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Soundtrack review: Twin Peaks archive – volume 2 (Angelo Badalamenti)

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Soundtrack review: Twin Peaks archive – volume 2 (Angelo Badalamenti)

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Previously on Twin Peaks…I reviewed the music from the pilot episode. It’s time now for the music from episodes 1 and 2 of the show…
Once the initial shock of the Pilot episode passed, we started to get to know the inhabitants of Twin Peaks and their habits in the next couple of episodes. A lot of the themes from episodes 1 and 2 are jazzy, focusing on the playful / perverted nature of the characters. The most important theme introduced in this part though is the cool, breezy “Freshly squeezed.”. The title comes from the first dialogue between agent Cooper and flirty Audrey Horne. It is truly a perfect jazz theme, one of the coolest themes you’ll ever hear. Agent Cooper was the coolest character on TV back then, and this is how his superhero theme sounded. I usually don’t like jazz, but “Freshly squeezed” got to me and memories flow when I listen to it. There are three different versions of this theme in the second volume of the archives, each one as cool as the one before.
“Audrey’s dance” also comes in three flavors, and my favorite is the solo Rhodes piano version. It’s not just flirty and playful anymore, it sounds like you should stay away from that girl. Audrey also gets a more serious theme, “Sneaky Audrey (Audrey’s investigation)”, a menacing cue that I discovered only when listening to this complete archive. It’s Twin Peaks mystery at its best. This cue leaves a mark, it’s almost scary.
Leo gets his own theme as well, and it’s suited to the nature of the character:  evil, ominous and unforgiving. Not a trace of hope and goodness can be heard in this cue. “Horne’s theme” is a more mature and versed version of his daughter’s theme. There’s nothing to trust about this guy, and the music expresses just that. “Back to Fat Trout (Unease motif / the woods)” is the scariest cue of the bunch. “Unease” is the right word for how it makes me feel, it’s not a track I could listen to with the lights of. Something threatening is coming after me, and there’s no place to hide.
And then, of course, my favorite themes introduced in the pilot return, dressed differently. “Laura Palmer’s theme (ghost version)” is the most ethereal rendition of this heartbreaking motif, and one of my favorites. I think it understands best what Laura means to the world of Twin Peaks once her body was discovered…Her ghosts and influence still lingers in everyone and this melody will haunt you. Still, this theme sounds best when it’s just the piano, and we get another one of the recording session takes, slower, quieter, and sadder than the rich main version.
The alternate version of the main titles is also more haunting and atmospheric than the original one. I admit I wouldn’t mind listening to an hour of just the main theme played in every possible version. “Love theme” also gets an alternate version right at the end of this section, a more minimal rendition compared to the original. The flute is missing this time, and this makes the theme less heartbreaking for me.
…to be continued…
My ratings:
Cue rating: 76 / 100
Total minutes of excellence: 30 / 62
Album excellence: 48 %
Cues to listen to:
Freshly Squeezed
Laura Palmer’s Theme (Ghost version)
Twin Peaks Theme (alternate)
Laura Palmer’s Theme (Baritone Guitar Punctuation)
Half Speed Orchestra 5 (Leo’s Theme)
Laura Palmer’s Theme (Piano Bridge)
Horne’s Theme
Sneaky Audrey (Audrey’s Investigation)
Laura Palmer’s Theme (Piano A) take 3
Freshly Squeezed (Solo Vibraphone)
Back to Fat Trout (Unease Motif/The Woods)
Love Theme (alternate version)

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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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