Click here to return to the main site.

Soundtrack Review

Cover Image

The Lost Children of Planet X (Concept Album)


Composer: Christopher Young
Spoken Word: Bob Badway and Christopher Young
Label: Caldera Records
Release Date: 01 November 2018

Caldera Records presents Christopher Young and Bob Badway’s concept album The Lost Children of Planet X. In the daily grind of film scoring, composers are often left with great bits of material that they love, but for various reasons were dropped from the scenes they were written for. Sometimes these pieces find new life in other films, sometimes they are buried forever, or sometimes they are resurrected – as in the case of Young and his latest album...

The Lost Children of Planet X is very much a spoken word drama, filled with surrealism and dream logic", Explains writer Bob Badway. “When you listen to the album, you get an overall picture of what’s going on, but have trouble visualizing it because the details are screwy and everything seems to be in total contradiction.”

The album is filled with Easter eggs in terms of casting and the lines delivered. Christopher Young himself appears as the booming voice of King Everett, while also delivering a few odd quips here and there, including his personal favourite, ‘Help me God, please help me!’ As a bonus, eight purely instrumental tracks are included that accompany the adventures in space.

Young’s re-working of these tracks into a concept album was something that started as a passion project, but it wasn’t until 2011 that this material was woven into the form we hear now.

I've got to be totally honest. While I love Caldera's releases, I didn't enjoy this album. The music was interesting, but the "audio drama" aspect of it was pretty boring. Bizarre dialogue and acting that ranged from passable to appalling meant that this wasn't a release I particularly enjoyed reviewing.

From a constructive point of view, Christopher Young (who has composed some of my favourite scores including Hellraiser and The Fly II) does deliver some interesting themes. One of which, near the start of the opening track, reminded me of a souped up, version of the style of music that the Vince Guaraldi Trio produced in the '60s and '70s for the Peanuts animated specials.

There's also a piece of music that's remarkably similar to Henry Mancini's main theme for A Shot in the Dark (1964), which was also repurposed for the '60s DePatie-Freleng Inspector animated series.

While It's not the sort of album I'd want to listen to for pleasure (in fact if it wasn't for the fact I was reviewing it I probably wouldn't have made it to the end, let alone listen to it half a dozen times) the quirky element will be enough to secure it an audience. It's also great to hear another side to Young's musical talent. We know and love him for his deep, rich, brooding music, but he proves here he can just as easily turn his hand to psychedelic funky weirdness.

Personally I could have done without the audio drama element, but that will also be what a lot of listeners will love about the recording.

Sadly this release is missing the customary Caldera interview with the composer - something which in this case would have greatly enhanced the recording. It would have been interesting to have heard Young's recollections on how the album came about and what projects some of the music was originally sketched out for.

While it wasn't for me, it's worth giving it a chance. You may find it's the best album you've ever listened to.


Darren Rea

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.