Soundtrack Information

Xena: Warrior Princess - Volume VI

Xena: Warrior Princess - Volume VI

Varese Sarabande (302 066 255 2)

Release Date: 2001

Conducted by Randy Thornton, Judd Maher, Joseph LoDuca

Format: CD

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Track Listing

Disc 1:
1. Fallen Angel - With The Angels 2:33
2. Fallen Angel - Battling Archangels 3:04
3. Fallen Angel - Go To Them 2:55
4. Fallen Angel - Body Snatch 2:20
5. Fallen Angel - Resistance 1:39
6. Fallen Angel - Gab's Trial 2:22
7. Fallen Angel - They're Coming 2:42
8. Fallen Angel - Back From The Dead 3:01
9. Ides of March - She'll Be Here 4:33
10. Ides of March - Callisto In Hell 2:56
11. Ides of March - Way of Pain 6:05
12. Ides of March - Keep Coming 1:49
13. God Fearing Child - End of Days 6:40
14. The Ring Trilogy - The Ring 4:53
15. The Ring Trilogy - Valhalla 0:53
16. The Ring Trilogy - On A Cow 2:51
17. The Ring Trilogy - Up The Rhein 2:43
18. The Ring Trilogy - Rhein Maidens 2:54
19. The Ring Trilogy - Out of Options 0:54
20. The Ring Trilogy - The Kiss 1:54
21. The Ring Trilogy - Return of the Rheingold 1:11
22. Dance Cues - Pas De Deux Femmes 3:54
23. Dance Cues - You Will Dance 3:04
  Disc Time: 67:50

Disc 2:
1. Friends In Need - Sounds of War 5:36
2. Friends In Need - To The Rising Sun 1:52
3. Friends In Need - Sounds of Life and Death 1:37
4. Friends In Need - Snow Falling on Cedars 1:56
5. Friends In Need - Burning Higuchi 2:14
6. Friends In Need - Die Demon 1:30
7. Friends In Need - Reality of Dreams 1:18
8. Friends In Need - Xena vs. Yodishi 8:41
9. Bonus Cues - Return To Chin 1:27
10. Bonus Cues - The Power of the Book 3:23
11. Bonus Cues - Secret of the Powder 4:33
12. Bonus Cues - Haulin' to the North 4:32
13. Bonus Cues - The Mausoleum 2:05
14. Bonus Cues - It's Over 3:18
15. Bonus Cues - Love Is A Weapon 2:11
16. Bonus Cues - United in Love 3:13
17. Special Requests - Joxer The Mighty 1:11
18. Special Requests - The Play's The Thing 0:59
19. Special Requests - A Woman's A Natural Thing / Miss Known World 2:19
20. Special Requests - A Day In The Life 2:19
21. Special Requests - Catching Fish 1:26
22. Special Requests - Up In The Trees 1:00
23. Special Requests - Things In Common 2:32
24. Special Requests - Down The Valley 1:06
25. Special Requests - Neighbor Lady 2:15
26. Special Requests - Smelling Morality 1:24
27. Special Requests - Chasin' Chickens 0:38
28. Special Requests - The Quill Is Mightier 1:55
29. Special Requests - Here Girl 2:27
30. Special Requests - Xena Main Title 1:22
  Disc Time: 72:19
  Total Album Time: 140:09

Review

by SoundtrackNet Staff (SA)
on September 14th, 2001
[4 / 5]

"Xena: Warrior Princess" was a rare phenomenon for television. Here you have a show that defies several boundaries, transcends time and place, and wears its campy heart very proudly on sleeve. Typically, contemporary audiences would shun such an audacious production, yet a large fan base quickly embraced "Xena", wanting something different and offbeat. The creators, Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert, are to be commended for furthering their eccentric filmmaking styles, initiated with the Evil Dead series of films, and adapting that style into other genres. Love it or hate it, Xena: Warrior Princess gave us some of the most original and offbeat television of the last few years.

Naturally, composer Joseph LoDuca made the transition with the filmmakers from the big screen to the small. Often overlooked as a long-standing collaboration, Raimi, LoDuca and company have worked together for over 20 years now. Joseph LoDuca's scores for "Xena", along with "Hercules", have always been as eclectic as the shows themselves, bouncing between electronics, ethnic writing, choral, Broadway show-stoppers, and fully orchestral. This 2-CD set is no exception, although seeing as how the scores included come towards the end of the shows run, many of the cues here are in the epic orchestral vein, closing the series in a triumphant manner.

