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Composed, Co-Orchestrated, Conducted, and Co-Produced by:
Michael Kamen

Co-Produced by:
Stephen McLaughlin
Christopher Brooks

Co-Orchestrated by:
Robert Elhai
Brad Warnaar

Cello Solos by:
Steve Erdody

Decca Records

Release Date:
July 11th, 2000

Also See:
X2: X-Men United
X-Men: The Last Stand
Event Horizon

Audio Clips:
1. Death Camp (0:30):
WMA (197K)  MP3 (243K)
Real Audio (151K)

7. Magneto Stand Off (0:25):
WMA (166K)  MP3 (202K)
Real Audio (125K)

9. Museum Fight (0:30):
WMA (193K)  MP3 (238K)
Real Audio (147K)

12. Logan and Rogue (0:31):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (248K)
Real Audio (154K)

Regular U.S. release.


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Sales Rank: 55140

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Buy it... if you prefer your superhero scores to feature an ambient personality that is devoid of the usual heroic themes and straightforward action material often heard in the genre.

Avoid it... if you expect to hear some of the thematic highlights from the film on this commercial album, for the product does not completely represent Michael Kamen's original intent for the film.

X-Men: (Michael Kamen) Although comic superhero adaptations had already populated the big screen in sparse numbers from the 1970's through the 1990's, it wasn't until the 2000's that the wealth of characters seen for decades in the comics of Marvel Enterprises made it to the big screen. And then, with ferocious intent, studios pressed forward with franchises for The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, and X-Men. The first of these adaptations was an ambitious production of X-Men in 2000, with a top notch cast and extremely high expectations. While eager fans of the long-running comic found much to be happy with in the final product, executives at 20th Century Fox nearly ruined the venture with troublesome meddling late in the game. It was a classic case of industry artists versus studio suits, the latter demanding frantic changes to X-Men through the final weeks before its debut. One of the areas most deeply affected by this disheartening battle was the music for the film. Director Bryan Singer was originally set to utilize the services of his regular collaborator, John Ottman, but despite the young composer's desire to enter the realm of superhero films (which he would eventually accomplish in both this and the The Fantastic Four franchises), Ottman had to step away from X-Men due to scheduling conflicts. On board came veteran Michael Kamen, whose career in fantasy and science-fiction was a bit sparse. He wrote a melodic score fashioned after the style of the Superman and Batman franchises, which was understandable given his move towards dramatic lyricism in What Dreams May Come and The Iron Giant over the previous few years. The studio, however, reportedly wanted a score with a more abstract, electronic edge, and Kamen was sent scrambling to alter the personality of his work. As a result, fans heard a score more in tune with the trashy Event Horizon, with pieces of the score's former self mixed into a few of the scenes. The lack of cohesion in the music is most evident on the album, which was assembled in haphazard fashion as well. The score, while serviceable, is among the weakest for any Marvel adaptation of the 2000's, and the album provides an even less remarkable listening experience.

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Had Joel McNeely not replaced Michael Kamen on The Avengers two years prior, Kamen might have produced this exact same result for that film. His score for X-Men straddles the line between electronic ingenuity and traditional orchestral elements, with the latter still receiving the primary role even after the last minute adjustments. The difference between this music and Kamen's more recognized material for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Die Hard is the lack of recognizable themes and a heavier reliance on dissonant and unnerving environments. The majority of the score features bland orchestral tension in the minor key, served over a background layer of electronic whooshes and grinding effects. Most of the score is dark and sinister, accentuating the futuristic, awe-inspiring concept with ominous meanderings of the string section. The opening cue on album, "Death Camp," is a highlight that uses a lengthy piano and string introduction to a timpani-pounding crescendo of menacing force. The dramatic undertones of the persecution of the mutants is effectively conveyed in this weighty material, but missing is the ambition or conflict that results from that premise. The electronic accompaniment, often tingling in the form of a light rhythm, as well as a choir, provide the fantasy atmosphere in "Mutant School" and "Cerebro," respectively. While pieces of Kamen's original thematic ideas are still heard in parts of the film, they are almost completely lost on album. A hint of development in "Ambush" is among the few snippets we hear until the romantic "Logan and Rogue" cue at the end explores an appropriately tragic idea. The action material is, like Event Horizon, consistently loud and aimless. Despite the more rewarding harmonic expressions in "Logan and Rogue," the cue and album bubble away into an anti-climactic and unsatisfying end. Fans of the score have long sought bootlegs of the complete recordings that better expose Kamen's intentions for X-Men, and, given the circumstances, there is likely merit to their existence over other bootlegs. The commercial album will require both patience and some picking and choosing of favorite parts to appreciate. The sequel scores by John Ottman and John Powell over the remainder of the 2000's are both superior efforts that provide the concept with better themes and engaging action material. *** Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For Michael Kamen reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.14 (in 14 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.21 (in 32,993 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 3.2 Stars
Smart Average: 2.99 Stars*
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   Re: X-Men Trailer 02 music
  Late -- 4/10/12 (4:24 a.m.)
   Re: Logan and Rogue (5:57)
  Mark Malmstrøm -- 11/8/10 (4:56 a.m.)
   Re: Logan and Rogue (5:57)
  Marie -- 11/18/09 (4:16 p.m.)
   Re: Is there an X-Men extended soundtrack?
  Kandi -- 9/28/08 (10:28 p.m.)
   X-Men Complete Score
  Jon -- 4/19/07 (7:04 p.m.)
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 Track Listings: Total Time: 40:27

• 1. Death Camp (3:05)
• 2. Ambush (3:26)
• 3. Mutant School (3:48)
• 4. Magneto's Lair (5:01)
• 5. Cerebro (2:13)
• 6. Train (2:35)
• 7. Magneto Stand Off (3:01)
• 8. The X-Jet (3:47)
• 9. Museum Fight (2:21)
• 10. The Statue of Liberty (2:38)
• 11. Final Showdown (2:31)
• 12. Logan and Rogue (5:57)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert includes no extra information about the score or film.

  All artwork and sound clips from X-Men are Copyright © 2000, Decca Records. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 7/10/00 and last updated 6/22/08. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2000-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.