MUSIC REVIEW: JOHN CARPENTER: JOHN CARPENTER’S LOST THEMES (2015)

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JOHN CARPENTER: JOHN CARPENTER’S LOST THEMES (2015)

As a huge John Carpenter fan, I have gotten used to the idea that 2010’s The Ward may be the last film we see from the semi-retired master director…which meant an even less likely chance of another classic Carpenter film score…or so we thought. Lost Themes is a fun collection of new tracks composed by Carpenter who hasn’t written any published music since the Ghosts Of Mars score back in 2001. It is a collection of nine original tracks and six remixes, of some of those tracks and if you’re a fan of Carpenter’s film scores, you’ll probably have a good time with these. They vary in style and tone and while few really come close to his most classic film music, they certainly do evoke his work and offer a bit of 80s electronic nostalgia, too. The closest the disc comes to his best film scores are the opening track “Vortex” and two later tracks “Abyss” and “Wraith”, those two reminding me of some of his later soundtracks. I don’t think Carpenter was out to reclaim lost glory, though, as much as, just have a creative good time and that comes through on most of the tunes. It’s more music from a man whose film scores are as beloved as many of his films and that’s good enough for me. There is variety and versatility here and while the disc didn’t blow me away like some of his soundtracks, I enjoyed hearing new Carpenter compositions in the master’s style and was quite pleased with it overall. Not a classic disc but, an entertaining one and certainly a heartfelt and nostalgic one. Let’s hope composing gives him the directing bug once more and maybe we will get yet another Carpenter classic to add to his canon. A must for fans of Carpenter’s scores and also of interest to fans of 80s electronic film music like Tangerine Dream and Vangelis.

Track Listing

1. “Vortex”  4:45

2. “Obsidian”  8:24

3. “Fallen”  4:44

4. “Domain”  6:34

5. “Mystery”  4:36

6. “Abyss”  6:07

7. “Wraith”  4:30

8. “Purgatory”  4:39

9. “Night”  3:38

10. “Night (Zola Jesus and Dean Hurley Remix)”  3:40

11. “Wraith (ohGr Remix)” 3:51

12. “Vortex (Silent Servant Remix)” 5:11

13. “Fallen (Blanck Mass Remix)” 6:29

14. “Abyss (JG Thirlwell Remix)” 5:29

15. “Fallen (Bill Kouligas Remix)” 6:15

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