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Star Trek: Music from the Motion Picture [Soundtrack]

Michael Giacchino Audio CD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 18.26 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Description

Product Description

Original soundtrack to the highly anticipated 2009 motion picture. From producer/director J.J. Abrams (Lost, Mission: Impossible: III, and Fringe) comes a new vision of the greatest space adventure of all time, Star Trek, featuring a young, new crew venturing boldly where no one has gone before. Starring Chris Pine as Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock, Simon Pegg as Scotty, with Eric Bana, Winona Ryder and Leonard Nimoy. Michael Giacchino, who has served as J.J. Abrams' musical lieutenant on all his projects, follows the extraordinarily rich musical legacy of Alexander Courage, Jerry Goldsmith, and James Horner, as he boards the Enterprise for her maiden voyage.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
It took two viewings, multiple listenings, and an open mind; I quite like the new Trek and it's various components, notably the soundtrack by Michael Giaccino.

I have been a fan of Trek and especially its scores / soundtracks from my early days in the 70s. Faithfully, I have purchased every soundtrack as it was released concurrently with each film. Even when Next Gen, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise fell into place, I sought the musical releases with anticipation. I have heard 'em all - many times.

Change is paradoxically the only constant in this universe (aside from death and taxes, of course, as the joke goes). Realizing and accepting change is the difficulty for most. Giaccino is change - writing a score for a "reboot" film for a multi-media empire that, arguably, falls short of only Star Wars for enduring legacy and legions of fans. He faced a dilemma: Glean from the past, or boldly venture into a new realm of musical cues and themes. He, most likely with the direction of Abrams, opted for the latter, which is a refreshing development on the Trek frontier.

I listened to this soundtrack many times before seeing the film, as I often do with major fantasty / sci-fi flicks (ie Star Wars). I like to interpret / imagine the story through the notes before I see the actual images. I at first didn't care for this music. It didn't have much linking it to the previous films, save the end credits. Upon further reflection, I now interpret this absence of the traditional Trek fanfare and cues as the "learning curve" for the crew to climactically "graduate" into the recognizable Trek we know where Kirk is finally Captain, with Spock & Bones at his side.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect! April 6 2010
Format:Audio CD
Exactly what I was expecting! The Nero theme gave me chills and I loved the general sweeping epic feel of so many of the tracks. Michael Giacchino once again provides music that is lovely and meaningful with or without the film/tv it's meant for. It compliments and never takes away, and heightens the emotions I felt watching the movie. It was hard not to get choked up listening to "Labor of Love", thinking of Wynonna and George Kirk at the beginning of the movie. Beautiful, beautiful soundtrack and money very well spent. :)
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1 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst Trek Score Ever! May 14 2009
Format:Audio CD
Unfortunately, Michael Giacchino's score for "Star Trek" isn't up to the quality of the rest of the parts of the new Trek film. It is the one thing that really sticks out.

The Nero/villains theme is almost juvenile and the lack of the original fanfare until the end credits shows a lack of respect for the great artists who came before. Where Jerry Goldsmith and James Horner's Trek scores were symphonic masterpieces, this one will soon be buried amongst the most forgettable film scores in history.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  159 reviews
67 of 82 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Giacchino's worst... May 5 2009
By William Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
After repeat listening, the score to the newest installment is catchy, action-packed, a little cheesy and not a bad 44 minutes or so of music.

Is it Goldsmith's Star Trek? No.

Is it Horner's Star Trek? Absolutely not.

Michael Giacchino writes mostly TV and video game scores (a fact I don't hold against him at all, he's a fantastic composer), and this is evident in "Star Trek". Was the opportunity to score an epic, more "film-appropriate" score squandered on J.J. Abrams best music buddy?


Giacchino is hit or miss for me. Some of his work is good, some of it not so much. (I wonder when everyone screams about the "Lost" scores. What's the appeal?) "Star Trek" is in the "good" category, even if "good" usually means "Most of the score is ok save for one or two tracks on EVERY Giacchino CD that are outstanding". Speed Racer had "Grand ol' Prix" and "Reboot". MI:3 had "Bridge Battle". "The Incredibles" had... well, ok, that whole album was great, but it's Pixar.

This CD is mostly "good", with a few "outstanding" tracks, specifically "Enterprising Young Men" and "Nero Death Experience". These two are perfect examples of what happens when Giacchino tries to stir up the listener and does it well. He manages to hit emotional cues and tense action themes and he carries it just long enough to be satisfying but not overwhelming. Other tracks on the CD stand out as well, and there's actually quite a wide variety of themes in this film, but this leads me to what everyone will be arguing about...

Whose Star Trek is this?

Is it Goldsmith? Or Horner, or Courage or Rosenman or any number of composers who have lent their considerable talents trying to create an audible identity for one of the more long-lived science fiction series out there? Depending on what your tastes and who you grew up with, that's going to be a big argument.

