John Carpenter | Anthology: Movie Themes: Album Review

Artist: John Carpenter
Album: Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998
Release date: Oct. 20th, 2017

On Oct. 20, famed writer, director, and composer John Carpenter released Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998. Just in time for Halloween, the compilation is a reinvigoration of such classic themes as those from Halloween and The Thing. All 13 tracks are completely new recordings of Carpenter’s music.

Carpenter’s notorious film scores are largely electronic in nature, with a synthesizer being at the heart of every track. This album is no exception; it includes the theme “Assault on Precinct 13,” a bass-driven piece that encapsulates the feel of dangerous city streets through its rhythmic simplicity, tonal darkness, and the buildup of tension brought on by unceasing repetition. The same can be said for “The Fog,” a melancholy composition led by a haunting piano melody. The track creates an eerie dissonance through its use of a keyboard, echoing the piano’s tune in an off-key manner. Again, the hum of synthesizers is heard through the entire piece. However, the album does vary with tracks like “Pork Chop Express (Big Trouble in Little China)” and “In The Mouth of Madness,” which amp up the collection as aggressive but dynamic rock ballads.

Carpenter is an incredibly influential filmmaker and his film scores are just as revered. This compilation, while certainly nothing new, is still a worthwhile listen to long-time fans and the uninitiated alike. It is an exemplary album for fall weather and certainly deserves a listen from any self-respecting music lover.  

Rate: 5/5 Stars

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