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Music Review: Terminator 2: Judgment Day Soundtrack

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The Terminator 2 soundtrack, composed by Brad Fiedel, was re-released last month in a remastered edition. Amusingly, the press release said that Terminator 2 was “deemed to be the best film in the Terminator trilogy”. I think somebody is forgetting Terminator: Salvation, possibly deliberately. 

Why they haven’t done a remastered Terminator soundtrack at the same time is beyond me, but we’ll go with what’s here. This edition comes with informative notes about the process, most of which went over my head, but I got the general idea. 

The overall sound of the album is electronic (I’d say a kind of synthesised orchestral sound in places), but it’s been tailored to the scenes painstakingly (a process that Fiedel says makes him bemused as to why people like the CD so much) so that you can get the gist of what’s going on in the movie without having it memorized. I feel that the best song to demonstrate this effect is track two, “Sarah On The Run,” which starts out with typical ‘people being stealthy’ music as Sarah was, of course and comes to a climax as the music adds suspense with weird tones and a descending scale. Anyone familiar with the movie could probably guess (if they cannot recall) that it’s around that time that the Terminator makes its first threatening appearance to Sarah Connor.  

My personal favourite track from the album (apart from the title theme, which I’ve got on my phone) is probably track three: “Escape From The Hospital (And T1000)

It’s also nice to notice the little touches that go into the soundtrack and the little motifs that pop up every now and then, such as a small scale reprisal of the main theme (which is the very first track) on track 18 (“Terminator Revives”), as well as the last track (“It’s Over”). The T1000 motif also pops up during other tracks as well, which adds to the atmosphere. 

This soundtrack is fast in all the right places, such as the chase scenes. When you consider that the Terminator franchise is, at its heart, basically an implacable man horror movie, then this CD goes really well with that idea. I said in my last soundtrack review that they can evoke memories of the original show or movie, and I think that has been shown again here. 

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