Latest reviews of new albums:
The Avengers
  • Composed by Alan Silvestri
  • Hollywood Records / 2012 / 76:08

The culmination of the various “introductory” movies from Marvel over the last few years, The Avengers sees Iron Man, Thor, the Incredible Hulk and Captain America team up to save the world together.  Joss Whedon’s film is very enjoyable – perhaps not quite up there with the first Iron Man, but still good, and it made a fortune for the studio.  The series has been largely undistinguished from a musical point of view, but out of nowhere Alan Silvestri appeared to finally provide it with a decent score with Captain America, and fortunately his services were retained for this film.  His score is very much a continuation of that style (and there are occasional quotes of his fantastic theme for that character).  Again he has written a great theme and again he uses it quite sparingly in the main body of the score, not revealing it in full until the wonderful finale.

Action is what Silvestri’s always done best, and there’s no shortage of it here.  “Tunnel Chase” is an early highlight, “Hellicarrier” is bold and muscular, “Seeing, Not Believing” is real balls-to-the-wall stuff, “Assemble” adds a real dramatic thrust to the action along with a heroic – if fleeting – burst of the main theme, and starts an action-packed sequence of about 20 minutes as the film draws towards its conclusion that’s just hugely satisfying.  “Interrogation” introduces a wonderful theme with an Eastern flavour for Scarlett Johansson’s character Black Widow (let’s hope she gets her own film and let’s hope Silvestri scores it).  There are no new themes for any of the other characters, which is fair enough given that they’re often working as a team in the film, but perhaps that’s a bit of a missed opportunity.  The one negative I feel worthy of note is the use of electronics, which seems somewhat stuck in the 1980s, but mercifully they don’t appear that often.  (Actually, there’s one other negative, and that’s the $20 price tag for the physical album, which seems much too high in comparison with other new CDs.)  The lack of the innocent exuberance of Captain America (and the fact it’s a little too long) means this is perhaps slightly less satisfying, but it’s still a very entertaining album and it’s great to see another “proper” score in a big summer blockbuster.  *** 1/2 |

Tags: ,

  1. Edmund Meinerts (Reply) on Tuesday 9 October, 2012 at 12:57

    Good review, but I’m a bit bemused by the praise Black Widow’s theme has been getting. It’s ripped right out of The A-Team – not that I’d particularly expect people to remember much of anything from The A-Team, but if you listen to “Flying a Tank” at the 4-minute mark and compare it to this score’s “I Got a Ride” at 2:40 you’ll hear the similarity.

    Otherwise I like the old-fashioned style of this score, but it seems like Silvestri-by-numbers compared to things like The Mummy Returns and Van Helsing.