Star Trek: Insurrection – music by Jerry Goldsmith

Star Trek: Insurrection soundtrackJerry Goldsmith returns once again to the Trekkian realm for the most recent feature film exploits of the Enterprise crew, and the results are…well…familiar.

Now, I’m not putting Mr. Goldsmith in the same category as a certain Mr. Horner, who only seems to come up with an original melody once every dozen years or so. Far from it. Whatever Jerry Goldsmith does, its stamp belongs solely to that one movie. But the style is what seals it for me in the case of Star Trek: Insurrection. So much of this album sounds so much like Star Trek: First Contact that it’s hard not to make the comparison.

Surprisingly, for a film that dealt with the Borg and virtually reinvented their entire mythos (just in time for a Borg revival on Star Trek: Voyager), First Contact‘s primary theme was surprisingly, if pleasantly, pastoral and calm. And Insurrection opens on the same note. Actually, every Trek film that Goldsmith has scored since 1989 has opened with the same notes: the segue from the Alexander Courage theme into the Star Trek: The Motion Picture theme that was first heard in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Thereafter, the music takes on a gentle, flowing feel, and at least this time there are peaceful scenes of an idyllic Ba’ku village (also the title of the first track on the CD) to back up the music, rather than out-of-focus credits. (To be fair, that’s more a comparison of the films’ visuals, not the music.)

Before long, a sinister tone creeps into the proceedings as Data appears to go on the rampage. An electronic arpeggio motif makes its first appearance at this point in the music, and that same motif runs through virtually every action cue on the disc. Not that the action cues aren’t good, but this electronic arpeggio makes all of those pieces sound more similar than they actually are in musical terms. Some of the best music occurs in “The Healing Process”, an early version of the film’s final action cue (the packaging notes that this isn’t the final version of the cue) whose fierce action culminates in a grandiose burst of electronics, acoustic instruments, and a brief hint of synthesized choir. That moment comes closer to the sweeping majesty of Goldsmith’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture score than any other frame of Trek that he has scored since 1979. It’s a neat bit of music, to say the least!

Overall, one gets the distinct impression that Jerry Goldsmith’s heart just isn’t into making music for Star Trek movies anymore, and having composed the music for nearly half of those films thus far, he’s entitled to feel 2 out of 4that way. Though the man is still obviously a musical genius, the repetition inherent in the Star Trek: Insurrection soundtrack could be a sign that, sometime early in the next century when the tenth Star Trek movie goes before the cameras, with or without all of its stars, it may be time to hand the composing duties to someone new.

Order this CD

  1. Ba’ku Village (6:52)
  2. In Custody (1:14)
  3. Children’s Story (1:47)
  4. Not Functioning (1:45)
  5. New Sight (5:44)
  6. The Drones Attack (4:18)
  7. The Riker Maneuver (3:09)
  8. The Same Race (1:16)
  9. No Threat (4:12)
  10. The Healing Process (7:15)
  11. End Credits (5:25)

Released by: GNP Crescendo
Release date: 1998
Total running time: 41:29