The Matrix Revolutions – music by Don Davis

The Matrix RevolutionsHmmmmm.

I don’t even know if I’ve got room to talk about this one. When the first reports rolled in that The Matrix Revolutions soundtrack release was going to consist almost entirely of Don Davis’ score for the third and final Matrix movie, I was really happy – I enjoyed the second disc of the soundtrack from The Matrix Reloaded tremendously, much more than I did the techno-metal brew of the first disc. So surely it goes to follow that I’d be eating this CD up, right?

Hmmmmmm.

Again, this is a case where I have yet to see the movie, so I have no visual context for the music here. (For those of you wondering about why I keep doing things in that order, just consider – anymore, the cost of a movie ticket has almost caught up with the cost of a CD, and I get to keep the CD.) But listened to all in one sitting, a lot of The Matrix Revolutions soundtrack sounds…well…all alike. Now, I remember in 1999, everyone was going on about how Don Davis had ushered truly modern neoclassicicsm into the movie theater. And that’s a good point – the first movie’s music, and a good chunk of the second film’s music, had a similar, unified sound. But it wasn’t dull. And as much as I hate to say it…as a purely musical experience, dull is how I’d describe The Matrix Revolutions. One wonders if Don Davis shouldn’t have escorted truly modern neoclassicism right back out of the movie theater a bit sooner – it’s just possible that by the third 2+ hour film in the series, that choice had him in a creative straitjacket.

And he almost does break that mold in places – there are two or three instances in The Matrix Revolutions where I could swear Davis was building up to…Ben Kenobi’s theme! A coincidence, I’m sure, but one that made me chuckle. Even the collaborations with Juno Reactor, the techno group who helped Davis kick prodigious quantities of ass with such Matrix Reloaded tracks as “Burly Brawl”, fall short of the second movie, let alone the first.

And yet there are tracks that make me hungry to see the movie and find out what’s going on – “Spirit Of The Universe”‘s triumphant ending being one of those. Perhaps within the context of the accompanying visuals, all of this would have more meaning to me, but listening to it cold without that context, The Matrix Revolutions is a bit of a surprising disappointment. I had already detected a bit of 2 out of 4sameness guiding Don Davis’ music for the trilogy, but it didn’t actually bore me – if you can imagine rapid-fire runs of trumpet blasts screaming desperation in minor keys boring someone – until now. Maybe this wasn’t a good time to ditch the half-song, half-score rule of thumb for the previous Matrix soundtracks.

Order this CD

  1. The Matrix Revolutions Main Title (1:23)
  2. The Trainman Cometh with Juno Reactor (2:45)
  3. Tetsujin with Juno Reactor (3:23)
  4. In My Head performed by Pale 3 (3:48)
  5. The Road To Sourceville (1:27)
  6. Men In Metal (2:20)
  7. Niobe’s Run (2:50)
  8. Woman Can Drive (2:43)
  9. Moribund Mifune (3:49)
  10. Kidfried (4:51)
  11. Saw Bitch Workhorse (4:01)
  12. Trinity Definitely (4:17)
  13. Neodammerung (6:01)
  14. Why, Mr. Anderson? (6:12)
  15. Spirit Of The Universe (4:53)
  16. Navras with Juno Reactor (9:08)

Released by: Warner / Maverick
Release date: 2003
Total running time: 63:51

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