The Challenge

Jerry Goldsmith

" The Challenge remains ... quite challenging "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the limited release

The Challenge transports Jerry Goldsmith towards Japanese territory, at least music wise. It has never been an album I regularly listen to, but times have changed and even the least interesting ones now sound much more invigorating (this due to the less stimulating scores of today). However, though I admire The Challenge a lot more today, it still doesn't win me over. There's nothing wrong about the detail. As ever, Goldsmith infuses enough potency and skill in his music (especially his attacking action music), and The Challenge in potency at least never disappoints. However there's a lack of either rhythm (strange considering the Japanese style) or fluency. It's either the music that occasionally stops, or the abrasive tone that is incredibly potent but lacking a melody or action motif. Perhaps this counts for the album in general as well. There's not a lot of themes or ideas here. The main theme is tranquil and actually quite lovely, and the love theme appears just once. But that's it, and it's more the technique and tone that sets the action apart. The first and final track are the loveliest, because they bring forth a Poltergeist eeriness that's quite mesmerizing. But in between it's either brimming with suspense and power, or it's tranquil but nothing more. I appreciate The Challenge more because of its potential to detail and power, but between all those Goldsmith scores it still remains an album I'll hardly revisit.

As ever, Goldsmith unleashes potency, detail and power. No composers of today can match that ferocity.
The first track is really nice, especially once it transforms to Poltergeist eeriness and mystery.
There's a lack of either action motifs, or melodic returning ideas.
The power and potency of the action tracks is ferocious (especially "As You Wish / End Title"), but I lack the rhythm that usually fuels Goldsmith's action style.

Track Listing

1. Main Title (4.58)
2. The Wrong Sword (3.55)
3. Over the Top / Fish Market (5.22)
4. Half An Equal (2.58)
5. Lonely Road (2.00)
6. "Let's Talk" (2.16)
7. Interlude (1.02)
8. "Can't We Do It?" (5.15)
9. The Pit (4.51)
10. Double Cross / Bamboo Forest (6.20)
11. The Traitor (3.30)
12. "Stay With Me" (4.27)
13. "I Will Go" (1.23)
14. Surprise Visitor / Forced Entry (2.11)
15. No Defense (4.10)
16. "As You Wish" / End Title (5.55)

Bonus Tracks
17. The Wrong Sword (alternate take) (3.55)
18. "As You Wish" / End Title (alternate edit 1) (5.52)
19. "As You Wish" / End Title (alternate edit 2) (5.50)

Total Length: 76.10
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 2 votes - average 5/5)

Released by

La-La Land Records LLLCD 1248 (limited release 2013)

Conducted by

Jerry Goldsmith

Orchestrations by

Arthur Morton