What I do know though is this:

"To Boldly Go" and "End Credits" is the reason this CD should be bought. It's Star Trek, plain and simple. If there's one thing Giacchino can do, it's take a theme, scrub it down, rinse it off, dress it up and put it out there for the screams of adoring fans. He's just that good at it, and ending the album with these tracks is the perfect way to reintroduce the old but familiar Star Trek back into cinema.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome soundtrack! Sept. 14 2009
By Claudio Lassala - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I've never been a big Star Trek fan, but wanted to go see the new movie because JJ Abrahms and Zach Quinto were involved in it. I really enjoyed the movie.

One of things that stood out for me was the soundtrack. By the time the movie was done I've made a mental note that I just *had* to get the soundtrack. And so I did. I have been listening to it almost every day since I got it. This is a piece of art on its own.
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beam Mr. Giacchino Up Please! May 7 2009
By G M. Stathis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
How do you follow stellar giants such as Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Alexander Courage, and yes even Leonard Rosenman and Cliff Eidelman in the "Star Trek" film score lexicon? Well, you really can't, but this is the situation that Michael Giacchino has inherited for his score for J.J. Abrams blockbuster film "Star Trek." The result is a more somber approach than expected (with perhaps some echoes of Eidelman's treatment for "Star Trek VI-The Undiscovered Country," and a hint of James Horner), but certainly not a bad effort at all, indeed, it all amounts to a fine soundtrack recording and a solid score for the screen. One suspects that the general complaint will be a missing fanfare opening in the style of the great Jerry Goldsmith, but this is a prequel...and big things have yet to happen. The main theme is solid and works as an emerging heroic theme for James Tiberius Kirk (and the Enterprise) and it appears in various forms throughout the essentially orchestral score including a surprisingly effective combination with the Alexander Courage theme at the very end. The antagonist, Nero, has a distinct motif reminiscent of the TV series, while Spock has a trademark motif as well. There is a good deal to like about what Giacchino has done here and he has left some musical development open, to be continued in a sequel? The best part of all is probably the "End Credits" which is a traditional overture beginning with that nice twist with Courage's theme (listen for a brief return to this at the very end) and continues with all of Giacchino's representative themes and motifs to a big conclusion...yes, big, now things have happened and, we suspect, more is to come. Nicely produced and packaged by Varese.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Score on the block May 10 2009
By Sunfell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
When people think about Star Trek, they generally think about the original score from Alexander Courage, or Goldsmith's Next Generation, or Horner's continually self-referential scores. People tend to expect more of the same- especially with a series as long-lived as Star Trek. And in the trailers, a 'temp track' was used that some people thought was part of the film. Some even hoped that the trailer music would be used. (It was so well received that the company who created it, and specializes in trailer music, retired it.) It is not, and that isn't a bad thing.

I can tell you straight up: this is not the same stuff in a fancy new package. Yes, there is a homage to the original Courage theme, but it is in the end credits. And there are echoes of both Goldsmith and Horners percussion-driven battle music as well. But overall this is a unique new 'sound' for the 'reboot' of Star Trek, and it works. Michael Giacchino creates music that goes with the slam-bang roller-coaster ride that is this movie, and he does a wonderful job. For soundtrack afficionados like me, it was refreshing to get a 'traditional' style soundtrack.

My fears were that with the 'reboot' we'd see a total redo of the soundscape- perhaps a McCreary-esque Battlestar Galactica style use of taiko drums and tons of ethnic instruments. Or perhaps a Hans Zimmer-esque electronic score. Thankfully, those fears were groundless. This is a traditional orchestral score- with minimal use of electronics and maximal use of the strings, brass, percussion and chorus. The new theme for the Enterprise/Kirk is muscular without being bombastic.

The film opens with a prelude- the story of Kirk's birth. Frantic battle-music covers the first part, and then there's a dreamily peaceful theme, "Labor of Love" that plays on top of the poignant remainder of the scene. It is a bit of musical cognitive dissonance that plays quite well. That leads in to the first 'sighting' of the main theme, signalled by a single note trumpet fanfare that leads into the main part of the film.

"Hella Bar Talk" sounds like a lushly romantic salute to John Barry's style of composition, and the title is a pun on Romantic composer Bela Bartok. In fact, the list of titles is full of delightful pun-tiffication, and is, in itself a fun puzzle to solve, if you're inclined to do so.

Standout tracks include "Enterprising Young Men", which plays under the shuttle trip to the brand-new Enterprise. The 'beauty shots' of the ship are well scored here, but not too long.

"Nero Sighted" gives us a theme more for Nero's nasty-looking ship Narada, than for Nero himself, who gets a nice brassy theme, complete with Apocalyptic Chorus towards the end.

