Michael Kamen

X-Men [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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    6
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Oddly enough, while the movie itself stands up very well Michael Kamen's score is very wobbly and unimpressive when heard on its own. There are badly misplaced bursts of pseudo-techno scattered through the action cues, while the main themes sound as though they escaped from a collection of '50s B-horror movies, a link that may be taking the "Children of the Atom" notion just a little too far. Kamen (billed on the front cover with the cutesy "Michael K- Men") never actually seems at sea with the music, rather, he seems to have worked on automatic pilot, a strong possibility considering the compressed schedule he had (the film lost almost six months from its production schedule) and the hint, from listening to the music, that he was working with a small acoustic ensemble bolstered by synthesizers and samplers. There are good points here, however -- while the main X-theme is a gloriously pompous fanfare, there are resounding themes for Wolverine and Rogue, and a haunting theme for Magneto that he establishes in the "Death Camp" cue at the beginning, and reprises thereafter with haunting, high-pitched solo violin. Overall though, the score would have benefited from the absence of most of the electronic elements, which serve only to jar the viewer/listener out of the moment.

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