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Wing Commander

Track List:
  1. Overture 3:36
  2. Pod Scene 1:53
  3. Torpedo Kilrathi 3:31
  4. Pilgrims 1:50
  5. Rescued :55
  6. Into the Quasar 2:45
  7. Bad Descision/Blair 1:27
  8. Angel's Story 1:47
  9. The Fleet 1:07
  10. Briefing/Tricked 2:15
  11. Hot Dogs 1:21
  12. Diligent Arrives 2:34
  13. The Gift/Skipper Missile 3:26
  14. Kilrathi Into Scylla 2:28
  15. Big Damn Ending 2:09

Total Time: (37:32)

Composed by:
Kevin Kiner

Main Theme by:
David Arnold

Orchestrated by:
Nicholas Dodd

Conducted by:
Nicholas Dodd

Wing Commander taught me a very valuable lesson: massive orchestrations and a loud performance mean very little if there's no heart. And this score simply has no heart. It has everything that one would *think* it takes to have an incredible score: a memorable, patriotic theme, unending vigor and relentlessly enthusiastic brass writing, which is unfortunately overshadowed by the lack of interesting or original ideas. In fact, this CD is basically just a collection of orchestrations rather than serious orchestral writing. Normally this wouldn't bother me so much *if* it was solo David Arnold, but Kiner is simply not as good a composer and his loud orchestration lacks the complexity that has been set forth by Arnold not just in the main theme, but in his score for Independence Day which Kiner is obviously attempting to emulate.

That's not to say that the soundtrack isn't worth it though. There is little doubt in my mind that Arnold's theme as heard in the main title makes this album worth the trouble if you can find it used somewhere. As with any major Arnold theme of the 1990s, it is rousing and memorable, though maybe not *quite* as memorable as, say, his theme to Stargate, and it doesn't come close to matching the memorability of the main theme to ID4. Nevertheless, Arnold's knack for writing brassy tunes speaks for itself. Just listen to any of his other scores to see what I mean, though I highly doubt at this point that any film score enthusiast would not own at least *one* Arnold score by now ;-).

To say the least, this score has a captivating main theme. To say the most, this score's creativity ends as soon as the main title comes to a close, with nothing to make up for it but straight forward action music which has been heard in one form or another by everyone at some point. So, fortunately, the disc is fairly short at only 37 minutes. The movie itself was a horrendous flop that failed to capture the spirit of the games and consequently the essence of fun. The score comes closer than the film, but it still misses the mark by a long shot, and even a "Big Damn Ending" can't make up for it.

Wing Commander is Copyright 1999 Sonic Images Records. This review is written by and is the property of Isaac Engelhorn and does not reflect the opinions of Tripod.