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Ghastly ReflectionsJohn Carpenter's Lost Themes
POSTED BY TERENCE NUZUM, February 19, 2015    Share

There isn't a horror fan around that wouldn't recognize the opening tune to 1978's classic slasher Halloween. To horror fans like myself personally it defined scary music. The pulsing synths and droning mixed with tinny casio beats were and are the thing that defines a John Carpenter film. His film scores, especially the synth lines, that are dragged on, add an uneasy emotional depth to his films and somehow fit his visual style which usually consists of alot of wide open long shots. Carpenter's music made the atmosphere of his films unique.
Decades have passed and his film scores have gained in popularity and stature. It seems long overdue, and yet perfect timing, that Carpenter should finally now release a proper album. From the first dreary piano chords we are instantly transported into Carpenter country. That foreboding sense of dread that his synth work has always captured isn't quite on the menu though. We instead are introduced to punchy electro-rock and Italian Prog-like organ chaos for most of the album. In fact the album itself seems to be greatly influenced by the more rock oriented tunes of Goblin. By the finale of the album there is a full on Carpenteresque theme. It feels like it could have come from the great Thing or Fog sequel that never was. Pulsing and droning and finally giving us what we hoped the whole album would be. To be fair this album most be viewed as John Carpenter's pop album and not a music score. Hearing it in that context it still isn't great but it manages to have moments of inspiration.
Carpenter's best bet would have been to capitalize on his popularity with the indie music scene and horror nerds, that have latched on to his musical scores as gospel, and release a nostalgic trip through the type of sounds that made his work so popular. Instead he has released an album that only the diehard Carpenter fan will justify listening to time and time again. And while I in fact fall in to that latter category, part of me wishes this album was a little more Escape From New York than L.A.

"Ghastly Reflections" is ©2015 by Terence Nuzum. All contents of Crazed Fanboy are ©2015 by Nolan B. Canova and Terence Nuzum.

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