Marc Streitenfeld is a composer who has worked with Ridley Scott for many of his recent films including A Good Year, Body Of Lies
, Robin Hood
, and American Gangster. Whilst I enjoyed Robin Hood as a bit of a guilty pleasure, I have yet to be completely sold on Streitenfeld as a top class composer. Given the hype surrounding Prometheus I thought it was time to give him another chance. I personally think this is his best score to date, and is a masterful action/suspense score with moments of striking orchestral beauty.
There are 25 tracks in total so I won't go into every one in detail. Some standout action tracks for me included "Collision" (Track 21) with a great buildup and choir at the end for extra punch. The penultimate track "Invitation" (Track 24) was also sublime. Some of the action/suspense tracks were also nicely done - "Not Human" (Track 7) has some eery writing and nice mutated effects. "Space Jockey" (Track 20) was evil but epic and one of my favourites on the album.
The tracks which were purely suspense (e.g. Planting the Seed (Track 23) and finale track "Birth" (Track 25)) were well done, but does not make for a particularly good listening experience - I guess that's the point though. I think tracks like this work better within the film rather than on album but that might just be me.
I should note that Harry Gregson-Williams (a brilliant British composer who had worked with Ridley Scott before on Kingdom of Heaven) wrote two tracks, "Life" (Track 4) and "We Were Right" (Track 12). Both of these tracks were exquisite, particularly "We Were Right", which is bleak, haunting and yet orchestrally stunning at the same time. Also, "Friend From The Past" (Track 18) pays homage to one of Jerry Goldsmith's themes from the original Alien film, and was a rather nice touch. From a production perspective, the sound quality is fantastic as you would expect.
One word of caution - the score lasts for just over 57 minutes. Given that the film is over two hours in length there will be music within the film that has not made it on to the album. If you are after a specific cue, it might be worth hunting down some track samples (at the time of writing there aren't any samples on Amazon itself).
The only criticism comes in the form of the track lengths. The number of tracks present means the majority of the tracks are short - only 4 out of the 25 are over 3 minutes in length and some tracks feel like they have a bit of abrupt end (as if they have been shortened for the album release). That said, this was not a major issue.
Overall, this is a score that has many different styles that will appeal to some people and not others. Some of the suspense tracks do not make for particularly pleasant listening experience on their own, but those that incorporate some more action based material are better in my opinion. The standout cues for me were those that were slightly slower in pace but were orchestrally majestic of which there are many. The tracks by HGW and the homage to Goldsmith were also brilliant. For those who enjoyed it within the film, it also makes for a great standalone listen. I would be lying if every track was easy to, but as a whole, I don't think Streitenfeld (or HGW) could have done a better job. Anything less than 5* would be a disservice.