Click here to return to the main site.

Soundtrack Review

Cover Image

Music from The X-Files
20th Anniversary Celebration


Composer: Mark Snow
Arranged and performed by Dominik Hauser, John Beal and Joohyun Park
Label: BuySoundtrax
RRP: £9.99, US $15.95
Available 02 October 2013

Twenty years ago viewers were transfixed by the weekly drama starring David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as Fox Mulder and Dana Scully – two FBI agents who investigate supernatural cases, knowing that the truth is out there. Film and television veteran composer Mark Snow was brought in to lead the musical charge for this truth. From the opening notes, the eerie whistle of the main title theme, viewers were immediately engaged by the series, which would eventually boast over 200 episodes and two feature-length movies. This celebratory album features music composed by Snow and is produced and arranged by Dominik Hauser, John Beal and Joohyun Park...

Can it really be two decades since The X-Files first hit our screens? I think I must be experiencing missing time! This album contains music from the entire span of the television series, as well as tracks from both feature films.

It begins with a suite of five tracks arranged by John Beal. At first, you may find yourself wondering, “What, no theme tune?” Fear not, for Beal’s intention is to re-create the feel of a typical X-Files episode in musical form, starting with a teaser before the familiar theme kicks in. There then follow cues from a variety of episodes, conveying thrilling and traumatic chases, mystery, menace, mournful death knells and poignant requiems. Just like a typical episode, the suite ends by reprising the main theme.

We also have some decidedly atypical music from some decidedly atypical episodes. Arranged by Dominik Hauser (as are most of the rest of the tracks on this album) “The Post-Modern Prometheus – J.J.’s Diner” sounds more like a Danny Elfman composition than Snow’s usual work for the show, though the sleeve notes inform us that he was aiming for the style of John Morris’s music for The Elephant Man. There are similarly comical cues in the jaunty “Dreamland Part 2 – Suite” and “Hollywood A.D. – Dancing Bones”.

These humorous tracks are interspersed by mood music that is more in the show’s usual style, including the sense of wonder in “This is Not Happening – Suite”, the poignancy of “Christmas Carol – Mother Games” and the ambiguous hope that is offered at the very end of the television show in “The Truth, Part 2 – The Truth is Inside”. There are also three tracks apiece from the two films, Fight the Future (1998) and I Want to Believe (2008). Much is made in the sleeve notes of the increased scope of the movie scores, though for me Snow’s work had generally grown more “cinematic” anyway as the series as a whole progressed.

The arrangements on this album are practically indistinguishable from the composer’s original work on the series, with two exceptions. One of these is “Scully’s Serenade”, based on a theme from the episode “Within”, arranged by Joohyun Park and sung by Katie Campbell. Park adds an assertive drum beat, which symbolises Scully’s inner strength. The final track is a very different version of the X-Files theme, “Guitar Demo”, a previously unreleased arrangement by Snow himself. This is the main theme as it might have sounded if performed by Ry Cooder or Roy Orbison. If anyone ever makes an X-Files / True Blood crossover, then this could be its theme tune.

If you want to fight the future by reliving the past, then abduct this album as soon as you can.


Richard McGinlay

Buy this item online

Each of the store links below opens in a new window, allowing you to compare the price of this product from various online stores.

MP3 album
iTunes GB
MP3 album
MP3 album