Monday, August 8, 2011

OST Lowdown: X-Men First Class

Some of you might remember when I begged for some new soundtrack suggestions. It was sad and pitiful, but I got some great suggestions. Then I was lucky enough to get one of the early Spotify accounts and it became a whole lot easier to find something good without forking any money over.

So I decided to create a new blog feature: the OST Lowdown. What does that mean? Well, OST is a common acronym for Original Soundtrack. Make more sense? As I listen to new soundtracks, I'm going to be sharing my thoughts on them and how they might work for you guys as writers. I don't have a musical bone in my body, so my opinion is super unprofessional, but it should be fun anyway.

And the X-Men are our first contenders!
Album details--composer, number of songs, etc, etc?
Well, the composer is Henry Jackman, and there are 20 tracks that range anywhere from a minute and half to nearly five minutes long. But I'm not going to list them here. Get the full details on Amazon.

What are your favorite tracks and why?
First Class--Main theme, which means it's suitably epic
Frankenstein's Monster--Dark and a little eerie
X-Training--Dramatic montage sequence music
Rage and Serenity--Love how it slowly builds up
Coup D'├ętat--Eerie and ethereal at the same time

So, from a writing standpoint?
I'd suggest this soundtrack for a story with action and a darker undertone. Mostly because of a recurring piece of music that I think of as the "Magneto Theme." It's predominant in Frankenstein's Monster, but threads of it show up ALL OVER THE PLACE. Even in softer songs. And many of the songs it doesn't show up it--like action sequence tracks--also depend on harsher, electronic sounds.

And your overall impression?
Not my favorite. Probably because of the main themes. They're a powerful combination of orchestral and electronic, and they make the soundtrack, but I can't say they stood out as anything particularly special. It doesn't help that they show up a lot and relatively unaltered. To the point where I felt like I could listen to certain tracks on repeat and get all of the feeling I wanted/needed from the music. That's not to say that many of the pieces aren't lovely, because they are, I just wanted variation.