Monday, April 7, 2014

The Star Trek V The Final Frontier Soundtrack Might Be Better Than The Film!

The Good: Musically interesting, Holds up well without the film
The Bad: Short, Latter half is not as strong as the first half
The Basics: The Star Trek V The Final Frontier Soundtrack is actually one of Jerry Goldsmith’s more surprising and memorable scores.

The other day, my wife and I were rewatching Star Trek V The Final Frontier (reviewed here!) and even before the film started playing, I found myself getting excited about it. The thing that amused me about feeling that way was that I quickly realized I was not so excited about the movie as I was about watching the film begin and hearing some of the music. The film’s first unique theme, “The Mountain” is surprisingly memorable. Rewatching the film inspired me to dig out my copy of The Star Trek V The Final Frontier Soundtrack. The Star Trek V The Final Frontier Soundtrack is one of the few audio works that I still have on audio cassette and listening to it again inspired me to buy it on compact disc finally.

The Star Trek V The Final Frontier Soundtrack is the score to one of the least-popular Star Trek films, but it remains one of the most surprising musical works in the Star Trek franchise. The soundtrack, which was composed by Jerry Goldsmith, is so different from other Star Trek soundtracks and it is distinctive in many ways.

The ten-track soundtrack is mostly hampered by being short. Nine of the ten tracks are entirely instrumental. The album’s final track, “The Moon’s A Window To Heaven” – which is a full version of the song which Nichelle Nichols’s Uhura sang as a distraction on Nimbus III – is not a soundtrack recording of the song that appeared in the film, it is a studio version (with a different vocalist) of the song. For the most part, the album is unique-to-the-film tracks and what separates it from many soundtracks is that each song is a musically realized piece (as opposed to music that sounds like it was composed for specific moments in the movie).

Opening with the traditional Star Trek movie theme (which Jerry Goldsmith wrote for Star Trek: The Motion Picture and was later co-opted for Star Trek: The Next Generation), The Star Trek V The Final Frontier Soundtrack transitions into a light, contemplative piece. “The Mountain” was the music that accompanied Captain Kirk climbing at Yosemite. The instrumental piece flows and develops as a musical work that I recall falling asleep to as a young adult. Now, listening to the album, the piece is evocative of growth and development and it inspires creativity whenever I listen to it.

The Star Trek V The Final Frontier Soundtrack includes the Klingon war theme and it is a rousing, energetic musical piece that is full of movement. Following “The Mountain,” most of The Star Trek V The Final Frontier Soundtrack is filled with energizing, up-tempo pieces that get the adrenaline pumping. The action soundtrack is intended to evoke mental images of movement and chases and the pounding drums and faster strings actually achieve the musical goals well.

“The Moon’s A Window To Heaven” is a fun song, which has decent poetry. The lyrics might seem simplistic, but they are evocative and the flowing nature of the song closes the album well. In total, The Star Trek V The Final Frontier Soundtrack ends up as an alternately rousing and relaxing album that works from a place of serenity to a crescendo of movement and sound before a very classic denouement. The difference and sense of completion for the album makes The Star Trek V The Final Frontier Soundtrack a distinctive soundtrack for Star Trek fans or orchestral music fans.

For other soundtrack reviews, please visit my takes on:
Music From And Inspired By I Am Sam
Watchmen 2-track single
Songs In The Key Of Springfield from The Simpsons


For other music reviews, please check out my Music Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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