The Last Starfighter Soundtrack by Craig Safan (CD soundtrack review)

July 30, 2015 | By | Reply More

As this album starts, the similarities to soundtracks from films like ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Indiana Jones’ are undeniable and you half expect it to turn into a John Williams score. There’s a triumphant feel with the brass section taking the lead, complemented by a miscellany of strings, woodwind and percussion. It’s an exciting opening that immediately gets you looking forward to the rest of the album and, of course, the rest of the movie.

LastStarfighterCD

As we move into the second track, ‘Alex Dreams’, the brass section tones it down to allow some appropriately dreamy and ethereal woodwind notes to float out, switching to light strings to keep it interesting. The contrast between these opening two tracks sets the stage for the rest of the album, with nice variation in pace, volume and style to match the different scenes in the film.

‘Centauri Into Space’ adds in a whimsical note and has elements of electronic-sounding music. It’s a jaunty little track that jumps about from triumphant marching sounds to much softer legato sections. It blends in some sinister bass notes and then transitions to the tinkle of chimes without a moment’s pause. This track is an orchestral adventure all by itself!

‘Big Victory March’ delivers pretty much exactly what you’d expect from its title, with strong percussion and brass really giving the feel of a marching band in a big victory parade.

‘Victory Or Death’, on the other hand, was completely different to what I expected. It’s a contemplative little piece with a quiet, almost sad woodwind tune over a subtle background of strings and the occasional hint of brass. From the title, I thought it was going to be a battle sequence…

Throughout the variations in this album, we keep returning to the themes that were introduced in the opening track. I think this is really important, as it gives the soundtrack an identity and you’ll find this repetition in all the most popular movie soundtracks. I think it is done quite well in this soundtrack as it comes together as a very coherent album, but a bit more variety in the style of these recurring themes would enhance it.

What I love about this album is the way that Craig Safan really shows off the full range of the orchestra. The strings are often in the background and the full range of wind and percussion instruments are displayed beautifully from flutes to timpani, bringing in the tuba and chimes to highlight different emotions throughout the album.

Perhaps the best compliment of all I can give to this album is that it really sells the film. I hadn’t seen ‘The Last Starfighter’ before I encountered this album, but I’m now very much looking forward to cracking open the popcorn and sitting down for what I know is going to be an entertaining movie.

Vinca Russell

July 2015

(pub: Intrada Records. 1 cd 22 tracks 63 minutes. Price: $20.99 (US), £26.77 (UK). ASIN: B000000O71)

check out website: http://store.intrada.com/

Category: Music/Audio, Scifi

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