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The Time Machine

1 rating: 5.0
An album by Original Soundtrack/Various Artists/Klaus Badelt

Original score composed by Klaus Badelt. Recorded at Air Lyndhurst and Abbey Road Studios, London, England. Personnel: Katy Stephan (vocals). Audio Mixer: Alan Meyerson. Recording information: Air Lyndhurst And Abbey Road Studios, London, England. Editor: … see full wiki

1 review about The Time Machine

Set the Year for 2002

  • Jul 11, 2007
Pros: Fabulous work from Klaus Badelt.

Cons: "Master" is a little long and slow, but who cares?

The Bottom Line: Klaus Badelt! Way to go! A plus!

When I initially went searching for the Starship Troopers soundtrack, I somehow found the soundtrack for the updated movie version of The Time Machine. I had absolutely no idea Klaus Badelt (Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl) was behind it. Now, even though I enjoyed that soundtrack, I wasn’t too keen on all the repetition, so some may be surprised at my acquisition of this particular soundtrack. But I like to hear the potential versatility of a composer, and as often happens, I was extremely curious, and so I got it.

Ignoring the fact that this movie is nothing like the book, even if Jeremy Irons is awesome, Klaus basically astounded me with this soundtrack. Now it may not be as fantastic some other soundtracks, but I have to admit it has moments that try to give them a run for their money. Actually, I started reminiscing about certain parts in the movie where I did like the music and got to wondering how I missed it. Anyway, you get a solid 15 tracks ranging in times (a nice change from the 25-40 track soundtracks I’ve been working with recently). I’ll try to be brief in description so as not to drag this review out, but I do have to rave on several tracks, just so you know.

1.) Professor Alexander Hartdegen (3:25) Right away with the flutes and clarinets you get the beginnings of what flourishes into the main Time Machine theme. It’s brief, but Badelt gets even more points with the use of piano, lone clarinet, and almost ghostly chorus. It’s been a while since I’ve had such a sweet beginning to a soundtrack.

2.) Wish Me Luck (1:21) More pretty piano with faint jingles in the background, the strings backing up the piano and sharp woodwinds. Very pleasing.

3.) Emma (2:35) The saddest track on the CD (if you’ve seen the movie you know why), done in clarinet and sweeping strings. One of the main themes that returns here and there throughout. It’s has a dark place, so be ready for that.

4.) The Time Machine (3:11) A soft start soon blossoms into more, fading back and forth, touches of the themes and with a get-ready-to-journey flourish near the end.

5.) Bleeker Street (2:26) One of my favorites due to the Emma theme but without the sadness, instead maybe just a hint of bittersweetness. That and I love the piano bit.

6.) I Don't Belong Here (3:48) Another favorite because this is the main fully fledged Time Machine theme in it’s full brassy glory. Don’t forget a bit of the Emma theme – or maybe both of them together create one main theme? Who knows, I don’t much care, all I know is that it’s got that feeling of mysticism in it as time passes by. This is the track I remember from the movie.

7.) Time Travel (4:36) Dark and scary, listen for the tiny additions of electronic sounds. Oh, and get ready to run, because here’s some action music for ya! Of course, it’s always changing, so expect flourishes and drops in power around different corners.

8.) Eloi (2:10) With a changeup in the traditional instruments, we move to drums and some of the Eloi feel with reverent chorus. It’s got a bit of a tribal feel and breaks from the usual themes, making it a wonderful change. Love the new chorus – makes you wonder what they’re speaking...

9.) Good Night (4:03) A unique mix of the main theme done slightly in Eloi instrumentation, giving it that mix of past and future in terms of the movie. Also a bit slower and fading here and there as the sun sinks. Then again....darkness is not a good thing in the future...

10.) Stone Language (4:53) Yet another favorite. Why? Because of the whole Eloi chorus thing again, only this time with a stronger feel and more of a climax. Sit back and let it build, because it’s well worth it.

11.) Morlocks Attack (4:23) Fast and with plenty of pounding drums, racing against an enemy that thrives on human flesh. The most action packed track on this CD.

12.) Where The Ghosts Are (1:36) Eerie, and as it should be in Morlock country.

13.) The Master (7:15) Not much to say about this one, as it is mostly dark and wandering, background music for the Morlock leader to divulge his information.

14.) "What If?" (6:16) #13 leads right into this track, which demands destruction and change. A freakish and depressing future awaits, so with the right amount of dark chorus, hopeful theme, and swift, striking orchestra with a bit of a march in the right places, perhaps the future could be different. Love the extremely dark theme when Alexander sees what could be and the nice climax at the end.

15.) Godspeed (5:20) Another mix of Eloi and main theme grows into a great finish to this soundtrack, complete with one last Eloi chorus – and I absolutely love how it grows, starting very low and simply bursting into full voice. Always crank this up at the best times.

Badelt essentially has two main themes he runs with throughout the CD. Both are very lovely and often done with piano or clarinet or even some of the lower strings such as cellos and bass. Even when the full orchestra comes into play, each section sort of echoes off the other and I love the notes they hit sort of sweet and sour all at once. This soundtrack reminds me of something and I just cannot pinpoint what. However, I will say that I can find very little semblance of Pirates in this soundtrack save maybe one or two spots, but even then I have to pay attention. That may be due to Hans Zimmer’s influence on Pirates, but overall I love the absence. Sometimes it’s fun to hear the same theme from soundtrack to soundtrack, but at the same time it can give the feeling the composer is using the same sort of “plot devices” if you will, to produce new music.

Another great thing is that while the Pirates CD felt very repetitive, even though Badelt uses his main themes in almost every track, just when you start to think that you’d like a different sort of music or style, you get it. Tracks 10 and 15 have that wonderful chorus use and music that is completely different from the rest and only adds to your listening joy. And even so, the themes are so easy to fall in love with, I doubt you’ll mind hearing them in several different manners. I think the best thing was the timing of each part because even though themes and pieces were repeating, they were done at just the right times so as to fit perfectly with the track they were in so you simply flowed into and enjoyed them as they were, especially since they were toyed with and had different pieces added around them.

I don’t know if this is before or after his work with Hans Zimmer in Hans’s studio, but no matter when he met with Hans, this soundtrack is definitely a winner.


P.S. Soundtrack review #50! Whoo hoo!


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The Time Machine
Label: Varese (Japan)
Release Date: March 19, 2002

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