The Mummy soundtrack cover

The Mummy Jerry Goldsmith

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Review

Goldsmith fans are not exactly spoiled with long CD releases of their favorite composers' music. With the release of The Mummy Decca breaks this trend, as the album clocks in at just under 60 minutes, something that should satisfy the majority of the film music fans out there.

The Mummy is a remake of the 1932 classic about an expedition stumbling over a mumified high priest in an ancient tomb, who in his life time was sentenced to eternity as a living dead. The expedition sets the mummy loose, and he is, well, not a nice person to deal with. So there's a lot of action going on on screen, and this is of course reflected in Goldsmith's score. Big time. The Mummy is non stop adrenaline pumping action, which will make you go "Yeah!", if that's the type of music you really like. The score, to use a well known expert term, simply rocks.

Like many other action scores by Goldsmith, The Mummy has a very distinct brass and percussive sound. The main theme being a perfect example. This is an Egyptian inspired theme dominated by dramatic and powerful brass and heavy timpani and more exotic percussion. It's a wonderful theme, which really sets the tone of the entire score, and it's really too bad that Goldsmith doesn't make greater use of it in the score. Instead the score revolves around a couple of other minor themes. They are all very good, so one shouldn't complain, but it would have been nice with one dominant theme. The love theme - of course there's a love theme - is a rather fragile - and I don't mean that in a negative way - little piece, played by subtle strings and flute, and some kind of plucked, probably Oriental, instrument. It's a classic Goldsmith love theme, and serves as a perfect contrast to the exciting action music.

Goldsmith also makes splendid use of the choir. He uses it quite sparse, so the effect is even greater the times its dramatic sound is heard. This along with the huge brass sound, heavy percussion and the, often, racing strings, gives the score a very powerful and dark sound, which is one of the things which makes it so good, and perfect for the film - this is after all a film about an angry mummy running around, making life hard for the people involved.

But the score also has some negative sides. One being that there can sometimes be a little too much of the heavy action and big orchestral sound. It can actually be quite disturbing to have a timpani go BOOM, BOOM, BOOM constantly in the background. Very effective, yes, but also very enervating. But, at the same time, if you're in the mood for some great, and loud, action music, this should only make you even more excited...

The final cue on the soundtrack is a superb highlight. "The Sand Volcano" is one of the best action cues I have heard in a long time, and builds towards a wonderful final, where the different main themes all get wonderful renditions, performed by the whole orchestra. A perfect ending to a really good action score.

Review by Andreas Lindahl

Tracklist

1. Imhotep (4:19)
2. The Sarcophagus (2:17)
3. Tauger Attack (2:21)
4. Giza Port (2:03)
5. Night Boarders (4:06)
6. The Caravan (2:52)
7. Camel Race (3:26)
8. The Crypt (2:26)
9. Mumia Attack (2:17)
10. Discoveries (3:41)
11. My Favourite Plague (3:59)
12. Crowd Control (3:12)
13. Rebirth (8:33)
14. The Mummy (6:19)
15. The Sand Volcano (5:40)