Latest reviews of new albums:
Son of Batman
  • Composed by Frederik Wiedmann
  • La-La Land Records / 2014 / 66m

A direct-to-video feature length animation, Son of Batman features the son of Batman, along with Batman himself.  Lots of opportunities for father-son bonding, trips to the baseball etc.  The score is by Frederik Wiedmann, whose credits in recent years have included several tv series and movies and direct-to-video animations in this genre (including his very popular music for Green Lantern: The Animated Series).  The music budget afforded him live strings but most of the rest of the orchestra had to be sampled; don’t let that put you off though because while there are one or two moments when it’s obvious, for much of the time you barely even notice (one or two parts it’s hard to believe the brass isn’t real, but that’s the suggestion of the album booklet) – this is thanks in no small part to the many moments of quality in the music itself.

The main theme for Batman is decent (if a little unmemorable); more emotionally engaging is the theme for his son (“Damian”), surprisingly long-lined and attractive.  The album starts very strongly with the brief but sprightly opening titles leading into the dramatic (at times almost elegiac) “Peace and War” and then the action-packed “Deathstroke’s Army”.  The score as a whole skilfully moves between these styles; the action music reminds me of the manic orchestral style of Brian Tyler and is frequently very impressive; the genuine emotion felt in the more dramatic moments elsewhere in the score making a nice complement.  Occasionally there’s a vaguely noirish sound representing Gotham City, which is another nice touch, though one cue completely out of keeping with the rest of the music (the jazzy “Souvernirs d’une Liaison”) is nice on its own terms but seems to ruin the dramatic flow of the album.  It’s not the most memorable music in the world, but Son of Batman is well-composed and highly enjoyable (particularly the action material), with a larger emotional content than may be expected.  Certainly worth checking out.

Rating: *** 1/2 | |

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  1. Callum Hofler (Reply) on Wednesday 25 June, 2014 at 13:34

    I rather enjoy Frederik Wiedmann; his previous DC scores have been enjoyable, and this one in particular happens to be one of my favourites of his.

  2. Daniel Henderson (Reply) on Thursday 3 July, 2014 at 15:21

    While good stuff, I’d love to hear Christopher Drake get a budget of this size when he does a DC animated movie.

    And James, with everything you’ve said about only a couple of people can do a good action score, you need to review Drake’s Batman:Arkham Origins OST. His Batman Theme is intentionally brief, but the rest of the score is fantastic.