Full disclosure...that last review took quite a bit out of me. 67 tracks is...a lot of tracks. Lost's third season is so complex and had so many things factoring into it. I mean, I love it, but as far as reviewing things, Season Four's soundtrack is going to be so much easier! Also, I'm not going to go quite so in depth for the next four reviews because of exhaustion, and because I'm going to attempt an experiment in brevity. Speaking of...
Lost's fourth season is its most bare bones, straightforward season. It was originally conceived by its writers as Lost's "action season." With 2008's writer's strike, the planned 16-episode season was pared down to 14, creating an even leaner, meaner season. While a little bit of character exploration had to be sacrificed due to time, the show benefits highly from the most consistent, rapid pace of its entire run. While Season Four isn't my favorite season (I think I'm going to have to go with Season Five, though I guess we'll see soon if that opinion holds), it is a remarkable achievement, carving out its own unique identity in the Lost mythos, while still maintaining the great character development and relationships, adventure, and outright weirdness the show has always been known for.
Season Four pings back and forth between three different perspectives, and this is where the season is most dangerous. The first perspective shows the trials faced by the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815, as their island is visited by a freighter whose crew may have a more malevolent purpose than they're letting on. The dangerous part comes with the season's unpredictable perspective-shifts between "flash-forwards" to the mainland, revealing which survivors managed to make it off the island, and flashbacks to certain survivors adventures before the plane crashed. Sometimes, the viewer is uncertain which of the latter two they're seeing until an episode concludes--hence the danger...and also the fun. Season Four is quite a roller-coaster ride.
We begin exactly where Season Three left off, with Season Four premiere. The survivors are excited about their impending freighter rescue, until Desmond returns from his mission to unblock an island radio jammer. Desmond conveys a message that Charlie, a now deceased survivor, had written on his hand the moment before he died: the freighter isn't what the survivors thought it was. With distrust sown, the survivors break off into factions, one led by man of science, Jack, the other lead by man of faith, Locke. Meanwhile, back on the mainland, and years into the future, Hurley, another Oceanic 815 survivor, is not doing so well. He is revealed to be a member of the "Ocean Six," one of the six crash survivors to eventually make it back to the mainland. Part of the fun of Season Four is seeing just who these six people are. The show teases the answers to this at just the right pace throughout these 14 episodes.
And speaking of just the right pace...of all the Lost soundtracks, Lost Season 4(Original Television Soundtrack) hits the sweet-spot. Maybe it's the way the soundtrack includes almost every major character theme featured up to this point in the show's run, and develops them to more sophisticated and enjoyable degrees. Check out what Giacchino does with Desmond and Penny's classic, epic love theme on "The Constant."
Too soft for you? Well, Lost Season 4(Original Television Soundtrack) wisely builds throughout its runtime. Many of the soundtrack's quieter...more romantic tracks come early, slowly giving way to the season's rising action, as a faction of the freighter crew turns out to be the show's sole representative of ruthless, sociopathic evil. Generally, when someone on Lost does something bad, we are eventually shown their motivations, which at least partially redeem their actions. The freighter's Keamy just likes to kill and cause others pain--under the guise of following orders--because he enjoys it. With a foe that can't be reasoned with or understood, all bets are off, the body-count skyrockets, and there is little time to mourn. "Keamy Away from Him" features the kind of percussive, trombonically violent music one has come to expect from Giacchino to this point, but with just a little more oomph.
As the soundtrack progresses, Giacchino also introduces and develops "The Oceanic Six Theme," a beautiful piece of music that takes its origins from Giacchino's classic "Death Theme," but then turns into something altogether different. Stirring, longing, hopeful, and yet tinged with regret, this theme comes to gorgeous fruition on penultimate "Landing Party," before giving way to the creepy weirdness of album closer, "Hoffs-Drawlar." "Hoffs-Drawlar" soundtracks the season's final scene, at a funeral home on the mainland, hearkening back to the brilliant Season Three finale, as revealed Oceanic Six member and man of science, Jack, looks into the coffin of now deceased man of faith, Locke, ready to return to the island, revive faith, and fulfill his destiny...AND CLASSIC LOST EPISODE ENDING BOOM.
And I think I just accomplished in a few paragraphs what the previous review did with 500 of them.
2009 Varèse Sarabande
from "The Beginning of the End"
1. Giving Up the Ghost 2:40
2. Locke'ing Horns 1:52
from "The Economist"
3. Lost Away - Or Is It? 1:41
4. Backgammon Gambit 1:19
from "The Constant"
5. Time and Time Again 2:42
6. The Constant 3:52
from "Ji Yeon"
7. Maternity Hell 2:31
8. Karma Jin-itiative 1:24
9. Ji Yeon 3:09
from "Meet Kevin Johnson"
10. Michael's Right to Remain Wrong 1:54
from "The Shape of Things to Come"
11. Bodies and Bungalows 1:23
12. Benundrum 3:24
13. Hostile Negotiations 2:21
from "Cabin Fever"
14. Locke-about 6:05
from "There's No Place Like Home, Part 1"
15. There's No Place Like Home 2:35
16. Nadia on Your Life 1:42
17. C4-titude 2:00
18. Of Mice and Ben 2:19
from "There's No Place Like Home, Part 2"
19. Keamy Away from Him 4:58
20. Timecrunch 2:06
21. Can't Kill Keamy 1:48
from "There's No Place Like Home, Part 3"
22. Bobbing for Freighters 5:20
23. Locke of the Island 7:07
24. Lying for the Island 4:53
25. Landing Party" 3:23
26. Hoffs-Drawlar" 3:50