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Terminator: Salvation (Original Soundtrack)

Danny Elfman

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Reseña de álbum

Music is crucial to establishing a movie's feel. It's not just "background." Sometimes a score or theme is so stirring and memorable that the composers become legends known by the mainstream like John Williams (Jaws, Star Wars) and Ennio Morricone (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly). Danny Elfman is well on his way to this lofty status. Millions know his work — primarily the Simpsons theme. The prolific former leader of the cult new wave band Oingo Boingo started earning Hollywood acclaim for his work scoring movies by director Tim Burton. Elfman has composed the exciting music for 2009's Terminator Salvation, the fourth film in the blockbuster science fiction franchise, starring Christian Bale. Brad Fiedel composed the hauntingly memorable synthesizer-based music for 1984's The Terminator and 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Marco Beltrami took the reins for 2003's Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, which featured a more conventional orchestral score and a new take on Fiedel's original theme. Elfman's Terminator Salvation work is also orchestral and contains subtle nods to Fiedel's theme while maintaining a consistent vision. The strings, brass, and percussion superbly reflect the moods of the scenes: relentless action, dramatic tension, and emotional vulnerability. It's the deft little touches Elfman briefly adds here and there that give this music depth, most notably ethereal classical guitar lines, soft piano chords, and sputtering percussion. Elfman has 14 compositions on the Terminator Salvation soundtrack and the most powerful are "Opening," "Broadcast," "The Harvester Returns," "Fireside," "Reveal/The Escape," "Final Confrontation," and "Salvation." The last track is Alice in Chains' harrowing "Rooster" from the band's 1992 album Dirt. It's featured in the movie, much like Guns N' Roses' "You Could Be Mine" was used in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (and again in Terminator Salvation as one of many tips of the hat to the earlier films and their die-hard fans). In the Terminator Salvation soundtrack liner notes, director McG says that he chose "Rooster" "primarily because of the existential feel of the track and for the lyric ‘Ain't found a way to kill me yet.'" Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell wrote "Rooster" as a tribute to his father, a Vietnam War veteran, so there's a parallel with Bale's John Connor character — the human resistance's leader in the war against murderous machines in a post-apocalyptic future. Elfman's richly textured music, topped off by the impact of Alice in Chains' "Rooster," makes the Terminator Salvation soundtrack stand tall on its own as a listening experience.

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Impressive Work...

Never being an Elfman-fan, upon hearing of his involvement with Terminator Salvation, I was more than skeptical he could produce anything epic, let alone fresh. After doing a littel bit of research, a round of applause can be given to McG (the director) for giving Elfman the demand of Terminator's score being of "Wagnerian quality". The score presented here is neither a complex work, in that there's very minimal motifs, nor a simple one -- it lays somewhere in-between. For anyone wondering if Fiedel's themes are used here, well, they are -- if not a little tweaked. The soaring, yet un-orchestral, main theme does not get represented on this score in its full entierty, but altered into a much more militaristic styling that sounds very good and shows up several more times throughout. There are, of course, a few highlights: *Opening - The first half really soars, and introduces Elfman's theme, along with the tweaked original theme -- if they're not the same. *Broadcast - A track seemingly dedicated to the human story, and slowly evolves into a more action/dramatic tone, featuring a militaristic version of the original theme. *Reveal/The Escape - A variety of sounds, Elfman intelligently arranges a series of clanks and cha-chungs for the robots -- also features main theme. *Salvation - Climactic and melancholy, it's a very subtle track then ends with "umph". The rest of the tracks are suited to action, and didn't sound too well -- composition-wise. All Is Lost and The Harvester Returns are full of the throbbing brass that sound great, but the tracks as a whole aren't impressive. Others like Hydrobot Attack seem underdeveloped or rushed, and Serena just too uninvolving. The final track, Rooster, just seems misplaced -- and doesn't sound good. All in all, this is a very good score. Elfman's work is impressive, but could've used a bit more attention to detail regarding motifs, or original themes. Terminator Salvation's score is forgettable in the long run, nothing in it truly sticks out nor is it very original, but nonetheless, it sounds very good.

Where is the original score?

Where is the original theme of terminator they came out in the trailers for this movie, but not for the soundtrack?

Highlight of Elfmans career

This was a very anticipated score and at no point did Elfman let the listeners down. It is an interesting mix of old Elfman and has hints of Planet of the Apes. It is very percussive, giving it an intense and thrilling sound. Other times it is solo guitar playing the theme which is a very neat contrast. This score is not shy on the electronics. However, the electronic elements only add to the scores greatness. At no point does it become annoying or overused. Elfman did a great job keeping the electronics under control. As I said before, there is classic Elfman in this score along with new, creative styles. He never ceases to surprise. Overall, this film was perfect for Elfman. It looks as this was familiar territory to him. The music fits perfectly, knowing when to be in the backgroung and when to shine. I think this is a highlight in Elfmans lucrative career. Buying this should be a no-brainer.


Nacido/a: Amarillo, TX, 29 de mayo de 1953

Género: Bandas sonoras

Años de actividad: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Best known for his work in collaboration with director Tim Burton, composer Danny Elfman created one of the most distinctive bodies of work in contemporary film music, bringing his talents to a dark fantasy world populated by superheroes, monsters and freaks. The son of novelist Blossom Elfman, he was born May 29, 1953 in Amarillo, Texas; raised in Los Angeles, he and brother Richard relocated to France in 1971, where he joined a theatrical group. Elfman subsequently moved on to Africa, returning...
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