After watching Starship Troopers I was determined to find a way to get the main ass-kicking theme. Enter the soundtrack by Basil Poledouris, the same man who gave you the magnificent Conan the Barbarian. A stark change we have here, from Sumerian to the year...well gosh, I don’t even remember what year this is supposed to take place in. It doesn’t matter though, Poledouris pulls of the major change like switching a lightbulb. Easy as pie. Shall we?
1.) Fed Net March – 0:49 Short and sweet intro (go get ‘em army style drums)
2.) Klendathu Drop – 4:29 Listen to this and try to tell me this isn’t the best track on here. Basil has a way with the brass and percussion here that is absolutely fantastic. It clashes so loudly if you have it cranked, it’s great. Your main theme from the movie, in all it’s warlike glory. What you hear when guns are firing and bugs are everywhere.
3.) Punishment / Asteroid Grazing – 4:50 A very dark beginning suitable for the title of the piece. Eventually it fades into something more relaxed, almost happy with those flutes and clarinets. It becomes almost magical with harps and easing notes. But things take a sharp turn for the worse, becoming dark and threatening and then into downright dangerous with quick strings and climbing horns. Somehow it manages to level out before fading away.
4.) Tango Urilla – 3:50 We get into the action almost right away, lumbering forward before pausing and going into the theme that best represents Lieutenant Rasczak. With a few sweeps, it goes into the heroic-style theme, blazing trumpets, and all looks good until trouble shows up. Go Rico! Kill that bug! Finish with flare and then fade with victory.
5.) Hopper Canyon – 2:44 It might be a safe place to be...but the eventual panicked strings state otherwise. Perhaps a slower approach might be better – safer.
6.) Bugs!! – 2:20 This place crawls sir! What do you do when you’re surrounded by thousands of bloodthirsty alien creatures? Fight like mad and hope to God that you find a way out of there. The music doesn’t sound too promising though.
7.) Dizzy’s Funeral – 1:18 A good piece I’ve always liked because it captured the sadness of watching a friend’s casket float away in space so well. Detailed, I know, but it fit perfectly.
8.) Destruction of Roger Young – 3:27 A reprise of the “Klendathu Drop” as the ship Roger Young falls to pieces in flames and shards of metal. Changes appear as Carmen and Zander try to escape, echoing strings and the cresting melodic wave that appears frequently throughout the CD.
9.) Brainbug – 3:59 A tune arises that presents awe until it turns to disgust and then horror. Low horns rear back and a flourish ends in a pause that slowly opens back up into more danger. Some of the main theme begins, staying low until it can brandish itself in its full glory.
10.) They Will Win – 4:01 Things start with relief and then switches over to the Fed Net March. Huzzah! It’s a triumphant military march style that fades in and out as the occasion calls for it. It ends with plenty of fanfare and a “We will win!” flare.
11.) Into It – 4:36 I’d always been curious about that song that was playing during the school dance. It’s a pretty cool song, electric and a little weird. I like it. Fits well with the movie and it’s sweet on it’s own.
This is one of Basil Poledouris’s last soundtracks (if not the last one), which is a crying shame because I think he had talent that could easily rival that of Hans Zimmer. (Have you heard Conan the Barbarian??). However, while Conan could stand on it’s own, no problem, Starship Troopers is much better with its movie counterpart. Sometimes action songs are fantastic by themselves because they have no corresponding actions to match up, swing for swing, explosion to explosion. This is not one of those cases. While the Poledouris is no slouch when it comes to putting music together, because it matches up so puzzle-piece sweet with the movie action, it’s not as good to listen to by itself. There are many ups and downs, fade-ins and fade-outs, sharp turns and strikes, you’ll either want to skip to another song or sit there trying to remember just where the heck you are in the movie and just what is going on. Is Rico trying to kill that big beetle? Did the captain of the Roger Young bite it yet? Hmm.
It’s not general enough to make it fantastic listening in most cases. Oh, the “Klendathu Drop” is the one song that you can listen to over and over and enjoy and makes for a great song when working out. Otherwise, they’re all kind of dismissible. Even I, as a writer who loves a good soundtrack, has no real use for any of the songs in terms of inspiration.
Despite this, I can’t just knock this CD down to three stars, I just can’t. It’s better than average and the music truly is good. Every instrument is used with such skill, it’s impossible to give this CD three stars. It’s finding a good time to enjoy the music is what is difficult. If anything, “Klendathu Drop” is strong enough to give the rest of this CD a boost; any time another song incorporates some of it, it automatically gets cooler. Besides, “Dizzy’s Funeral” is beautiful and I really do enjoy “Into It.”
Watch the movie again and decide whether or not you really want the music. The bugs can be an added bonus.
Originally posted on Epinions.com