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Star Trek: Generations - Soundtrack

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Genre: Soundtrack / Artist: Various / Audio CD released 1999-10-01 at Gnp

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      30.11.2007 18:55
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      Warp Factor 7, I don't know how long I can hold her together, Capt'n.

      After Star Trek VI put an end to the original crew features in 1991, it was only a matter of time before the Next Generation people entered their movie phase. This was finally accomplished in 1994 as The Next Generation TV series was cancelled and the whole franchise was about to go through a major revamping, which may also have been partly influenced by the new Star Trek series Deep Space Nine that started out in 1993, making it necessary to stop the older show from hogging the spotlight or using the money better spent on the newer series. The Next Generation TV series, to all intents and purposes, saw its final end with the Generations feature film. Star Trek: Generations (this time dropping the specification that this is the seventh film) is a problematic piece for a number of reasons. The most obvious, of course, is the fact that its real function is not to offer a Next Generation film, but more a conclusion to the old format of the Star Trek universe introduced in the TV series. This makes the entire film feel more like an extended TV episode, very much thanks to employing the same cast and crew who had been involved in making the series for the past seven years. Secondly, the plot is extremely contrived and has large sections in it that defy any reasonable logic, the most notable being the employment of the Nexus, a strange phenomena traveling across the universe and apparently granting the dearest and most pleasant wishes and memories to anybody who gets caught in it. Among these people are Malcolm McDowell's Dr. Tolian Soran, who will stop at nothing to get back there and experience the bliss he once had the pleasure to feel, and Captain James T. Kirk, who gets sucked in it during a rescue operation in the beginning of the film, only to be found by Jean-Luc Picard some 80 years later in a scene that omits large portions from the plot and requires you to really close your eyes from the gaping holes. On the whole the film Generations has some major flaws in it and comes across rather more as a transitionary film rather than one planned to stand on its own without any knowledge of the preceding series.

      Following along with the production crew also came composer Dennis McCarthy, who was one of the primary composers working on the series. McCarthy has never really been able to expand beyond television scoring and Generations is one of his few works for film that he has at least become somewhat known from. As such, his past as a TV composer is clearly evident in the score for Generations. The album kicks off in high style with the "Star Trek: Generations Overture", that is actually the end credits, presenting the primary themes of the film, the first signifying the two captains in the story, being a stridently energetic and optimistic melody that is very enjoyable, though I can't really explain why it took me about 18 first listens to actually remember it, while sandwiched in between the main theme is the Nexus theme, an ethereal and serene choral piece that sounds as if it is originating from a dream (as is appropriate), but which again doesn't make for a truly profound impact. To me this is one of the most basic flaws of the score, that regardless there are some truly good ideas presented here, none of it really feels anything particularly special or memorable, which makes the score sound more like a bolstered up TV episode score. The actual "Main Title" sequence has to be one of the most quiet ever in a Star Trek film that languidly introduces the main thematic material, finally building to a great presentation of Alexander Courage's original TV theme (one of the best such performances in a Star Trek film). The ensuing "The Enterprise B/Kirk Saves the Day" is a highlight of the entire score in providing an action sequence that relies more on the main thematic material in a more exciting guise than roughly anywhere else during the course of the film. Past that point, however, the score really does nothing much but meander between some more dissonant action outings with a lot of orchestra hits and cymbal clashes ("Outgunned", "Out of Control/The Crash", "The Final Fight") and more suspenseful underscore that fails to make much of an impression once removed from the film.

      The most interesting of these inner cues is really "The Nexus/A Christmas Hug" where Picard finds himself in the Nexus and amid the family he might have had in another reality. This cue extends the ethereal Nexus theme to its fullest potential, though one must admit the ensuing seven minutes is a bit pushing it. Regardless of that it still makes for a fine listen and one to be used as a lullaby of sorts for fazing out of this reality (indeed, after a while I felt like being on some weird acid trip). The main theme itself doesn't really get to be played that much in any grandiose performances outside of "Jumping the Ravine" that accompanies Kirk riding a horse over some expansive scenery shots and makes you perk up a bit. The cue entitled "Kirk's Death" (nice spoiler there), on the other hand, is a cue that is quietly respectful but fails to generate much feeling that such a moment would really demand, making it a real disappointment when it comes to making a meaningful statement of the passing of a major Star Trek character. The epilogue-like "To Live Forever" makes for a generally uninteresting finale to the album, which is why I normally like to arrange the "Overture" to its proper place for a more well-rounded conclusion. The album of GNP Crescendo gives a very good representation of the score and frankly I for one don't feel like the need to get any more music past the 45 minutes offered. The album is capped off by a string of special sound effect cuts that don't really have any value at all, unless you want a soundbank of familiar Star Trek sounds, like doors opening and transporter beams jingling. As a whole, Star Trek: Generations is a strange score to rate. At one part it offers really nothing of great interest to the Star Trek score canon, but is not a total disaster and indeed has its own little charms. But in the end, this score is just too uninspired and ultimately forgettable to thrill a listener for that many repeat listens, which is not helped by a generally limp performance, despite good digital sound and a sizeable orchestra. Functional, but generally just a bit bland (like the film).

      A perfect iTunes purchase for the interesting bits.


      1. Star Trek: Generations Overture (4:14)
      2. Main Title (2:55)
      3. The Enterprise B/Kirk Saves the Day (3:13)
      4. Deck 15 (1:41)
      5. Time is Running Out (1:12)
      6. Prisoner Exchange (2:57)
      7. Outgunned (3:21)
      8. Out of Control/The Crash (2:07)
      9. Coming to Rest (0:57)
      10. The Nexus/A Christmas Hug (7:07)
      11. Jumping the Ravine (1:37)
      12. Two Captains (1:32)
      13. The Final Fight (6:15)
      14. Kirk's Death (2:45)
      15. To Live Forever (2:42)
      16-38. Sound Effects Suite

      Music Composed and Conducted by Dennis McCarthy
      Orchestrations by Dennis McCarthy, Mark McKenzie, William Ross, Brad Warnaar & Dennis Yurosek
      Music Recorded and Mixed by Robert Fernandez
      Recorded at Paramount Pictures Scoring Stage M
      Music Editor: Stephen M. Rowe
      GNP Crescendo, 1994 (GNPD 8040)

      © berlioz, 2007

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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 Star Trek: Generations (Overture)
      2 Main Title
      3 Enterprise B/Kirk Saves the Day
      4 Deck 15
      5 Time Is Running Out
      6 Prisoner Exchange
      7 Outcunned
      8 Out of Control/The Crash
      9 Coming to Rest
      10 Nexus/A Christmas Hug
      11 Jumping the Ravine
      12 Two Captains
      13 Final Fight
      14 Kirk's Death
      15 To Live Forever
      16 Enterprise B Bridge
      17 Enterprise B Doors Open
      18 Distress Call Alert
      19 Enterprise B Helm Controls
      20 Nexus Energy Ribbon
      21 Enterprise B Deflector Beam
      22 Enterprise B Warp Pass-By
      23 Enterprise D Transporter
      24 Tricorder
      25 Hypo Injector
      26 Communicator Chirp
      27 Door Chime
      28 Enterprise D Warp Out #1
      29 Bird of Prey Bridge/Explosion
      30 Klingon Sensor Alert
      31 Bird of Prey Cloaks
      32 Bird of Prey De-Cloaks
      33 Klingon Transporter
      34 Soran's Gun
      35 Soran's Rocket de-Cloaks
      36 Shuttlecraft Pass-By
      37 Enterprise D Bridge/Crash Sequence
      38 Enterprise D Warp Out #2