Alias by Michael Giacchino available at Amazon.com

 

 

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Alias (Television Soundtrack) by Michael Giacchino

"More Spy Games?"
Review by Steve Townsley

 

Alias (Television Soundtrack) by Michael Giacchino

Alias
8/10

Buy A.I. Articificial Intelligence (Soundtrack) by John Williams from Amazon.com

Composer Michael Giacchino
Composer 
Michael Giacchino


 

Category    Score

Originality 6
Music Selection 8
Composition 8
CD Length 9
Track Order 8
Performance 8
Final Score 8/10
 


 

Real Audio Clips

 
 
 
 

 

Quick Quotes



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music composed by Michael Giacchino
Main Title composed by J. J. Abrams
Orchestrated by Michael Giacchino, Chris "A.C." Tilton
Conducted by Tim Simonec
Performed by The Hollywood Studio Symphony
Released by Varese Sarabande on November 18th, 2003

I’m going to say straight off the bat that not everyone is going to like this CD. I would like to believe that you, the reader, would, if only to recognize Alias as a popular show infused with fantastic talent in every aspect. Part James Bond, part Indiana Jones, part La Femme Nikita, Alias (9 p.m., eastern, Sunday night, ABC) offers one of the most exciting hours of viewing on television, always keeping its’ viewers guessing from week to week which turn the plot will take. Jennifer Garner stars as double agent Sydney Bristow, supported by an equally capable supporting cast of unique and dynamic characters. This is a show that’s not afraid to change the whole world of the show by the end of the episode, and on more than one occasion, they do. Often the lightning pace of the action sequences are shown in a kind of flash-forward sequence, and such motion in the plot requires a dynamic score. Enter Michael Giacchino.

Like Alias’ Sydney Bristow, Giacchino has managed to move successfully up through incredible speed through the public awareness, all while wearing different wigs. (Sydney, literally, Giacchino figuratively.) Most known for his groundbreaking contribution to the Medal of Honor video game series, Giacchino is one of the most talented new composers of this entertainment century, and I’m certain he has much further to go. If you, like myself, recognize this, I’m sure listening to Alias could be a real treat. However, if you’re looking for something epic and grandiose like Giacchino’s Medal of Honor series, you should save your dollars and hold out for Secret Weapons Over Normandy (to be released later this year.) Personally, it’s thrilling just to finally see a mainstream release by Giacchino on a notable label. More please!

Now, how is Alias unlike Giacchino’s earlier work? Smaller scale, more intimate, faster, electronically enhanced—any of your choice of the preceding. Alias moves. The CD covers a series of highlight cues from the entire first season of Alias, most of which are action cues, but not all. Alias (the series and the CD) is commendable for maintaining emphasis on the dramatic elements as well as the action elements, and there are a handful of tender and pensive moments within the score, as well. This is brought on early by a brief snippet heard at the end of track 2, “Dissolved”, but better elaborated upon a few tracks later in “Double Life” (track 5) Track 5. There are many softer moments—some emotional, some suspensefully tense--throughout the CD, and a nice balance is struck with the action. The creepy strings of “The Tooth Doctor” (track 20) single out a memorable moment.

Now some controversial moments—the use of percussive dialogue! Not so much dialogue snippets, as just the presence of words, used in a traditional techno-like fashion. For example, track 11 (“On to Paris”) has a looped bit: ”I advise you….I advise you” I wouldn’t say it’s intrusive---if you’re used to it. Also beware of track 23 (“Ball Buster”) which starts out hard and edgy, but ends with strong orchestral writing. The neat thing is that despite on most occasions the heavy electronic rhythms are laid on the track, there is always some moment of orchestral redemption thrown in to keep the action and drama strong. Giacchino really manages to drive the music forward, particularly the techno-bits, which keep this album listenable, instead of being merely a dance-club trance. Better than most efforts, at techno-scoring, I’d say, on the whole. But again, if this isn’t your cup of tea, well…best to steer clear.

Also noteworthy, and I’m going to throw include it here: the Main Title (track one) Track 1--A short but memorable action number, composed by the series creator, J.J. Abrams. Fans of the show, and those who have been clamoring for a release should be very satisfied. On the whole, the album is pleasing for those looking for a good “spy music” album, that is also story-driven, not merely action bits. A well done album.


Track Listing and Ratings

 Track

Title Time

 Rating

1 Main Title Track 1 0:27  ***
2 Dissolved 2:10  ***
3 Red Hair is Better 2:31  ***
4 Spanish HeistTrack 4 4:30  ****
5 Double Life Track 5 4:11  ****
6 Tunisia 2:29  ***
7 In the Garden 2:54  ***
8 Looking for a Man 3:53  **
9 Anna Shows Up 3:30  ***
10 Home Movies 0:40  ****
11 On to Paris 1:48  **
12 Page 47 1:54  ***
13 The Prophecy 2:09  ****
14 Badenweiler 5:10  ***
15 Arvin at the Poles 1:39  ***
16 Sleeping Beauty 3:08  **
17 Blow’d Up 2:29  **
18 It’s Not the C.I.A. 3:18  **
19 Oh My God!!!! 3:18  ***
20 The Tooth Doctor 2:00  ***
21 It Was Anna 0:59  ***
22 Wet Suits 2:38  **
23 Ball Buster 1:39  **
24 The End? Track 24 0:57  ****
25 Bristow & Bristow 2:38  ***
  26 SD-6 Dance Party 3:26  ***  
 

Total Running Time

64:54  

Alias by Michael Giacchino

*The Experience-O-Meter displays the track to track listening experience of this soundtrack based on the 5-Star rating given to each track.  It provides a visual depiction of the ebbs and flows of the CD's presentation of the soundtrack.

 

Referenced Reviews
 Medal of Honor  |  Medal of Honor: Underground  |  Medal of Honor: Frontline

 

 

 

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