Deep Blue Sea
- "This is not your father's 'Jaws'..."
- Release date: 1999-08-24
- Catalog number: 302-066-063-2
- Retail price: $17.99
- Publisher: Varese Sarabande
One disc (30 minutes)
- Susan Softens
- Hunting in Packs
- Jim Returns
- Shark Side
- Doctors Orders
This is not your father's 'Jaws'...
Reader review by Eric Bowling (2000-06-20)
Deep Blue Sea is a motion picture score that is truly unique from others in its genre. It comes from composer Trevor Rabin, best known for his rock guitar heavy scoring work on scores such as "Enemy of the State", "The Rock", and "Con Air", who delightfully surprises with a score that has many more orchestral elements in it to temper the synthesized ones. There are only a few melodies through the album, the best being in "Aftermath" and "Doctors Orders". It's alienating to the senses with its combination of so many kinds of musical sources used in conjunction with each another. The movie itself was about technology (genetically enhanced sharks) versus man, and in the soundtrack we get a dichotomy of technological synthesizers and the man-made sounds of the L.A. Master Chorale. This isn't your father's "Jaws". In some ways it is much better.
The songs on the CD are not in the order as they appear in the movie. In fact, as best as I can tell, the first track "Aftermath" is the closing credits music. "Aftermath" is also the best single track on the CD, and one of the best choral works I've ever heard, with a beautiful synthesized piano opening the piece, followed by horns and synthesized strings. There's a simply beautiful guitar solo meshed with the chorus, ending the track with a brief orchestral/choral flourish. The solemn piano makes several appearances throughout the album, along with the theme presented, which helps to cement the album together and add cohesion. "Susan Softens" takes the melody from "Aftermath" and makes it even more subdued and relaxing, giving it an almost romantic aura.
The mood of the album picks up tempo and intensity, starting halfway through "Journey", which kicks in with the aquatically aligned chants of the L.A. Master Chorale and pounding percussion along with soothing synthesized strings and horns. It gains in intensity quickly from there, exploding, the chorus screaming while a steadily increasing synthesized string accompaniment rhythmically beats into an animalistic fury. Then a very strange whistling is heard, punctuating the alienation effect that the music has on your senses. It is heard many times throughout the album, and the L.A. Master Choir is almost always there for it.
Deep Blue Sea is somewhat an aquatic cousin to the album "Biohazrd Symphony: Crime and Punishment" in its execution. There will be soothing, peaceful segments that are suddenly, horribly destroyed by the musical cataclysm that represents the attacking sharks. You can tell exactly when in the soundtrack the sharks appear by the sudden synth flourishes that sometimes knock you out of your seat, they're so sudden and effective. It is as if sharks are trying to eat their way through your speakers, and it can be very scary. "Anarchy" is just that, complete anarchy. It starts out with a blaring shark attack in synth brass and percussion, then segues into an excellent melodic theme with violins, horns, and sharp percussion strikes, glissading downward and upward in intensity several times before an appearance by the chorus, which ends the song amidst a catacophy of synth instrument flourishes. The track is one of the best on the album, and one that can best be characterized as a chase theme.
The big highlight of the album is the choral elements provided by the L.A. Master Chorale. The complete opposite of the synthesized elements, music-wise, the very live and mystical chorus adds the real life to this album. An added bonus is that the synthesizers that Rabin uses in "Deep Blue Sea" are really high quality and sound just like a real orchestra. Those of you who thrive off the high powered synths in "Final Fantasy V: Dear Friends" will find even more to love here in the sheer flexibility and ingenuity of Rabin's work. I was so surprised by this album, in that it had a way of evoking imagery and emotion in a way that no other album ever has. If you're an orchestral purist then you should definitely stay away, but if you're into more experimental, off-the-beaten-path type mood music, then Deep Blue Sea is a must have. It'll get your blood pumping!