The Good: Interesting synth work, Exceptional vocal on the single vocal song!
The Bad: It's clearly a soundtrack, Disconnected sound, Short!
The Basics: A clear soundtrack that I WOULD recommend to VR.5 fans of those who like synth music, the VR.5 Soundtrack is impossible to recommend to anyone else on its musical merits.
Sometimes, an obscure television show leaves a mark long after it is off the air. One of the most memorable obscure shows for me was VR.5 (reviewed here!). Part of VR.5's special effect success - when it succeeded - was in expertly mixing the visual effects with an auditory image. That becomes especially clear when listening to the VR.5 Soundtrack. That is to say, in part, that the music alone seems to be lacking something. In the case of this particular music, it is not evocative of an image, it is complementary to a visual. Listening to the soundtrack alone, we are not treated to the accompanying visual and the music seems to lack direction without the visual aspect.
While some of the musical tracks stand out and sound wonderful, most notably "Booth's Tango" and the 9th track "Sydney's Theme" (there are three "Sydney's Theme"'s on the album), the vast majority are adrenaline pumping, turn the corner freak-out songs that seem remarkably . . . well, disconnected. I mean, if I were being chased, I'd definitely want the soundtrack playing "Animal VR/Kravitz VR" but when I'm sitting at home typing, all it does is raise my heart rate and make me type the wrong key!
The album is excellent for those who like synthesizer music, but it's VERY hard to recommend it to anyone else who is not a synth or VR.5 fan. Why? Well, mostly because there are no tunes here. Each of the tracks seems disjointed from one another and none seem to be expressing much musically. There are harsh changes of chords, there are disconsolate notes, but few of the 21 tracks actually has a tune or any sense of musical accomplishment.
The obvious exceptions to that statement are the songs "To Dance Again," which foresakes the synthesizers for a simple piano and includes vocals, "Booth's Tango," which is an actual SONG with a sense of music to it, and the melodic "Sydney's Theme" (again, the track #9 version). Outside those three tracks, the music tends to be obscured by loud crashes and abrupt changes in theme and tone.
Finally, the difficulty this album faces is a predominance of short tracks. The average length of a song on this album is under two minutes (most falling under 1 1/2 minutes). Most of the songs don't last long enough to go anywhere musically. They don't last long enough to develop a tune.
The musical bright spot is "To Dance Again" which is an amazing song sung by Dee Carstensen and the only song with lyrics on the album. Outside that highly beautiful song and "Booth's Tango" there's not much that most people will like.
For other soundtrack or instrumental works, please visit my reviews of:
The Last Of The Mohicans Soundtrack
What’s Love Got To Do With It? Soundtrack
Twelfth Night Soundtrack - Hem
For other music reviews, please visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!
© 2011, 2002 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.