Timeline (Soundtrack) by Brian Tyler



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Timeline (Soundtrack) by Brian Tyler

"Timeline of Success"
Review by Matt Peterson


Timeline (Soundtrack) by Brian Tyler


Timeline (Soundtrack) by Brian Tyler

Brian Tyler
Brian Tyler


Category    Score

Originality 8
Music Selection 9
Composition 9
CD Length 7
Track Order 9
Performance 9
Final Score 9/10


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"It's always a shame when such talent is wasted on bad films, but those that are interested in Tyler and his work should not pass up this album just because the film did poorly. "

Dan Goldwasser - SountrackNet Reviews




Music composed and conducted by Brian Tyler
Orchestrated by Brian Tyler, Robert Elhai, Dana Niu
Released by Varese Sarabande on November 25, 2003

We’ve all heard the stories. A certain famous action director fired a certain famous composer, rejecting his supposedly great score and replacing him with a relatively new kid on the block. How horrid! How unjust! Well, regardless of whether Richard Donner’s decision to replace Jerry Goldsmith’s score was warranted or not, Brian Tyler’s effort for the otherwise lackluster Timeline is nothing to scoff at.

Based on the novel by Michael Crichton, Timeline is an adventurous tale of time travel, medieval battles and of course, love. The film seemed to have everything going for it—a first rate action director coupled with some great source material should be a lock. Unfortunately, the film modifies the flow of the original novel, becoming little more than a standard action film, universally panned by the critics. Well, at least we got one great action score out of the whole mess—probably the best action score of 2003 (don’t jump on me, folks. I consider Return of the King to be more in the dramatic score territory).

Brian Tyler is joining the ranks of Michael Giacchino, Christopher Lennertz, David Julyan and others as film’s up and coming composers. 2003 was a huge year for the young Tyler, producing stellar work for Children of Dune, Darkness Falls, The Hunted, and more, including some episodes of the ill-fated Enterprise. To date, I have been impressed by his distinct style. I enjoy the kinds of chord progressions, string motifs, intricate layering and electronic/orchestral fusion that have become a staple in his work.

Timeline follows in this tradition. It is a bombastic, epic score that has elements of more traditional, swashbuckling orchestral motifs, modern electronic drum loops and beats (for when the team is in the present time frame) and Tyler’s characteristic thematic sound. Three main themes abound. The first is heard in the main title Track 1 —a theme similar to his regal opening for Children of Dune. The best theme on the album is first heard in “Galvanize the Troops.” It is a dazzling, flowing descending tune, layered with sharp snare drums and a gentle choir in the background. This is one of the best, most memorable new themes I’ve heard in a while. The third is an obligatory love theme, heard in “Lady Claire and Marek.” Track 9 Sounding like a blend of a James Bond love theme and the Baku theme from Goldsmith’s Star Trek Insurrection (a hidden homage to the fired composer?), it is a fine musical expression of affection.

Other portions of the score consist of various reincarnations of the aforementioned themes, along with some instrumentally intricate, raging and bristling action cues that make you feel your brain neurons expanding (see, film scores and classical music are good for your health!). “1357, France” is especially intense and musically harsh, opening with some shrill flutes that scream over the raging strings and brass, and continues with some tonal drop-offs and climaxes that remind me of David Arnold’s Stargate. It’s kind of a rough listen, but a track that would work wonders in a film. “Troops in the Fog” includes some interesting brass clusters and ends with an engaging string motif. “Enter the Wormhole” has a gentle restatement of the “Galvanize” theme, as does “Night Arrows,” which also includes the plucking of an ethnic string instrument, in an action cue, no less! “Transcription Errors” recalls some of the best driving electronics and strings of The Hunted. Raging action continues in “Storming the Castle,” which restates the main theme, contains some impressive strings and percussion and even has a brief bit that sounds quite similar to Howard Shore’s militaristic version of the Elf theme from The Two Towers. The raging final track “Past and Present” Track 20 begins with some great electronic beats, then strings pick up, intensify and ascend/descend. Percussion completes the ensemble, only to fade into closure via a lone harp. The score is quite consistent in quality, providing a great, fluid listening experience.

Once again, Brian Tyler continues to impress with his fresh sound. I have really grown to enjoy his distinct style of well-developed themes, recurring string motifs and an overall sense of momentum. He is able to use a variety of instruments without making the score sound like a pure jumble. Granted, this isn’t the most eloquent film music, but it never fails to engage. After all, this is meant to be predominantly action fare, and Tyler delivers in spades. Varese has stepped forward once again to release an album that no other label would probably release, especially considering the film’s lack of success. The running time is understandably modest, but is long enough to create a fulfilling listen.

Some folks are still angry about their beloved Goldsmith being fired. I appreciate Goldsmith very much, but I’m not ready to pan newcomers for the sake of protecting the old guard. Enjoy the music of the past, but don’t mourn for the score that used to be here. Its superb replacement is another indicator of a new generation ready to take on the future.

Track Listing and Ratings


Title Time


1 Timeline Main Title Track 1 2:15  *****
2 Galvanize the Troops 0:45  *****
3 The Battle of La Roque 4:13  *****
4 Troops in the Fog 1:38  ****
5 Battalion 0:48  ****
6 1357, France 2:25  ***
7 Enter The Wormhole 2:53  ****
8 Timeline 1:29  ****
9 Lady Claire and Marek Track 9 1:38  ****
10 Night Arrows 2:51  ****
11 Transcription Errors 2:04  ****
12 Storming the Castle 4:11  ****
13 Battlefield Revealed 1:06  ****
14 Interruptus 2:51  ***
15 Mysterioso 2:45  ****
16 Eternal 2:24  ****
17 Village Burned 1:18  ***
18 Descent 2:43  ****
19 History Will Change 2:11  ****
20 Past and Present Track 20 2:23  *****

Total Running Time


Timeline (Soundtrack) by Brian Tyler

*The Experience-O-Meter displays the track to track listening experience of this soundtrack based on the 5-Star rating given to each track.  It provides a visual depiction of the ebbs and flows of the CD's presentation of the soundtrack.


Referenced Reviews
  Enterprise  |  The Two Towers




All artwork from Timeline  is exclusive property of Varese Sarabande Records (c) 2003. 
 Its appearance is for informational purposes only. Review format version 5.8

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