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Soundtrack review: Star Trek (Michael Giacchino, 2009)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Star Trek (Michael Giacchino, 2009)


I got on the Star Trek ship late. I enjoyed watching “The next generation”, and I didn’t know Spock and Captain Kirk. As for the movies, I hadn’t seen any of them until the 2009 reboot which I absolutely loved. I loved the action, the characters, the rhythm of the movie, it was spectacular and intense.  The movie was smart, well written, excellently paced and acted. When the movie was over though, all I had in mind were the explosive main theme and the end credits. They were thundering and rolling in my mind, giving me goose bumps and making me want to listen to them again and again. I watched the beginning of the movie a few more times just to quench my thirst for the new main theme. It sounded unbelievable to me…it was epic, heroic, a bonanza of orchestral energy; it was exciting and fresh, so suited for Star Trek and space adventures…I was jumping for joy like a kid listening to this theme, coming from afar and building up until it exploded in my ears. I actually got the sensation of launching into space at full speed!
 I was very happy to discover that Michael Giacchino had written the score, because I enjoy getting strong and permanent confirmations from my favorite composers.  And what he did with the Star Trek theme and sound is similar to what John Ottman had done for Superman: he paid homage to the original theme (just listen to “To boldly go”and the end credits suite, an amazing blend of old and new) and enriched them with his new ones. The new main theme, the Vulcan theme and Nero’s theme (a sound for a driver and relentless villain) have an identity of their own and will no doubt be regarded among the finest themes or the Star Trek universe in years to come.
For me, “Nero death experience” and “That new car smell” are the pillars on which this score stands tall. Aside from the beautiful beginning and perfect, dreamy ending, these two cues make the entire score. They are powerful, thrilling action tracks that serve the relentless pace and the madness on screen and are a constant presence in my speed work running sessions.
The new Star Trek score is like the super energetic and always happy friend that comes to your house and cheers you up no matter how you might feel. It doesn’t take him long to get your energy level up just like getting out in the fresh, chilly air and just…waking up. This score does this to me every time, and I love it.  
My ratings:
Cue rating: 84 / 100
Total minutes of excellence: 36 / 45
Album excellence: 79%
Cues to listen to:
Star Trek
Labour of love
Enterprising your men
Nero sighted
Does it still McFly
Nero Death Experience
Nero Fiddles, Narada Burns
Back From Black
That New Car Smell
To Boldly Go
End Credits
Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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