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CSI Files

An archive of CSI, NCIS, Criminal Minds and crime drama news

Week of November 15, 2004

By Chris Fullman
Posted at November 20, 2004 - 10:43 PM GMT

CSI: Miami -- "Speed Kills "

Speed kills, quite frequently too. Thankfully we weren't shoved speedy music during this episode. It begins with a seemingly Eiffel-65-type song during the dating segment, which I'm still trying to identify, but because it's hard to distinguish lyrics, either because of my local affiliate's feed or just the signal I'm getting from Dish Network, it's often hard to discern.

There were a few pieces that I will have to assume were licensed -- that is because it's completely different than anything I've heard from the new composers to date, dramatically different, almost.

The first one was during the mold they're making of the skull, and then during the trace analysis of the napkin. Both of these seem to be very well produced, different than the standard ambient material we hear during the latest episodes.

If you liked this score, you may like: Riven

CSI: New York -- "Rain"

Here's where CSI: New York is starting to pull away in its own musical niche from the other shows. Bill Brown has composed probably the best soundtrack for a CSI show I've seen to date.

The reoccurring theme throughout the episode is featured heavily, and I mean heavily. It starts out with percussion and a synth arpeggio riff, that is heavily delayed and filtered. It is very melodic, almost immediately infectious, because its a tune that you find yourself almost humming if you don't think about it. Throughout the episode it builds upon itself, each new variation adds something new. Towards the end of the episode, it featured an electric guitar riff that reminded me alot of Marilyn Manson's "Seizure of Power" and main theme from the first Resident Evil movie.

Now, here's where it stands out above the recent episodes in the CSI world. Instead of just a completely different version, it sounds as if Bill recorded the entire thing as one track, and then cut it up to fit with the scenes. For instance, when the guitar is brought in towards the end, the next time you hear it, the guitar is in the background, but not removed yet -- almost as if it's just another section of the song itself.

During the final confession and rescue scene, there is a deep piano segment that adds a lot of powerful emotion to the ending of the episode. Bill has proven himself as a worthy composer before, now he's taking advantage of it... and that's a great thing!

If you liked this score, you may like: Riven, Resident Evil

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation -- "Ch-Ch-Changes"

John M. Keane likes to put an emphasis on the awkwardness of the bizarre events that happen inside Las Vegas. During the first investigation of the house, there is a detuned piano that sounds out of place, much like the characters in the episode. It adds a sense of confusion to the scene, especially where Sara is concerned.

During the bar confession, the awkwardness is brought back, this time in the form of a slow piano waltz, the keys are deep and touching.

Percussion is playing a role lately in CSI, and it's starting to show. Sometimes music isn't always needed, when a simple percussion line will do. Strings and percussion add a new element, and strings help fill in silence without relying on filters to do it for them.

The featured song in this episode, heard during Nick's evidence scene, is called "We" from the band "Home Video." You can find more information about them at their site: homevideooffice.com

If you liked this score, you may like: Craig Armstrong: As If To Nothing & Piano Works

Coming up soon: A CSIFiles.com Exclusive Interview with CSI: New York's composer, Bill Brown!

Discuss this reviews at Talk CSI!

Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.

Chris Fullman is a regular contributor. For more information, visit his personal site

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