August 12, 2008

Album Review: The Clone Wars (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

I'm a Star Wars geek. Regular readers will note that I'm a regular member of the 501st Legion, a group that does Star Wars costuming (I'm a storm trooper), and I've seen each movie numerous times already. So it goes to show that I'm a bit excited for the upcoming Clone Wars movie that's coming out at the end of the week. (Yes, I'll be in armor for it.) Depending on where you are, you'll likely see a couple of our troopers out in force for the movie, especially in the big cities.

With every Star Wars movie comes a Star Wars soundtrack. They're big, bombastic, exciting to listen to and it fits with the entire epic space saga quite nicely. For the Clone Wars, John Williams isn't doing the work, but Kevin Kiner, who's done work for CSI Miami, Enterprise, Stargate SG-1, and a number of other television episodes. The result is mixed. While there are some tracks that absolutely blew me away, such as the B'omarr Monastary, Landing On Teth, there are some that really don't fit with the rest of the soundtrack, such as Obi-Wan to the Rescue, which uses heavy guitars, which just doesn't fit.

What is kind of neat is the branching out of sounds. There's a bit of an eastern sound to some of the tracks, and it's nice to see that Kiner doesn't feel too constrained by the original soundtracks by putting out something that's essentially a repackaged soundtrack. There's some fairly good, creative work here. While that's the case, this soundtrack isn't up to the same level as the soundtracks from A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi. There's no grand themes on the level of The Imperial March or the Main Theme. The tracks support the film (I suspect, I haven't seen it yet) and maintain much of the same environmental feel that reminds you that you are in a Star Wars movie - which is the entire point. The sound here moves the action along, and does so in a timely and precise fashion, and one that's not bad at all.
Overall, it's a fun listen, and if you're a Star Wars fan, you'll like it, but don't be expecting any sort of audio breakthrough when it comes to the sound.

Star Wars Main Title & A Galaxy Divided - Kevin Kiner
Landing on Teth - Kevin Kiner
B'omarr Monastary - Kevin Kiner

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