As I sit here listening to John Carpenter’s debut non-soundtrack album Lost Themes on this dark, dreary and snowy New England day, I look out of my window and feel a chill as Carpenter’s trademark synths pour out of my speakers. It’s as if he is playing along to the cold, isolated vantage point to which I sit.
Alas, Carpenter isn’t playing along to any particular image this time around, as he has finally earned the freeing experience of simply playing music for his own vision and entertainment. Recorded with the help of Carpenter’s son and grandson, Lost Themes has that old familiar sound that we’ve all come to love and expect from the master of horror, but it’s filled to the brim with an abundance of heart and soul. Not that his previous soundtracks lacked that in any way, but this particular journey can be enjoyed along with him, as listeners can easily lose themselves in the array of hypnotic synths, strings and bass lines.
Opening with “Vortex”, you immediately feel as though Christine is chasing you down, yet the track takes aim at your senses and does well to carry you away into a completely different world away from the classic 1983 film. “Obsidian” is very much reminiscent of In The Mouth of Madness, “Fallen” much like The Fog and “Mystery” maintains a Prince of Darkness tone. But I’m going to dispense with the comparisons of Carpenter’s classic soundtracks. That would hardly be fair to a man of his talent and stature. If you’ve been a fan of the director’s films and soundtracks, you’ll most certainly enjoy this dynamic ominous batch of new material. Whatever emotion it evokes, it will be a soundtrack to your own story; no one else’s on the big screen.
Lost Themes by John Carpenter is available Feb. 3 Buy It Here