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This is the soundtrack for the film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and not for the television show. The movie depicts the last days of a drug addicted, sexually exploited beauty queen, Laura Palmer, in a small, isolated north western town in the U.S.A. This girl is subsequently murdered by an evil spirit when it takes over the body and mind of a family member. Needless to say, the music on the soundtrack is very dark, eerie and sombre and the album is not a mood booster, rather more something to play if you are feeling maudlin or depressed.
Angelo Badalamenti composed the music for the film, just as he did for the preceding television show. Whilst some of the music is similar in style and still captures the quirkiness of the town and characters of Twin Peaks this album is definately much more intense and dramatic with more of an experimental, abstract feel to it. The CD booklet is adorned with the bold statement: "In a town like Twin Peaks no one is innocent" and I can definately feel the threat of danger and this intimidation in the music.
The tracks are as follows:
1. Theme From Twin Peaks: this is played over the opening credits and is slow and brooding. The main voice is a mournful trumpet. It is a sad, sick song that seems to herald the end of anything decent.
2. The Pine Float: This is a quirky, swinging number that has a quirky, comedic feel to it. A tennor sax is the lead voice and sings of relaxation and freedom.
3. Sycamore Trees: This track has a vocal by Jimmy Scott. His voice is old, ragged and very jazz-man style. The lyrics talk of "dark trees that blow" and are very poetic and beautiful. The atmosphere is a little sullen and subdued and there is a slow motion sax which drools over the misty percussion. This song sums up the dark mystery which haunts the natural world surrounding the fictional town of Twin Peaks.
4. Don't Do Anything: This is a slow, piano based track. The accoustic bass has a grumpy voice which spoils the prettiness and innocence of the piano. The melody seems to loose itself in a dream somewhere in the middle of the track. It is all very dreamy and cloudy.
5. A Real Indication: This track is used in the movie as a kind of funky theme for one of the bad boy teenage characters. The song has a funky but sluggish beat. The percussion is quite frothy and bright. Badalamenti speaks rather than sings the vocal. His voice is intense and rather frightening. The lyrics seem to suggest that the singer is high.
6. Questions in a world of Blue: This sad and haunting track is performed by Julee Cruise who sang the original theme song to the television show. Her gentle, angelic voice is touching and very beautiful. The song poses questions about love and life and about things that have gone wrong - mirroring the story of the movie's heroine.
7. The Pink Room: This track is used in the movie in a scene where the main character Laura Palmer and her naive teenage girl friend go to an underground style bar where roughnecks demand oral sex and dope up the girls with booze and drugs. The track has a repetitive, hypnotic swing and bass line.
8.The Black Dog Runs At Night: This track feels odd when removed from the movie. There is a sound effect of howling wind, a sporadic beat and a vocal which increases and decreases in volume without warning and which repeats the song title with menace. It is a terrifying song and disturbs me.
9.Best Friends: This is a pretty piano track used in the movie when the heroine and her friend are discussing their pure love and affection towards one another. It effectively captures the innocence of youth and the beauty of love.
10. Moving Through Time: This song is used in the movie when the heroine becomes dazed on a drug trip. The track has a high pitched chime effect and a simple looped melody which becomes very mesmerising. It makes me feel like I'm lost in the music - it all becomes very hazy and really expresses the predicament of the
11.Montage From Twin Peaks: This track is a combination of four seperate pieces of music. The first is a swing style track which is upbeat and pleasant. The second is dramatic and frightening - the piano notes fall like teardrops. The third and fourth bleed into each other - a instrumental performance of Julee Cruise's 'Falling'. It is intense and romantic.
12. The Voice of Love: This final track capture the events in the end of the movie and is played over the end credits. In the movie scene Laura Palmer is 'saved' by a visiting angel and this redeeming music plays as she laughs and crys with joy. The track is pretty with a thin, keyboard sound and a simple melody. It is a sad piece of music but is not without hints of hope.
Overall I really like this soundtrack and feel it works well in the movie. Removed from that media, some of these tracks don't work as well though. This is a serious, intense listening experience and definately not for the faint hearted!
Sometimes a bad film is saved by a particularly brilliant soundtrack, but that's not the case for Angelo Badalamenti's score for the messy Twin Peaks movie 'Fire Walk With Me,' an attempt to redefine the popular series as a feature film franchise following its TV cancellation that ultimately failed because the film was so unsatisfying. It's not completely awful, but in presenting the events in the last week of doomed teenager Laura Palmer's life that were slowly and tantalisingly revealed over the course of about twenty episodes, it's redundant and demystifying while trying to offer something new to fans in the form of over-the-top David Lynch weirdness jut for the sake of it, in the process alienating any casual filmgoers who may not have kept up diligently with the series from its illustrious beginnings to its bland, tedious, early end.
For some reason, Badalamenti's score (which also features several contributions written or performed by others) almost entirely follows the jazz style that formed part of the series' atmosphere, but increases it beyond the point of relaxation to something much more randomised, experimental and annoying for anyone other than experimental jazz fans - and even those are bound to despair at its comparatively mainstream direction when compared to stuff like John Zorn that they pretend to like. Absent are the sinister keyboards that flowed throughout the TV series, replaced by more prominent saxophones and deranged narrative musings in the Thought Gang pieces, while even Lynch himself has a crack at composing with the boring 'The Pink Room' and the uncharacteristically pleasant 'Best Friends' that marks the very late turning point of the album from terrible to somewhat good.
The final four tracks eschew the jazz in favour of more melancholy piano-driven sounds (including a cello in the nice 'Moving Through Time') that actually go some way to approaching the original style of the TV series, and for listeners who can't recall the glorious original themes, they're presented in a very neatly edited medley that draws attention to some of the series' greatest hits, though in a much more brief and less satisfying manner than on the TV show's own soundtrack album. Earlier on the CD, series regular Julee Cruise gets to provide another song in the form of 'Questions in a World of Blue' that isn't particularly inspiring but is an island of calm amidst the ocean of commotion, and there's also a slight resurgence of Badalamenti's 'Audrey's Theme' in track four featuring the same finger-snapping and xylophone that's probably more down to a lack of originality than anything.
The album starts disappointingly by serving up a main title theme that isn't in any way memorable, and only ends up drawing attention to its own failings by going back to Badalamenti's earlier material that stands out as by far the best music here. Part of the failure of 'Fire Walk With Me' comes in its unsupervised excess compared to the more confining strictures of the TV series, and while Lynch indulged himself through stripping Sheryl Lee bare on numerous occasions and writing a cameo for David Bowie that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, Badalamenti just went crazy with a jazz band and made some boring songs.
1. Theme from Twin Peaks - Fire Walk With Me
2. The Pine Float
3. Sycamore Trees (Jimmy Scott)
4. Don't Do Anything (I Wouldn't Do)
5. A Real Indication (Thought Gang)
6. Questions in a World of Blue (Julee Cruise)
7. The Pink Room (David Lynch)
8. The Black Dog Runs at Night (Thought Gang)
9. Best Friends (David Lynch / David Slusser)
10. Moving Through Time
11. Montage from Twin Peaks: Girl Talk / Birds in Hell / Laura Palmer's Theme / Falling
12. The Voice of Love
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Twin Peaks (Fire Walk With Me)
2 Pine Float
3 Sycamore Trees
4 Don't Do Anything (I Wouldn't Do)
5 Real Indication
6 Questions In A World Of Blue
7 Pink Room
8 Black Dog Runs At Night
9 Best Friends
10 Moving Through Time
11 Montage From Twin Peaks