Babylon 5 - In The Beginning
Sonic Images Records, 1998
REVIEW BY: Alfredo Narvaez
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/30/1998
Quality is often a characteristic that is seldom found on TV. For every one program that really tries to break the norm, you will find channels full of junk. Now take a look at those programs that you consider truly good and notice that most of them will have very good music with it. This music has the ability to contain within it all of the emotions portrayed on screen.
I bring that up to properly introduce the music of Christopher Franke. While he has done music for movies, television, and on his own, it is the music he has written for the sci-fi TV show, Babylon 5, which stands up and proclaims his talents. (OK, OK, I'll cut it out with the pretty-talk and get to the review).
In case anyone didn't know, Babylon 5 is a TV show (and a damn good one) that takes place in the future. In The Beginning provides background info on the heard-of, but not seen, Earth-Minbari War--which prompted the construction of Babylon 5. A huge story that deals with politics, mistakes, sacrifices, courage, and the near-destruction of the Human Race, the music for it has to fit it and add to it. It does not dissapoint.
The music starts by telling us of a dark time and sweeps us back 35 years into the past. We hear moods change from simple--when a brother and a sister say goodbye--to complex--making sense of all of the carnage. In the music, there's the story. It is simple and it is complicated. (If I sound like I'm BSing, you're wrong.)
I will give you one example. The final track details the worst of this futuristic war--as the human race is pushed farther and farther back and the chances of survival look grim. The music slowly comes up and brings in bagpipes as the details of this gory war are told. Then, the music changes beats to something more determined and heroic--as this piece details the beginnings of the last battle of this war and soldiers are called to make the ultimate sacrifice.
This album is strong and touches you. As the show's creator, J. Michael Stracyzinski, says in the inside of the cover, "(Franke) broke our hearts."