A.I. - Artificial Intelligence: Original Motion Picture Score

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Packed with Big Ideas about the future of mankind and dispatched with a distant, often icy veneer, Steven Spielberg's Artificial Intelligence can scarcely camouflage its roots. It was begun by the late Stanley Kubrick in the mid-'80s; Spielberg collaborated briefly a decade later, bowed out, then inherited it upon Kubrick's death in '99. And while the late auteur's cold vision seems largely intact (if now infused with Spielberg's enduring Pinocchio fetish), it's safe to say that Kubrick's often challenging musical tastes would probably not have led him to composer John Williams's doorstep. Nonetheless, the acclaimed veteran again rises to the occasion, ably demonstrating that he's hardly been indifferent to 20-odd-years of minimalism and postmodernism and that, as always, the best film music is often a subtly crafted pastiche of sensibilities and styles. Setting the tone of the film's robotically enhanced not-so-distant future, "The Mecha World" crackles and glistens with Steve Reich's rhythmic urgency and John Adams's dense coloration, while "Abandoned in the Woods," "Hide and Seek," and "Rouge City" succeed by setting Williams's more traditional sense of melody against Phillip Glass's hypnotic arpeggios. There's also a sense that the composer has craftily evoked the ghost of Kubrick music past and 2001 in particular; "Replicas" and "Stored Memories" bring to mind Ligeti, while the mournful strings of "Cybertronics" seem a ghostly echo of Khachaturian's "Gayane Ballet Suite." David Foster's ballad "For Always" (in a solo rendition by Lara Fabian and a duet between Fabian and Josh Groban) seems twice-included strictly to enhance the album's radio allure. Completists should also note that Ministry's dark contribution to the film's Flesh Fair sequence, "What About Us?" is not included on this soundtrack, but is available on their Greatest Fits compilation. Arguably Williams's most musically adventurous score since his landmark Close Encounters, A.I. should take its place among the most distinctive of the composer's long and bounteous collaboration with Spielberg. --Jerry McCulley

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Album information

Release Date (USA): 2001-07-03
Release Date (UK):
Artist/s: John Williams
Label: Warner Brothers

Track Listing

1 The Mecha World
2 Abandoned In the Woods
3 Replicas
4 Hide And Seek
5 For Always
6 Cybertronics
7 The Moon Rising
8 Stored Memories And Monica's Theme
9 Where Dreams Are Born
10 Rouge City
11 The Search For The Blue Fairy
12 The Reunion
13 For Always (Duet)

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