"Star Trek: Insurrection (Expanded)"
Music By Jerry Goldsmith
25 Tracks/Disc Time:79:02
On the eve of the Blu-Ray/DVD release of the latest film in the "Star Trek" franchise "Into Darkness", it's very fitting that I review "Star Trek Insurrection" because it just makes sense to do so and for die hard "Trekkies" to get their musical nirvana with the latest expansion of a score in the series by the late Jerry Goldsmith. The film and the third cinematic voyage of the "ST: Next Generation" crew of the Enterprise and the closest to the original television series thanks to writer Michael Piller, who wrote for the original series revolves around Lt. Commander Data (Brent Spiner) was taking part in an operation for the Federation has with a race known as the Son'a to observe another race known as the Ba'ku. They are wearing stealth suits so that the Ba'ku cannot see them or sense their presence. Suddenly, Data reveals himself and exposes everyone involved. Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) is then contacted by Admiral Dougherty (Anthony Zerbe) who tells him that Data has to be stopped even if it means destroying him. Picard thinks of a more simpler solution to stop him without doing that and succeeds and figures out why Data has reacted this way. That's when Picard discovers a plot by the Son'a and the Federation to remove the Ba'ku from the planet because they want to tap the radiation being emitted by the nearby planet's rings which have regenerative energy. The film wasn't too well received upon its' release because of the lack of a better storyline and would be considered the shortest of all the "Star Trek" films at 103 minutes which didn't help matters.
The strongest asset that the film had was the work of the late Oscar Winner Jerry Goldsmith, who had practically mastered the "Star Trek" universe scoring "Star Trek: The Motion Picture", "Star Trek 5: The Final Frontier" (which featured one of his best scores in the series), "Star Trek: First Contact", and would go onto score the final voyage of the "The Next Generation" crew films in "Star Trek Nemesis". His memorable "Star Trek" fanfare was also featured in the "TNG" series to an unforgettable effect and would also score the fanfare for the Star Trek series "Voyager" in 1995. The score to "Insurrection" one of his more effective scores of 1998, features a more conspitorial edge to it that would recall his dark and excellent material from scores such as "Capricorn One", "The Boys From Brazil", "Executive Decision" and "U.S. Marshals", which he also composed the same year as this film. He also provides a sweeping and pastorial theme for the "Ba'ku" that emphasizes a "paradise lost" feel to it and is the scores' strongest asset.
"Ba'ku Village" opens the album and Goldsmith immediately introduces his themes that set the tone for the score which opens with the sweeping pastorial theme that sprinkles electronics throughout and the dark, conspiracy theme that is brooding underneath the surface of the positive light. The "Ba'ku theme" would get a good work out with excellent tracks in "Warp Capability / The Planet / Children's Story", in which Goldsmith also introduces a more tender musical touch to the proceedings, "How Old Are You / New Sight", continues the pastorial and soothing energy of the score with musical sweep featuring woodwinds and elegant string work,"As Long As We Can", that plays off the dark material that is overpowered by the pastorial theme and dark again with light fighting back Goldsmith style as "Growing Up / Wild Flowers / Photon Torpedo", would go on to do as well."Stay With Me", Goldsmith provides a bit of love theme for Picard and his "Ba'ku" friend which features the theme to full effect in a more romantic way.
Goldsmith underscores the brooding conspiracy and action material which is stand out in this score with the action laden tracks "Out of Orbit / Take Us In", "Lost Ship / Prepare The Ship", "Not Functioning / Send Your Ships", "The Drones Attack", "The Riker Manuever" and "The Healing Process (Revised)" which feature Goldsmith's trademark action licks with lots of rhythmic action and energy. "The Healing Process" actually features strains of "The Boys From Brazil" and "Capricorn One" which are used to great effect here. Surprisingly, I found the action material a little better than that of "First Contact" at times, but they're so interchangable that both are excellent works amongst themselves. The album ends with Goldsmith's fanfare "End Credits" which is a reprise of themes from the score and a rousing send off for the "TNG" crew for this latest voyage.
GNP/Crescendo's solid album is the music as it was featured in the film as they had already released an album during the film's theatrical run in 1998 featuring forty minutes of very good Goldsmith material as he assembled and yet had missed some even better material that somewhat made the original album dismissed for the most part. The added material makes a huge difference because there was alot of good music that Goldsmith did leave off and as a whole makes this version of the album all that much better this time around. In revisiting, "Star Trek Insurrection" this time around, I found myself really liking and enjoying a heck of a lot more than I had originally did when it came out and it was no surprise that at the time it was not one his scores that I would put on regularly for that reason. Now that it's getting a full and just treatment, this version is one of the best expansions of the "Star Trek" scores around at the moment and the score is really that much better than it most people think. This expanded album gets a strong thumbs up!