La-La Land Records (LLLCD 1361)
Release Date: July 28, 2015
Conducted by Joe Kraemer
Average Rating: 4.5 stars (2 users)
|3.||Good Evening, Mr. Hunt||2:35|
|4.||Escape to Danger||2:46|
|5.||Havana to Vienna||5:13|
|6.||A Flight At The Opera||2:23|
|9.||CD ONLY: It's Impossible||1:23|
|13.||A Matter of Going||5:06|
|14.||The Blenheim Sequence||4:00|
|15.||Audience With the Prime Minister||4:23|
|16.||CD ONLY: This Is the End, Mr. Hunt||3:48|
|17.||A Foggy Night in London||2:10|
|18.||Meet the IMF||1:47|
|19.||Finale and Curtain Call||6:14|
|Total Album Time:||73:21|
|by Steven Biscotti
August 2, 2015
Track 1: The A400
With a hint of the work Michael Giacchino did for Mission: Impossible III and Ghost Protocol, about 40 seconds in and it's already breaking the mold by being the first score for the Mission: Impossible series to use the Lalo Schifrin theme that early. Composer and conductor Joe Kraemer does not run from the sounds and musical world that Schifrin created. Not more than 2 minutes in and we get a taste of "The Plot." Kraemer's track, The A400, is rousing, simple, and positively Joe Kraemer. He provides a new approach to scoring a Mission film and it's refreshing considering listeners have become so used to Giacchino's music over the course of nearly 10 years. With The A400, we are welcomed to the new sound of impossible and reminded just how talented Joe Kraemer is.
Despite certain flavors of David Arnold's work on the Bond films, with less than two minutes left to the opening track, we get the Mission: Impossible Theme. Similar to Danny Elfman's approach, what makes Kraemer's stand out is how much closer his work is to Schifrin's.
Track 2: Solomon Lane
Kraemer's theme for Rogue Nation's villain (Sean Harris) is a curious and mercurial piece. It's elegant and classical and fans of Kraemer's past work, especially Jack Reacher will enjoy this. More than 2 and a half minutes into it and we understand that Solomon Lane is unlike any other Mission villain. More Moriarity than an actual physical threat, the track makes perfect usage of its orchestra and instruments. The usage of the flute is particularly inspired. There isn't a big fanfare approach to his theme; such as we've seen many composers develop for big action movies. Perhaps the second track for Rogue Nation is the most indicative of the kind of film writer/director Chris McQuarrie has made.
Track 3: Good Evening, Mr. Hunt
The third track provides the biggest taste of the overall theme outside of Schifrin's theme for Rogue Nation. We also get a sound that harkens back to The A400. Every composer, from Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, to Giacchino has provided their own stamp on the Mission: Impossible series. This track is easily Joe Kraemer leaving his mark and during the closing 30 seconds we get a sinister tone that sets up a recurring theme for the rest of the score.
Track 4: Escape to Danger
Escape to Danger provides a svelte and engaging composition that is as energetic as Hunt escaping The Syndicate and the Bone Doctor. While it's not quite an establishing moment for Ilsa Faust, it doesn't seem as if it was designed to be. This fourth track is fast and fun with it coming into its own in the last 20 seconds or so.
Track 5: Havana to Vienna
Cuban sounding through and through, Kraemer's approach is reminiscent of Giacchino's work on Ghost Protocol, particularly the track "Mumabi's The Word." Blending instruments native to Cuba with the more natural and familiar sounds of Schifrin, the track works but is still not necessarily an establishing moment for the score. The track does build up to the 2:40 mark and does improve. Kraemer develops a steady pace with the kind of tension you'd want for a Mission score.
Track 6: A Flight at the Opera
Perhaps the most exciting track since "The A400," Kraemer develops an interesting and fun composition that serves as a particularly nice throwback to Schifrin and easily Bernard Herrmann. While The Vienna Opera and Turandot sequence remain one of the most talked about in Rogue Nation, it's easy to understand why with track 6.
Track 7: The Syndicate
This is where Rogue Nation as a score begins forming together. The sound Kraemer creates is cohesive with each previous track and provides elegance to the whole soundtrack. At 2:20 seconds into track 7, we get a composition that is very reminiscent of the gorgeous music Jerry Goldsmith created for 1999's The Mummy. At 3:10, we have what may very well be the highest moment of Kraemer's work on Rogue Nation. "The Syndicate" remains one of my favorite moments on not just the Rogue Nation soundtrack, but in Mission: Impossible music history.
