This summer is proving to be one of blockbusters, which I suppose is nothing unusual at all. STAR TREK BEYOND is one of the latest big movies to hit the screens. This is the thirteenth movie in the STAR TREK franchise, and it is a franchise of films that have seen the musical talents of numerous composers employed upon their various scenarios. The last trio of movies which are reboots of the original films and characters have had scores by rising musical Hollywood star Michael Giacchino. I personally loved the way in which the composer interweaved the original STAR TREK TV theme into his first two soundtracks and also at the same time brought something new and fresh to the party with his own highly inspiring and lavishly lush and dramatic take on trek music, via his thundering STAR TREK theme and also his wonderfully melodic and haunting thematic properties. His latest offering for BEYOND is certainly no different and I think in this score he has done even more in the way of adding what I can only label as the Giacchino sound to the proceedings and putting his own musical fingerprint upon it. Lets get this straight from the start I am certainly no Trekkie, and as Jerry Goldsmith once said “I DON’T GET IT” or at least 97 percent of the stories anyway. All I know is that the stories are certainly exciting and at times original but also they for me can be a little confusing. The scores however I have always enjoyed and the last three by Giacchino have all in my opinion been worthy additions to the long list of musical credits for the series. Giacchino as I have already said manages to retain and incorporate themes and sounds that are already established within the series but the composer also adds new and refreshing leitmotifs, nuances and hints of themes throughout each one of his powerful and dynamic soundtracks. I particularly enjoyed INTO DARKNESS, but I have to say that BEYOND is pretty well up there with the best cues from its predecessor. This latest work contains Giacchino’s stock action cues which are no that different from the composers two previous excursions into STAR TREK territory. The score opens with LOGO AND PROSPER, where the composer employs his own STAR TREK theme and hints at the original Alexander Courage Television theme, but this reference is short lived and restricted to just a small cluster of notes before it returns to the composers own take on the theme. Track number two THANK YOUR LUCKY STAR DATE also commences with the Giacchino central theme at first ushered in by faraway sounding horns which always for me evokes the work of Jerry Goldsmith, the cue continues with a lilting piano solo version of the theme which is then taken on by the string section that give it a warm and sumptuous sound.
Track number three NIGHT ON THE YORKTOWN is too something of a departure from what can be called traditional Trek music, again it is romantic lush and filled with melody that is carried by the string section which is bolstered and supported by choir. This is like a breath of fresh air as far as I am concerned the theme soars and develops to create a piece that is in a word enchanting. Track number four DANCE OF THE NEBULA is a return to the drama and the tension that we associate with the STAR TREK movies, but although this is essentially an action cue there is within it a core theme that is highly melodious and haunting. SWARM REACTION track number five, is a real powerhouse action led cue, bold and rasping brass wraps itself around thundering percussion with jagged punctuation from more brass and driving strings are the order of the day here, it is a relentless and overwhelming cue that certainly does not disappoint. Track number six HITTING THE SAUCER A LITTLE HARD is another example of fast furious and traumatically tense writing by Giacchino who literally throws everything into the mix with this one, which is one of the longest cues on the soundtrack with a running time of just over 6 mins. For me it evoked the writing styles of Horner, Goldsmith and Williams which of course cant be a bad thing, as well as a fast and non stop mood there is also a softer side to the cue in which horns, strings and a celestial sounding choir combine to bring us an epic rendition of Giacchino’s TREK theme. Ok, my opinion this is good, no its great its everything I expected and more, again the composer has evoked memories of past TREK scores, reminded us of his forays into the franchise and also has introduced us to fresh and original thematic material to savour and enjoy. Other cues of note and interest are JAYLAH DAMAGE, IN ARTIFACTS AS IN LIFE and the alluring A LESSON IN VULCAN MINERALOGY to name but three, in fact every cue has something and every cue is a highlight of this score. Do not think about this just go get it NOW.