S T A R T R E K
T H E F I N A L F R O N T I E R
by Jerry Goldsmith
Ten years after Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Jerry Goldsmith returned
to the Trek franchise to score their latest movie. Besides the main
title and Klingon theme, ST5 is basically the opposite of its predecessor,
containing many exciting action moments and some new themes. Even
though it's not as good as ST:TMP, ST5 has its moments, including some
rousing statements of the main theme, development of the Klingon theme,
and the lyrical "Busy Man" theme. Unfortunately this CD basically
mangles Goldsmith's score, omitting a new theme for Spock's brother and
having a tiny, mixed-up portion of the score. (Can we say expanded release?)
Track by Track Analysis:
1. The Mountain (3:53)
For the main title, Jerry gives us his signature version of the the
march theme, updated from ST:TMP. This orchestration is more spacious,
noble, and leisurely. After the truncated main title, we get a charming,
down-to-earth melody completely disconnected from the rest of the score.
2. The Barrier (2:53)
This introduces Goldsmith's somewhat overused three note Barrier motif,
also a large aspect of Star Trek: First Contact. "The Barrier" alternates
grand versions of this motif with quieter, suspense moments. Following
this is the introduction of the somewhat-hokey Busy Man theme, played on
the synths. One of the best moments is his interpolation of Alexander
Courage's Star Trek fanfare over the theme.
3. Without Help (4:21)
The first of Jerry's rip-roaring action setpieces, he incorporates
a new action motif (actually a portion of Sybok's theme), a wistful version
of the main march, the Barrier motif, and finally, the Klingon theme.
One of the underlying motifs in the whole score is rising glissandis in
the strings, evident in this and the main and end titles. About halfway
through the track, we get my favorite statement of the main theme, a rousing
action fanfare. Following a humorous interlude with pizzicato strings,
we get a grand version of the Klingon theme, an action statement of the
main march, and one last Klingon theme statement.
4. A Busy Man (4:42)
This develops his Busy Man theme, beginning with mysterious low brass
and strings, adding celeste, and finally stating the aforementioned theme
on synths. Following the first part of the theme, Goldsmith pulls
off one of his most subtle and interesting thematic incorporations: while
the corny Busy Man continues to play, he inserts the first few notes of
the Klingon theme. It's so subtle, it's possible to miss it if you're
not actually listening. After that little distraction, we finally
get a full orchestral version of the Busy Man theme, and the track ends.
5. Open the Gates (3:02)
Opening with a huge string cadence, we get a driving version of the
action motif from track 3 with bouncing percussion. Basically, for
the rest of the cue, Goldsmith continues to build on this, adding instruments,
increasing in volume, and finally ending on a superb cadence. Not
to be missed.
6. An Angry God (6:58)
This opens with mysterious strings and the Barrier motif. As
the alien forms, we hear an ominous string arpeggio reminiscent of ST:TMP,
leading up to a huge statement of the Barrier motif. Most of the
rest is more Busy Man theme. It turns sinister as Kirk & Co.
realize that the God imitation is just another malignant alien. We
get some horrific statements of the Barrier motif later.
7. Let's Get Out of Here (5:15)
On the album, this is the last action cue. It opens with some
variations on the Barrier motif, leading to a small statement of the Klingon
theme, followed by more Barrier, followed by more Klingon (see a pattern
here?) This is how most of the track is sequenced.
8. Free Minds (3:19)
Opening with the Star Trek: Insurrection trailer music, this is as
close as we get to actually hearing Sybok's theme on the album. Played
by mysterious clarinets and oboe, it segues into some weird electronic
9. Life is a Dream (3:59)
Jerry gives us his standard main theme/new theme/main theme credits.
This time, the Klingon theme is in the middle. He incorporates the
rising string glissandos heard earlier, and the acoustics on this are almost
as good as those in Star Trek: Insurrection (which is the best version
of his theme so far, with all that reverb.) BTW, this was too short
to be used in the film, so they tracked in some material from "A Busy Man"
to fill the gaps.
After writing this review, I've come to realize just how short this
album is, and how much good music it leaves off. The score is one
of Jerry's best, and desperately cries out for an expanded edition.
The performance is A-OK, and so is the sound quality.
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This review is Copyright 1999 by Andrew Drannon.
Opinions are not those of Tripod. Star Trek V is copyright 1989 by
Epic. Its appearance is for non-profit use, blah, blah, blah.