Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2023 October 16 • Monday

The 800th Soundtrack of the Week is an early work by a favorite Composer: James Horner's score for Humanoids from the Deep, presented by Intrada in a new expanded release.

The main title creates a beautiful and lyrical mood with an undercurrent of dread. Solo trumpet drifts through the cue, the only brass instrument used, according to the liner notes. There are some moments that anticipate Horner's Star Trek II music as well.

Swirling and stabbing strings in "The Buck-O" gesture more directly toward horror, followed by high-pitched keening strings punctuated by piano and Herrmannesque string stabs in "Surprise for Baron".

"Men Discover Dogs" is a very short cue with flute while "Peggy's House" brings listeners back to dread and suspense with long tones and dissonances.

The pensive and ominous mood continues in "Trip Up River" folllowed by aone of several quick blaster beam appearances for "Footprint".

There's a lovely and tender melody for "Jerry and Peggy" bu then it's pack to more shadowy territory, with low harp figures in "Borden Catches Something".

The harp kicks of "Jerry's Death", which is propelled forward by insistent string ostinati and stabs, followed by a percussive use of strings and queasy soaring and plummeting tones on the blaster beam for "Peggy's Rape".

Flute sets a pastoral tone for "The Tent", which also has harp and snare drum intriguingly combined, while the blaster beam steps forward for "Humanoid's Head".

Horner unleashes the power of his full orchestra for the intense "Tommy's Struggle", which builds to moments of great intensity.

After that, the more textural and relaxed "The Search", with haunting flute line and atmospheric backing from strings and snare, is a relief.

"The Underwater Boat By" is a beautiful and short harp feature that sets up the eerie and also lyrical "Night Swim".

Harsh attacks and sharp dissonances alternating with longer tones and bending notes create an unsettling mood for "The Grotto".

A gentle and peaceful atmosphhere is then evoked by all but the end of "Drake's Lab", after which listeners should be prepared for more horror movie dramatic underscore, chillingly constructed for "Hill House".

"Carol's Final Confirmation" and "Aftermath" are both longer cues that synthesize and sum up much of waht we've heard, with the latter in particular being especially dreamy and valedictorian.

The end title then reprises the opening theme, and the rest of the CD contains the original album presentation from 1980.