Lost – music by Michael Giacchino

Lost soundtrackIn the liner notes to the CD of the Lost soundtrack, series co-creator J.J. Abrams mentions that the pilot episode was originally tracked with the works of some of the biggest names in film music, and that it took some salesmanship to convince ABC that the show would lose none of its impact when rescored by Abrams’ Alias co-conspirator, composer Michael Giacchino. The irony of that comment is that, for anyone who’s been watching Lost for any amount of time, it’s hard to imagine any of its scenes scored by someone other than Giacchino.

The disc kicks off with Abrams’ own abstract composition for the show’s trend-settingly short main titles (a number of series took the hint and abruptly curtailed their main titles, and some showrunners – such as the makers of the two Stargate series – discovered that ten second main titles just weren’t for them).

Again going back to the liner notes, Abrams acknowledges that the temp score originally laid over the pilot was more bombastic than what has evolved in Giacchino’s body of work; it’s not that Lost doesn’t ever require that kind of music, but it’s not handled with typical Hollywood orchestral fire-and-brimstone. That’s not to say that Giacchino doesn’t echo some great Hollywood styles. “Hollywood And Vines” sounds like something from John Barry’s late 70s/early 80s repertoire, and the now familiar stabbing swirl of Hermann-esque strings makes its debut in “Charlie Hangs Around”.

Speaking of familiarity, this CD does a great job of recreating the atmosphere for those already acquainted with the show; as a listening experience, though, it occasionally retreads the same ground with a small number of recurring motifs and themes – at least two tracks end on the show’s suspenseful signature slur of brass, for example. Many of the cues presented here are from the two-part pilot episode, with the remainder originating from almost every episode in the first season, and presented with only a couple of exceptions in strict story order. Some listeners may come to find that they can program their CD player to play the tracks in a different order for a more cohesive listening experience, but given that the slow discovery of the story and the mysteries of the island are at the heart of the show, the chronological track listing does make sense. (If you’re wondering about another sonic signature, the gunshot-like sound that takes you into most commercial breaks, that’s the very last thing on the CD.) Good stuff for folks who are fans of the show’s music (which will probably be 95% of the people buying the CD), but it might make a few listeners wonder whether they just heard the same thing twice.

Rating: 3 out of 4That’s an extremely minor quibble, though. This is a nice example of a fully orchestrated score for modern TV (and with all of the session players graciously name-checked in the booklet, no less – very classy!), and chances are it’s more fun to listen to than the LPs Desmond was stuck with in his Dharma dome. If you’re in the mood for dark and moody, then by all means, get Lost.

Order this CD

  1. Main Title by J.J. Abrams (0:16)
  2. The Eyeland (1:58)
  3. World’s Worst Beach Party (2:46)
  4. Credit Where Credit Is Due (2:24)
  5. Run Like, Um…Hell? (2:23)
  6. Hollywood And Vines (1:54)
  7. Just Die Already (1:53)
  8. Me And My Big Mouth (1:08)
  9. Crocodile Locke (1:52)
  10. Win One For The Reaper (2:39)
  11. Departing Sun (2:44)
  12. Charlie Hangs Around (3:19)
  13. Navel Gazing (3:26)
  14. Proper Motivation! (2:01)
  15. Run Away! Run Away! (0:32)
  16. We’re Friends (1:33)
  17. Getting Ethan (1:36)
  18. Thinking Clairely (1:06)
  19. Locke’d Out Again (3:32)
  20. Life And Death (3:41)
  21. Booneral (1:40)
  22. Shannonigans (2:27)
  23. Kate’s Motel (2:09)
  24. I’ve Got A Plane To Catch (2:39)
  25. Monsters Are Such Interesting People (1:31)
  26. Parting Words (5:31)
  27. Oceanic 815 (6:11)

Released by: Varese Sarabande
Release date: 2006
Total running time: 74:51