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Jurassic World by Michael Giacchino (Review)

posted Jun 9, 2015, 11:05 PM by Koray Savas   [ updated Jun 9, 2015, 11:08 PM ]

Michael Giacchino's career started with Steven Spielberg and The Lost World: Jurassic Park. DreamWorks Interactive developed the 1997 video game based on the film, which Giacchino composed the music for. When playing the synth score to Spielberg for the first time, the blockbuster director immediately loved it and asked when it would be recorded with a live orchestra. It went on to be the first video game with a fully orchestral score, and was a major stepping stone in Giachhino's career as a composer. Now, eighteen years later, Giacchino returns to the Jurassic universe with Jurassic World.

The Jurassic Park films are immediately recognizable because of John Williams' themes, and while he hasn't returned to the franchise since Spielberg stopped directing, they continue to be incorporated into the sonic fabric of the films. Don Davis' score for Jurassic Park III, for instance, largely relies upon John Williams' music and sound, resulting in an effective but largely unexciting entry in the series. Luckily, Giacchino keeps the references to an absolute minimum, allowing his own voice to take control of the action and momentum of the music. 

The album is slow to start and overlong at 77 minutes, but once "Fits And Jumpstarts" starts, everything comes together and the score rages on in a flurry of string ostinatos and traditional Giacchino brass until the main program ends with "The Park Is Closed." "Love In The Time Of Pterosauria" and "Costa Rican Standoff" really showcase his knack for propulsive rhythm and melody, while "Our Rex Is Bigger Than Yours" brings the score to its climax with an all-out choir akin to "The Kronos Wartet" from Star Trek Into Darkness. It is in this string of cues where Giacchino's main theme gets to shine. It is an infections little bit of music that only pops up for a few seconds here and there, but it adds just enough spark to make Jurassic World really stand apart from his other scores from this year. Moreover, the "Jurassic World Suite" is an awesome 13-minute track that delivers a fantastic sampling of Giacchino's musical ideas from the score. The remaining tracks on the album are source cues from the dinosaur theme park in the film.

Jurassic World is yet another blockbuster score from Michael Giacchino this Summer, but the composer shows no fatigue from the immense amount of work that went into each one of these projects. He stays true to his voice, yet still delivers a unique experience that not only differentiates from the other work in his busy schedule, but from previous Jurassic Park scores as well. While the score takes longer than usual to find its footing, there is no denying the sense of fun and fervor once the action falls in place.