The Timeless Themes
Whether or not the name John Carpenter means anything to you, from the opening note of “Vortex,” it’s clear the song belongs in a climactic scene from a movie. John Carpenter is the director of movies like Halloween and Big Trouble In Little China. Not only does he direct, but he also scores the majority of his films. A big reason for why his movies are so haunting is the music, which causes the audience to feel terrified as they sit on the edges of their seats.
The trend continues with Lost Themes, a completely instrumental album John Carpenter made in collaboration with his son Cody Carpenter and his godson Daniel Davies. Despite the fact that this is an album, it feels like the songs take you on a much longer journey. Each song is about 4 to 8 minutes long. In that fairly short amount of time, it feels as if listeners are being told beautifully complicated stories without the benefit of lyrics.
An album highlight is “Domain,” which starts off quiet and leads those listening to think that nothing is going on, before taking a turn and changing tempo. The song plays like a movie and, speaking in film terms, the point where it changes is the point where the hero defeats the villain.
Lost Themes is filled with heavy synthesizers. These synthesizers seem to come straight out of a sci-fi or horror film from the 1970’s or 1980’s. This isn’t a slap to John Carpenter, it’s actually a testament to his work. He manages to do something not many others are capable of in 2015. The striking thing about Carpenter’s music is the dramatic rising action that every song consistently has. This is something not done frequently in today’s music; his natural ability is rare and special.
“Abyss” is one of the most haunting and layered tracks on this album. Every song on the album is memorable but this one is certainly a highlight because it begins as a tribute to Halloween and develops into a bass-heavy track that you can dance along to. “Wraith” is an upbeat track that would represent the positive highlights in the hero’s life, if this was actually the score to a movie.
Lost Themes takes all who hear it on a roller-coaster ride that they really don’t want to get off of. It’s the perfect album to close your eyes and paint pictures in your mind and make your own movie within the confines of dreams. This is a highly recommended album because underneath the darkness, it contains a fun and somewhat hopeful mood that should definitely be heard.