Home > Reviews > THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE – Mark Snow


Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A very belated second sequel to the classic X-Files sci-fi TV series, “I Want to Believe” reunites director Chris Carter with stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson who, as paranormal investigators Mulder and Scully, are seeking to uncover the details of a mystery involving defrocked priests, missing FBI agents, and black market organ donation rings. Also returning to his most celebrated project is composer Mark Snow, for whom this the most high-profile cinematic score since the teen thriller Disturbing Behavior back in 1998.

Outside of the classic whistled main theme, I’ve never been a fan of Snow’s dark, synthetic music for the original X-Files series or the subsequent movie, and this is no exception. Virtually the entire score is made up of dark, occasionally disturbing orchestral and electronic textures which rumble and moan and groan for just over an hour, leaving no lasting impression beyond the vague hint of unsettling menace that permeates the work.

There are just three truly outstanding moments – the vigorously orchestral “The Trip to DC”, the elegiac cello and boy soprano combo in the standout “The Surgery”, and the warm, emotional “Home Again” – but these moments of orchestral coherency are few and far between, and are so infrequent that they do little to boost the rating of the score as a whole.

A couple of frantic, rhythmic action cues – “Moonrise”, “Foot Chase” – do raise the pulse and interest briefly, and there are also a couple of more introspective moments featuring twinkling high-end pianos (as in “Ybara the Strange” or “Good Luck”), revelatory horn chords (“March and Dig”) and, occasionally, a recapitulation of the boy soprano element (as in “Father Joe”), adding an element of chilly prettiness to a score which otherwise exists in the most part down in the harmonic depths. On the whole, though, this is rather turgid and dispiriting stuff, and recommended only for fans of the series.

Rating: **

Track Listing:

  • Moonrise (3:34)
  • No Cures/Looking for Fox (2:50)
  • The Trip to DC (3:47)
  • Father Joe (1:26)
  • What If You’re Wrong/Sister (3:54)
  • Ybara the Strange/Waterboard (2:24)
  • Can’t Sleep/Ice Field (2:32)
  • March and Dig/Girl in the Box (4:56)
  • A Higher Conscious (5:31)
  • The Surgery (2:14)
  • Good Luck (1:35)
  • Seizure/Attempted Escape (1:53)
  • Foot Chase (3:31)
  • Mountain Montage/The Plow (1:40)
  • Photo Evidence (2:46)
  • The Preparation (1:34)
  • Tranquilized (1:45)
  • The Axe Post (2:57)
  • Box Them (1:41)
  • Home Again (4:17)
  • X-Files (Variation on a Theme Surrender Sounds Session #10) (performed by UNKLE) (5:52)
  • Broken (performed by UNKLE featuring Gavin Clark) (4:42)
  • Dying 2 Live (performed by Xzibit) (4:00)

Running Time: 71 minutes 21 seconds

Decca DCAB001154102 (2008)

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