his biggest assignment at that time. He chose to score the film's overt sensuality, whilst also taking elements of what had gone before, for instance, coming up with a mysterious main theme that very much evokes the spirit of Goldsmith's original. There's probably more thematic material than in previous films, for which the composer largely utilised orchestra, but he mixed in electronic elements for a more "alien" sound. Of course there's much suspenseful material on display, as well as a good dose of action writing, culminating in the "Finale," a fabulous chorale, featuring female choir, brass and strings.
On this expanded presentation, the complete score is presented on Disc One, concluding with four tracks on DiscTwo. Four alternate cues follow, and then the original 1997 album presentation completes the programme. The accompanying booklet features notes on the film and its music by Al Kaplan (with comments from the composer), as well as the invaluable cue-by-cue guide, all lavishly illustrated with colour stills from the film.
Alien Resurrection LLLCD 1145 - 2 Discs - Total Time:140:37 mins

I've long had a love-hate relationship with Christopher Young's score for 1988's Haunted Summer. The film, which starred Eric Stoltz, Alice Krige and Laura Dern, was a fantasy on the events that lead to Mary Shelley's creation of her classic work of fiction Frankenstein, and was an opportunity for its composer to show that he had more to offer than the horror fare he had become synonymous with. Whilst the score is predominantly electronic, Young also called upon a handful of acoustic instruments, providing the film with something of a "new age" score; at times delicate and ethereal, at others horribly atonal - and I do mean horrible - excruciatingly so at times. The 18-minute-plus "Hauntings" has to be one of the worst cues I have ever had to sit through, and I find his repetitive title motif quite irritating. But this is where the love-hate part comes in, because other cues (or parts thereof) are quite beautiful, particularly his "Menage" theme, variously heard played by violin and flute over synths.
The music Young originally composed for the film was changed considerably when Cannon executives couldn't quite understand his approach, and the original album, released by Silva Screen in 1989, gave Young the opportunity to present his music as originally intended. These tracks make up the first eleven selections on this expanded presentation, with the remaining seven featuring the score that ended up on the film, with the emphasis seemingly on Renaissance composer Orlande de Lassus' song "Mon Coeuer se Recommande a Vous," performed by soprano Evalon Witt, who subs for Dern, when her character sings it on film.
Accompanying the disc is the usual informative booklet, with notes on the film and its music by Randall D. Larson, including cue-by-cue guide, all lavishly illustrated by colour stills from the film.
Haunted Summer LLLCD 1148 - Total Time: 77:06 mins

Mirrors 2 is a regular release, whereas Alien resurrection is limited to 3500 units, and Haunted Summer to 1200. You can, as always, hear samples from all three albums by going to, where you can of course also purchase them.


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