The X-Files, to this day, remains one of the best science fiction shows to ever grace the small screen. It deviated from the usual American TV show by omitting drugs, sex, and cussing and simply focused on fantastic stories that stirred our paranoia and sparked our interests in things not of this world. Even more interesting is the score for the show by Mark Snow that, to this day, remains one of those rare themes that echoes through time.
For as many years as I had watched The X-Files, I can only recall being immersed in the stories as they unfolded. I was blinded to just about everything else, ashamedly, including the music. That being said, it was a real treat for me to go in somewhat fresh and hear new blood reworking Snow’s compositions from the show (with Snow’s exit music appearing as the exit music for the album).
Dominik Hauser, Joohyun Park and John Beal each take sections of Snow’s work and conduct them for this collection of songs that stretch from the television show themes to music from the two feature films. Each taking what they would consider the best of Snow’s work and revamping it for a new generation on this 20th Anniversary Celebration release. The result is simply breathtaking.
What captured my attention right off the bat is the production of the album. Everything is crisp and booming as if it were designed specifically for theater speakers. Even in my car the music was bombastic emitting a beautiful balance of sounds from big percussion to subtle strings, all intermingling without stepping over one another’s toes. What is even more amazing are the creepy whispers and sung verses that seem to come out of nowhere on some tracks, surrounding you even when they arrive unexpectedly. The way the show and films made you feel paranoid and trapped, it happens here as well.
In the grand scheme of Snow’s work you can see just how ahead of his time he was in creating this music. It was eerie and set a real sci-fi mood that will take you down through the archives of music made for setting up the mood in science fiction atmospheres. It was humorous in a Danny Elfman kind of way that made you think of some kind of horrifying circus or an army of evil toys taking its march. Other songs were retro throwbacks from 50’s style music to rockabilly surfer tunes. All of it amazing in its delivery.
I think if you love film scores you don’t have to be a fan of the X-Files to love this album. It’s immaculately put together and it will send your mind on an overload of imaginative thoughts when it comes to the music. Of course being a fan of the show will only make the album that much greater, but believe me when I say this album is 100% perfect in everyway. Enjoy.