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ALIEN RESURRECTION: SOUNDTRACK

CD Soundtrack Review
By Lynden Barber

There's no denying the effectiveness of John Frizzell's score for orchestra and synthesiser in the fourth of the Alien series, unless you're Variety's Todd McCarthy, who strangely found it the only weak aspect. The music makes a major contribution to the palm-sweating capacities of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's thriller, provoking all the adjectives you'd hope to be able to apply to an Alien score - tense, dark, edgy, disturbing, thrilling, otherworldy and intense among them.

Whether or not it's too intense for ready listening on CD is debatable. Certainly the sombre opening minutes, with their odd touch of cloudy atonality (supremely effective in a Gyorgy Ligeti-2001 way) are easier to assimilate than the sonic hysteria that takes over as H.R Giger's acid-drooling monsters go comprehensively ape. Manic, repeated riffing is the go here, massive orchestral blocks of sound wielded as if in an attempt at smashing the listener into submission. It's enough to make Stravinsky's Rite of Spring sound like Handel (and if you really want to test that proposition, a song from Handel's Julius Caesar sung by Maureen Forrester is included as the fourth track).

But then it's safe to assume that anyone buying an Alien soundtrack is prepared for a full-blooded experience. And intensity is always preferable to insipidness. My only grumble is with the recording quality, which doesn't do full justice to the richness of the musical resources.

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ALIEN RESURRECTION ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK

Catalogue number: 090226 68955 2

Label: RCA VICTOR/BMG

RRP: $29.95

Available: All music outlets

Music from the Motion Picture Alien Resurrection.
Music composed & produced by John Frizzell.
Album conducted by Artie Kane.

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