What You Will Hear: Full orchestra, tons of percussion, and a wide range of modern action techniques without any electronics. “In keeping with the goal of paying homage to [the] original show, while still sounding relevant to today’s audiences, I decided I would only use instruments that were available in 1966, when the TV show began,” Kraemer stated. “That meant no synthesizers, no techno loops, essentially no electronic instruments at all. As a result, the score has been performed entirely with acoustic instruments in a symphonic orchestral setting.”
Standout Tracks: Gold Star Score – every track is worth your time. Welcome to the HoF!
Will You Be Humming Along? Of course, it’s M:I! Also, very appreciative that Kraemer continued to use Schifrin's "The Plot" theme. (Thank you @dgoldwas for your correction!) And finally, Solomon Lane’s theme is one of the best cues of the year.
The score this makes me want to dust off: Star Trek - Michael Giacchino
Will I come back to it? Yes. This score moves seamlessly from one moment to the next, and each of those moments is worth your time. Gold Star! Everything, from the huge chase cues to the softer “sneaking around” moments exist with a wonderful feeling of momentum. Let’s start with Lalo Schiffrin’s original theme: right from the start, Kraemer builds it one note at a time, and then continuously plays with it throughout the score. I love the trills he adds in the melody on the opening track, as well as the aggressive tremolo strings underneath. He has his fun with it, but never mistreats a classic. (I’m looking at you M:I 2). The Plot theme is often used as well, bringing a nice sense of continuity. But, it is Kraemer’s original theme for the villain that steals the show. This is one of the best tracks of the year, by far. It is simultaneously menacing, quiet, and even playful. He gives it to us in so many forms, from a woodwind feature to a soaring string section. It was difficult to stop hitting repeat on this cue, and it is definitely the one I will return to most. But, this entire album deserves multiple replays. Joe Kraemer has been positioning himself for a run to the top, and Rogue Nation just might be the score that catapults him to the A-list. Well deserved, I say. Cliché time: Rogue Nation is a non-stop thrill ride that you should not miss.