Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Score Review: LOST - Season 3: Disc Two (Michael Giacchino)

As Season 3 was released in a two-disc set, and I'm fairly sure I have OGD (Obsessive Giacchino Disorder), I have decided to split the Season 3 review into two parts. This second part covers the second disc, appropriately enough, which includes music from Episode 21 (Greatest Hits) and Episodes 22 & 23 (Through The Looking Glass) of Season 3.

After the slump in general quality that was evident in the first half of Season 3, LOST noticeably picked up in these last few episodes. Because of this, Varese Sarabande decided to place the complete scores for the last 3 episodes of the season onto a second disc. However, whilst this is admirable in writing, the final result is one of the lesser releases for this TV show, both due to the below-average sound quality of the CD itself and the fact that there are far more worthy episode scores that should have recieved this treatment.

This is the only LOST Soundtrack disc that I have been underwhelmed by, and I very rarely listen to it as a whole. Because of the importance of the Others within the plot of the episode, we recieve an abundance of variations on the Other's Theme. However, this theme was adequately represented in the first disc of the Season 3 Soundtrack and so many of the variations come across as entirely unnecessary. Due to the fact that two of these three episodes are also Jack-centric, we are given a ridiculous number of variations on his themes as well, many of which were (again) covered in Disc One, and are (again) entirely redundant.

Due to the nature of this recording, many of the tracks are only a few seconds long, and the frequent ad break cliff-hanger cues become all the more obvious because of this format.

Now for the good stuff.

One character that has not received masses of thematic attention previously is Charlie, and before his noble death in the season finale we are treated to a number of variations on his Love and Temptation themes in the score for 'Greatest Hits', the final Charlie-centric episode. Of the tracks included, 'Ta-Ta Charlie' and 'Greatest Hits' are my undoubted highlights.

This release also includes possibly one of my favourite thematic developments in the entire show halfway through 'Act Now, Regret Later', whereby Hurley's playful running theme suddenly goes Santa-Rosa mental as he stages his heroic VW Bus rescue mission.

The other standout track is 'Flashforward Flashback' which is perfectly mysterious and emotional at the same time.

Overall, this release has some interesting variations on previously established thematic ideas, but it suffers from over-familiarity. I can't help but feel that the Season 4 finale would have made better use of such a release. This CD is also pretty much a raw recording from the episodes, meaning that the sound quality when turned up is relatively poor, with a musician audibly shuffling their sheet music or dropping their cello down the stairs every 10 seconds or so.

Rating: 6.8

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