Disc one opens with the score for "Fallen Angel". "With The Angels" establishes a darkly majestic orchestral/choral sound right away, a style that is heard throughout this recording. The second cue, "Battling Archangels" will please fans of the Final Fantasy game music, as this cue is structured very similarly, especially the choral writing. Fans of the composer's score for Army of Darkness will enjoy this suite as well, since stylistically it can be viewed as a continuation of that music. The topic of influence has often come up in regards to LoDuca's scores for the aforementioned shows, and while a faint trace of Alan Silvestri's The Abyss may come to mind in the opening cue, as well as other composers in upcoming cues, it is never a huge distraction. His scoring has certainly developed greatly since composing for "Hercules", several years ago. The other main influence that can be heard here is that of Bernard Herrmann. The second suite on disc one, "Ides of March", contains a tribute to Herrmann's cavernous wind writing, vicious horn trills, and dry string allegros.  The tone of this score is thoroughly dark, with outbursts of thrilling action from time to time. "God Fearing Child" is represented with one lengthy cue, a thoroughly dark action piece. Rumbling percussion, dark Latin choral writing, and rushing strings again recall ideas from the Evil Dead scores, before ending with a lightly romantic/choral theme that brings to mind the choral work of James Newton Howard.  "The Ring" continues the darkly urgent orchestral mood, although the main theme heard in the horns will please fans of Hans Zimmer, along with other electronic effects. "Up The Rhine" references the churning string and brass music of Elliot Goldenthal, and the suite benefits from a moto perpetuo feel, which contrasts nicely against the moody scores that precede this one. Disc one closes with two dance cues. "Pas De Deux Femmes" is an engaging bit for synths, female voice, and Chinese Pipa. The piece recalls the work of Enigma, and while it is quite different than what came before it's still a nice addition. "You Will Dance" is a moderato piece for duduk, and sounds like it could have escaped from any Graeme Revell score.

The final show of the series, "Friends In Need", opens the second disc with a great, frenetic orchestral romp, "Sounds of War".  Over five minutes of wild ethnic percussion, winds, female voices, bursts from the brass and strings, kick off the disc in grand fashion. The following cues from this score are no disappointment either, alternating between shakuhachi melodies (not the effects that James Horner favors), minimalist percussion and string writing, and moody floating synths. The final cue "Xena Vs. Yodishi" wraps up the series with an epic mini-opus of brass fanfares, smashing Daiko drumming, and busy string and wind writing.  The action subsides at the end for a tender string and wind elegy.

This score is followed by eight bonus cues, which are not noted as to whether they are from "Friends In Need" or not, although judging from the sound, it is wholly possible. Mostly consisting of Asian percussion, synths, and low choral moans, these cues are not as interesting as the preceding ones, and are mostly of the synthetic orchestral variety.

The final fourteen cues on the disc two are under the heading "Special Requests". These are brief songs and score cues from the series, beginning with the goofy "Joxer The Mighty", the goofier female moaning of "The Play's The Thing", Ted Raimi taking on Broadway in "A Woman's A Natural Thing", more ethnic synth music in "A Day in The Life", "Up In The Trees", twangy guitar/harmonica/banjo in "Things In Common", "Down The Valley", "Neighbor Lady". Then you have surf guitar, organ and brass in "The Quill Is Mightier", quirky synth winds and strings in "Here Girl", and finally the heavy drumming and female vocals of the "Xena Main Title" wraps this varied, madcap package up!

The sound quality is exemplary, although the size of LoDuca's orchestra is exposed at times through the clarity. In the opening suite on disc one, the choir group is obviously large, as is the orchestra. At times within each suite, an electronic cue will appear, only to quickly switch back to orchestra!  Since these scores have always been recorded in Utah when they weren't synth-generated by LoDuca himself, Varese has always been able to issue lengthy albums, and they close out this series with a bang. Packaging is a bit skimpy, with only a brief, comical note from producer Robert Tapert and star Lucy Lawless, along with six pages of color photos. A must for fans of the show, that nonetheless works as a terrific showpiece for LoDuca, and hopefully we can look forward to him infiltrating Hollywood a bit more in the future.


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