Arriving 12 years after the release of the film, Vangelis’ soundtrack to the 1982 futuristic noir detective thriller Blade Runner is as bleak and electronically chilling as the film itself. By subtly interspersing clips of dialogue and sounds from the film, Vangelis creates haunting soundscapes with whispered subtexts and sweeping revelations, drawing inspiration from Middle Eastern textures and evoking neo-classical structures.
Often cold and forlorn, the listener can almost hear the indifferent winds blowing through the neon and metal cityscapes of Los Angeles in 2019. The sultry, saxophone-driven “Love Theme” has since gone on as one of the composer’s most recognized pieces and stands alone as one of the few warm refuges on an otherwise darkly cold (but beautiful) score. An unfortunate inclusion of the 1930s-inspired ballad “One More Kiss, Dear” interrupts the futuristic synthesized flow of the album with a muted trumpet and Rudy Vall e-style croon.
However well done (and appropriate in the movie), a forlorn love song that sounds as if it is playing on a distant Philco radio in The Waltons’ living room jarringly breaks the mood of the album momentarily (although with CD technology, this distraction is easily bypassed).