When Mortal Kombat first came out, I fell in love with much of the music. Not the songs with lyrics, but the instrumental pieces. This was before I realized I was a soundtrack junkie. In my search for a few certain songs, I got overly excited when I saw the Mortal Kombat Original Soundtrack and got it. I soon realized this wasn’t what I was looking for, but it had about half of the movie stuff, so I just went with it. Besides, I couldn’t ever find the score, so I supposed it had never been made.
Apparently the score writer, George S. Clinton did have all his work together and someone did release the score the same year – I just never saw it or had a way to search for it. That was 12 years ago. I haven’t lost my love for the music, and when the thought popped into my head to try looking for the score, lo and behold, I found it. Miracles do happen kids.
1.) A Taste of Things to Come (1:22) - Plenty of drums start us off. This is exactly like in the other soundtrack, except without Shang Tsung speaking the title of the track.
2.) Liu vs. Sub Zero (2:21) - Took me a while to figure out where I knew this from. Much of this was in the Final Kombat (last track) of the soundtrack. Guess George Clinton just recycled the piece from here to that part of the movie.
3.) It Has Begun (1:40) - THAT’S IT! This is the song I’d been looking for ever since I saw the movie. Once the boats arrive from Earth to Outworld, there are some unique drums and a sort of jingling, sparkling sound with bells and other clangy instruments. Some may be electronic for all I know, but I don’t care. I love it, even if it is short.
4.) The Garden (1:18) - Pretty garden, no? With bells that sound warped and a low flute (that may or may not be wooden), things seem a little tensed, but mostly okay. Watch your sound for when Reptile pops up.
5.) Goro vs. Art (3:01) - Goro’s trademark music, beating sounds alternating with the semi-screechy guitar. This is the exact same piece as on the soundtrack. It’s good, but after a while it can annoy you and there have been many occasions where I simply skipped ahead to stop the repetitiveness.
6.) Banquet (1:18) - Another song I’ve been missing for years. The title explains exactly where we are in the music, with some great percussion, bells, and that little flute to show off Kitana. It’s short, but sweet. Gotta love those bells.
7.) Liu vs. Kitana (1:36) More drums, though a little bit lighter, and Kitana’s woodwind. Fast when they fight, quiet when they speak. Rather like a dance, if I do say so.
8.) Liu’s Dream (1:30) - From the very beginning, the battle between Liu’s brother and Shang Tsung. I like the crawly underlying electronic noises, and this rolls right along until it reaches that dangerous high point you knew it would – Liu’s bro doesn’t make it.
9.) Liu vs. Reptile (1:26) - You knew there would be a lot of versus in this CD, haha. This is a tiny piece before the Juno Reactor song on the soundtrack. Scrambled, may be the best word for some of the sounds you hear. It’s fast and violent – it almost breathes in some spaces.
10.) Stairway (0:46) - Slightly mellow again as the trio of heroes follows Kitana (or her perfume) through a precarious stairway.
11.) Goro Goro (0:45) - Goro’s theme here, though with some slightly warped strings – love how they rock up and down.
12.) Kidnapped (1:27) - Slow and ominous, pausing now and then, an interesting turn as much of it sounds like sheer orchestra and nothing extra.
13.) Zooom (0:22) - This sounds exactly like the title says. Zoom + coil.
14.) Johnny vs. Scorpion (1:31) - Fear Factory’s song can kiss my butt. This is what I wanted to listen to when thinking about those two fighting. Fast tapping, worrisome strings, and a few interesting sounds to give it some twist.
15.) Hand and Shadow (2:44) - A nearly empty track aside from a few sounds here and there and an inkling of woodwind – and then a burst of sound at the end.
16.) Scorpion and Sub-Zero (1:01) - Yes. Loved their slow-motion introduction with the grinding guitar as they began to demonstrate their skills before getting zapped by Raiden. Great drums as well.
17.) Soul Snatchin’ (0:38) - Some chorus comes into play long enough to Shang to suck out a loser’s soul.
18.) On the Beach (1:27) - A softer side appears as Liu contemplates his fate alongside Kitana, perched at a sunset beach. Slower and a little insightful with strings that are given the chance to sing a little.
19.) Johnny Cage (1:12) - “Let’s dance.” So says Johnny Cage. Recall his little opening? Is that a cowbell I hear? Haha. A little rock and roll and - *sigh* “This is where you fall down.”
20.) Goro Chase (1:30) - This is obviously the part where Goro chases Johnny, and it’s a lot more fun than you thought it might be. Reminiscent of “” but with plenty of it’s own style and instrumentation.
21.) Evening Bells (0:58) - Exactly what the title says. Bells and low woodwinds.
22.) Monks (1:01) - Steady beating drums throughout with a few wary strings stretching out.
23.) Friends (1:56) - Dark and low, danger lurks right around the corner with these strings, but things almost seem hopeful at the end.
24.) Flawless Victory (6:27) - Very similar to the fight between Liu and Sub-Zero, this time it’s Liu and Shang Tsung. Things slow down around 2 minutes and then slowly snake around in a threatening manner, eventually sounding similar to the very beginning, but this time bringing in all the strings it can muster. Exactly the same ending as “Final Kombat” on the soundtrack.
25.) Farewell (1:23) - Very quiet, but rather upbeat little piece that I’m not even sure I remember from the movie. Probably couldn’t hear it.
26.) Kids (1:19) - The twisty ending at the end of the movie, complete with electronic additions, more bells, and George’s unique style that seems to bring in just a little of the old-school video game music.
It’s not really much of an ending, and after it I was compelled to get out the other soundtrack and play track 15 since that’s how the movie really ended. I’d almost forgotten how much I loved some of these songs, and I really wish they hadn’t come out with two CDs, especially when the first one had a handful of tracks that weren’t even in the movie and I honestly can’t see any relation between them and the movie. What I should do is splice up these CDs and make a complete one of all the movie music. But I won’t.
Which brings up another point. None of these songs are in order. At all. I could order them myself no problem, but I never understand why some CDs are made with the songs all helter-skelter. Did someone find out the score was in high demand and scraped all the songs off the movie and threw them all together? Makes me wonder if any of these have full versions (...okay, not really because they’re all identical to what you hear in the movie). The lack of order is just kind of annoying.
Either way, it’s so nice to finally have some of the songs I’ve wanted for so long. Actually, I still think it’s missing one, but I’d have to watch the movie to find out. I should do that anyway. Love that movie. George Clinton does a nice job here; his blend of electronic and actual symphony works out just as it needed to. A little twisted, slightly warped, flawless when it needs to be, and takes no prisoners. Okay, that’s a little much I suppose, but it’s exactly what the movie needed and it can still be enjoyed on it’s own, evoking images of Scorpion yelling “Get over here!” and Sub-Zero creating his deadly orb of ice. It’s sad that they’re so short, some of these could really be great to rock out to if you had time to do the rockin’.
Still, it’s a good CD to kick back and enjoy while surfing the net or hanging out. No stamina to be a good workout CD, but there’s always the soundtrack for that part. For what it is and what it’s meant for, it’s good enough to merit five stars.
Up, Up, down, uppercut, kick
*opts for Friendship with George and pulls out a chocolate bar*
Originally published on Epinions.com