Spock (and the Vulcans) are not left out- they are treated with a surprisingly emotional theme in "That New Car Smell", played on the only recognisably 'ethnic' instrument used in the score- a Chinese violin. Giacchino's use of scoring opposite of our expectations works here as it did with the destruction of the Kelvin in the opening scenes.

And in "To Boldly Go", the composer manages to 'stack' the old and the new themes together musically, making them a melded whole before breaking out into Courage's original theme in the closing credits.

All in all, the soundtrack 'fit' with the movie. There were uses of 'outside' music in the film, too, but these tracks were not included on the orchestral track, but are credited on the movie itself. The music served to amplify the overall emotional tone of the film, and give us something both familiar and brand-new at the same time.

While this soundtrack is simply the music from the movie, I can safely say (without giving away spoilers) that the sound design of this movie is one of the best I've heard in a very long time. The audio engineers take full advantage of the surround sound environment, and the sound has a dimensional vividness to it that ought to garner it an Oscar nod. Pay attention in the battle and bridge scenes- they sound very realistic.
51 of 71 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bombastic but no Jerry Goldsmith May 5 2009
By Adam Cohen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
From the opening of Michael Giacchino's score, "Star Trek" reveals itself to be a bombastic musical journey.

As many of you already know "Star Trek" tells the story of the original crew's beginnings, depicting the coming together of James Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy and the other classic heroes of the Starship Enterprise. And with a 43-year history, "Star Trek" has a lot of reference material- including its music.

However, contemporary innovation is the mantra of this production. So, if you are expecting a scaled-up version of the classic series' music, you're going to have to wait until the very end to get your Alexander Courage dosage. But more on that later.

"Star Trek" is dominated by a heroic leitmotif, an arrangement which serves as young Jim Kirk's theme. On first listen, the theme stands out as being absolutely ubiquitous- almost to a fault. Is it a catchy hook or a musical crutch for Giacchino? Or is it both? That depends on your musical taste- but it is the overriding identity of the score. Your love or dislike of this theme will probably determine your overall opinion of the film's music.

The most pleasing version of this theme is the track titled "Labor of Love." Without having seen the film, there's no context for its use as of yet- but one can imagine the Starship Enterprise being pieced together with a teenage Jim Kirk looking on. It's not nearly as soaring as Jerry Goldsmith's legendary "The Enterprise" track from "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," but comparing anything to that composition may be unfair.

"Enterprising Young Men" is another standout piece- this likely playing around the time Kirk and McCoy make their way into outer space, approaching their eventual home for presumably the next several years. This track shares an emotional identity with former-Trek composer James Horner's "Apollo 13" score. It's all about adventure!

How's the action music? Very good. There are trace elements of Alexander Courage and Frank Steiner's original series-style in this new composition. While we (unfortunately) don't get a straight riff on the "Amok Time" fight music, the use of percussion and horns are stylistically in the same vein. The villain theme is reminiscent of John Williams' "Death Star" theme from the original "Star Wars"-- simple and old-Hollywood in style. And Giacchino adds what has become a common choice among composers of late- the "Apocalyptic Chorus." You know the kind of music- it's used in every single action movie trailer (close your eyes and you can see things exploding when you listen to it). You also get some quasi-Middle Eastern wailing found in 90% of Ridley Scott movies since "Gladiator." For "Star Trek" this isn't a bad choice, remember that the original theme song consists of some opera lady singing. But from a critical view, this use of a chorus is a tad trite. By the score's end we arrive at a musical high-point. "That New Car Smell" is a somber yet noble piece. It is quite emotional, progressing towards a rousing finish.

And that leads us to the wrap-up "To Boldly Go" and "End Credits" which finally delve into Alexander Courage's original theme with full force. What may be an unfortunate consequence of Giacchino saving the original theme to the very end is that it feels incongruous with the rest of the score. Sure, there are those elements mentioned above in the action music, but they are subtle and not used frequently. It feels as if there are two identities occupying the same space in this score- and they don't mesh well. Had Giacchino managed to stylize the new music to consistently match the original theme throughout, then this issue might have been avoided. Alternatively, if he had rearranged Courage's music to align with his own composition, the end product would have been more successful.

My expectations for this score were actually very high, which probably colors this review. Giacchino is a superb talent- his work on "The Incredibles," "Mission: Impossible III" and "Ratatouille" are among the best film scores of the last several years. He has imbued his orchestral work with jazz elements in the past, similar to Courage and Steiner from the original series. Giacchino's track record suggested a perfect fit for "Star Trek." While he fails to bridge the movie to the original series in a satisfying way, he has delivered a solid score. I look forward to his work on the inevitable sequel- where I think he will develop his "Trek" identity further. There is a good foundation here, but similar to Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard's work on the Christopher Nolan "Batman" series, sometimes it takes two shots to make a real breakthrough on a property.

Score: 7/10.
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