Track 8: The Plan
Track 8 is one of the most classic and reverential of tracks as it provides a well-developed approach to the classic heist films and plot scenes of genre specific films such as the spy movie. More than half way and it does come into its own as Kraemer reminds us that this is Mission: Impossible. The usage of the piano brings to mind the television series and works as a great lead-in to
Track 9: The Torus
Just as with "The A400", "The Torus" is Tom Cruise's next moment to showcase superspy Ethan Hunt's unique abilities. It's also the perfect opportunity for Joe Kraemer to tie his Ethan Hunt doing the impossible theme back into the soundtrack. "The Torus" is also the longest track on Rogue Nation, clocking in at 7:02. Just a little longer than the amount of Tom Cruise held his breath for the underwater sequence which is "The Torus." Joe Kraemer expertly stages each layer for the sequence and helps establish a chest pounding scene when paired with the footage Chris McQuarrie captured on film. While there are certain tones that fans of Hans Zimmer and Jerry Goldsmith will appreciate, track 9 is still very much Joe Kraemer's. The track is another perfect lead in to the following track and develops steadily as it reaches its conclusion.
Track 10: Morocco Pursuit
Possibly the most David Arnold sounding, "Morocco Pursuit" feels as if it could have been used in one of the Daniel Craig nd films is not for its usage of Lalo Schifrin's Mission: Impossible theme. Kraemer keeps elevating the stakes and the track is so much fun that you can't help but wonder if the orchestra had as much fun performing it as we have while listening to it. Kraemer also redevelops the Mission: Impossible theme in an interesting way. Track 10 is a real highlight of the score.
Track 11: Grave Consequences
Upon immediate listen, one could easily mistake this for a passable track. But it is quite the opposite as we get a devilish take on Solomon Lane's theme that reminds us of just how elusive and dangerous The Syndicate is.
Track 12: A Matter of Going
While one can't say there's a love theme or love element to Rogue Nation, if you had to choose one, "A Matter of Going" could be it. However, it is not and quickly reminds us that there is no such place for a theme on the soundtrack. The 12th track becomes a big, swelling piece for the orchestra and they nail every note. As we near the end of the Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation soundtrack, we really start to appreciate everything Joe Kraemer has done for this film.
Track 13: The Blenheim Sequence
Track 13 primarily is your standard score. While it's well done, there is nothing to particularly note regarding this track.
Track 14: Audience with the Prime Minister
Track 14 brings to mind the subtlety of Michael Giacchino's score for Mission: Impossible III and Ghost Protocol. Nearly 2 minutes into the track we get the rewarding Lalo Schifrin theme. Composer and conductor Joe Kraemer manages to use the Mission: Impossible theme in just the right places.
Track 15: A Foggy Night in London
"A Foggy Night in London" is the big track for the climax. Reminding us yet again of Bernard Herrmann's scores for Hitchcock's films, this would be the Mission: Impossible track he would have composed if Hitchcock had ever directed a Mission film.
Track 16: Meet the IMF
Possibly one of my favorite moments of the soundtrack, alongside "The A400" and "The Syndicate," track 16 is a terrifically written and rousing moment of success. Without giving anything away from the moment it plays in the film, "Meet the IMF" is another Bond-like moment for the Rogue Nation soundtrack.
Track 17: Finale and Curtain Call
This is Joe Kraemer's moment to tie all of his musical compositions together. It's also his last moment to play the Mission: Impossible theme for the last time. Different than "The A400" version of the theme, this is the most classic and 60's sounding version of the theme that we've ever got in the history of Mission: Impossible on film.
The curtain call portion of the final track also develops nicely and it's a sincere pleasure listening to Joe Kraemer's work. While the next installment will most likely feature a new composer unless Chris McQuarrie returns to direct, one could only hope that the next person to tackle the music will develop it in as smart and well thought out way that Kraemer has.
There is one last Easter Egg on the soundtrack! At the last 1:10 of "Finale and Curtain Call," Kraemer teases us with the theme we all know and love and gives us one last Mission: Impossible theme. There's an unshakeable feeling that Kraemer is that of a boy getting to enjoy running free through the greatest toy store. But as the sun starts to set and its time to leave, with a glimmer in his eye, he has one last go. This is that very moment in the Rogue Nation soundtrack and it's impossible not to enjoy.
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