“Like sands through the hourglass… so are the days of our lives.”
So begins the rather epic two disc collection of music from Days of our Lives, a soap opera that has been airing daily for almost half a century. As the composers discuss in the liner notes, the last collection was released over ten years ago, so coming up with an appropriate collection of tracks to include on this album was a bit of a challenge. Parsing through 3500 pieces of music, composers D. Brent Nelson and Ken Corday have managed to sort out the story they’d like to tell in this hour and 40 minutes of music. And even for the uninitiated (such as myself) this is a surprisingly enjoyable collection of music.
The first disc features “prettier more melodic cues” (so says Nelson) from various episodes. Though these tracks don’t follow a consistent storyline, they do manage to feel very connected to each other, with intriguing guitar riffs and occasional synthetic beats – almost like an artsy cross between elevator music and soft-core pornography backgrounds. There are quite a few moments of implied mystery, mostly thanks to the gently strummed guitar – listen to “In the Heat of the Night” for a perfect example of this – rousing guitar backed by repetitious percussion.
The second disc is a bit more action-oriented. From the very first notes it’s clear that this is a different collection of music than the first disc. What’s most interesting about this disc is that the composers chose to tell seven distinct storylines with this set of music:
Storyline 1: Sami’s Revenge / Stan
Storyline 2: Lethal Injection of Stefano Dimera
Storyline 3: Stalking and Manipulation of EJ Dimera
Storyline 4: Stefano & Colleen Brady
Storyline 5: The Morgue
Storyline 6: Searching For The Salem Stalker
Storyline 7: Kidnapping and Escape
Because of this, the tracks blend together much more seamlessly than they do on the first disc. In fact, with the tracks being so short – the vast majority are under two minutes – the second collection feels more like seven longer tracks rather than 33 short ones. Where the quieter music of the first disc gives off an air of intimacy and intrigue, the second disc is all pounding tension. It’s not bad music, but it begins to feel a little forced and over-the-top (imagine that for soap opera action sequences!).
Bottom line: this collection of music is much better than any non-fan might assume, but with two hours of music it’s difficult for any composer to stay on target continuously. Much of this music did it’s work supporting the soap opera storylines, but doesn’t play out as nicely on its own.
Zach’s Rating: B-
Perfect For: Those wanting to relive their favorite Days of our Lives moments from the last 10 years
Stay Away if: Overly melodramatic scores are not your forte
To purchase the soundtrack from Days of our Lives, visit Amazon