Monday 19 June 2006

Super Sounds

In April 2005 I reviewed John Williams' Revenge of the Sith score. This morning a preview copy of the Superman Returns (merchandise link) soundtrack CD (pre-order link) fell through my mailbox courtesy of Rhino Records! The retail release is July 10th.

Expectations are nigh high! Would John Ottman's score rekindle the sense of wonder that this author experienced at the Exeter ABC Cinema (circa 1978)? Would my yearning for unabashed heroics transport me back to Boots Corner and take flight?

01 - Main Titles (3:49)

John Williams' iconic leitmotif, arguably one of cinema's greatest and most recognizable themes, returns with joyous gusto, aplomb and new flourishes. Christopher Reeves' memory has been served well.

02 - Memories (3:07)

After the jubilant opening salvo. This cue quotes from John Williams' original score before Ottman begins his enigmatic musical journey. Shades of Fortress of Solitude and Batman Returns (1992).

03 - Rough Flight (5:13)

Bernard Herrmann collides with John Williams heroics in a dazzling display of audio pyrotechnics.

04 - Little Secrets / Power of the Sun (2:49)

The original Love Theme is introduced albeit in troubled form!

05 - Bank Job (2:21)

In a post 9/11 world there's no reprise of John Williams' humorous March of the Villains. Owes much to the brutal mechanization of movie composers Jerry Goldsmith and Basil Poledouris.

06 - How Could You Leave Us? (5:49)

Conjures comparison with Edward Scissorhands (1990) and The Abyss (1989).

07 - Tell Me Everything (3:13)

Enter the Jedi! Feel the force.

08 - You're Not one of Them (2:22)

A solitary piano and yearning string section, which culminates in a choir. Ultimately left unresolved.

09 - Not Like the Train Set (5:12)

Urgency underpins the action with a nod to John Williams' abstract Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) soundtrack! Overcast by the shadow of Hugh Jackman's Wolverine (The X-Men).

10 - So Long Superman (5:31)

The main theme is deconstructed as discordant voices duel string and wind instruments. This orchestration is an evocation of Return of the Jedi (1983) and Revenge of the Sith (2005)!

11 - The People You Care For (3:27)

Batman (1989) confronts Darkman (1990).

12 - I Wanted You to Know (2:56)

Sentimental and poignant.

13 - Saving The World (3:12)

Does what it says on the tin.

14 - In the Hands of Mortals (2:11)

Melancholia meets enchantment.

15 - Reprise / Fly Away (4:15)

If this doesn't draw a tear... Life affirming.

In summation. I'm giddy from my sonic flight and can't wait to see the movie. Rejoice in the return of THE super hero! My deepest regret, listening to Superman Returns, is that my Mother will never be able to savor the sights and sounds of Krypton as she once did...

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