I’m a lover of movie scores.
Something about the way movie soundtracks are arranged just makes the music stand out to me as something special.
I’ve always liked the “big” sound of an orchestra, but the one reason I rarely listen to classical music; is because I have trouble drawing emotion from it.
Movie soundtracks are typically composed with the intent of harmonizing with the visuals they accompany, and in many cases; one simply would not be the same without the other.
I’ve always made it a point to pay attention to the music in films, and doing so has resulted in me seeking out a vast library of movie soundtracks.
Seeing as this is me we’re talking about, it should come as no surprise that the vast majority of these soundtracks are dumb action movies, kung fu movies, and/or old cartoons.
Nerd-gasm aside, while it’s hardly the best soundtrack I’ve ever heard, I feel I need to point out that, from the 14 minute sample I’ve heard of it; Captain America The First Avenger sounds pretty damn good so far.
Composed by industry legend Alan Silvestri, the Captain America soundtrack makes great use of his signature sound, both old and new.
On the “old” front, Captain America has some marches and cadences that borrow somewhat from Silvestri’s work on Predator, while the “new” aspect of the music, primarily the more uppity synthesized segments; draws comparisons to the composer’s work on Van Helsing.
Yes, I am aware Van Helsing was an epicly shitty movie; however few can deny the soundtrack had it’s moments.
The movie, sadly; did not.
Boasting a bombastic, and appropriately militaristic feel; the soundtrack sports Silvestri’s trademark heavy brass, but also makes subtle use of synthesizers; such that end result feels very much like a period piece, but with the energy of a modern summer blockbuster.
The 14 minute sample I was fortunate to get a chance to listen to contained several arrangements of a few different cues, one that I feel comfortable assuming was one of the central themes of the film; and one that had to have been an action cue.
Curiously enough, parts of it feel kind of like The A-Team theme, (minus the BADASS electric guitar solo) which Alan Silvestri recently remixed for the feature film adaptation:
Really now, did I seriously need an excuse to embed that clip?
Didn’t think so.
Anyway, truth be told the “theme” feels kind of weak when compared to the greats of the past, however it’s far stronger than Patrick Doyle’s work on Thor, which in my eyes was one of the summer’s biggest missed opportunities for producing a great action movie soundtrack.
That’s not to say the Captain America “theme” is all that great, it’s not; it’s merely good.
I think it’s biggest weakness is that it comes across as somewhat generic, largely because it’s “militaristic feel” overshadows the fact that it’s supposed to be the theme music for an individual.
When I listen to the “theme,” I get images of Americana and WWII stuff, but sadly I don’t get any pictures of Cap’ wearing his goofy blue costume.
Not that I have any idea of how one would compose music to convey such imagery in the first place.
Wow, that brought back some memories… Mostly bad.
Moving on, the action cue from the sample was actually quite good.
Energetic and colorful, the action cue feels like a mix between Silvestri’s great work on Beowulf, (minus the overbearing choir) and his equally great work on The Mummy Returns; however composed at a much faster clip.
Truth be told, the cadence of the music leads me to believe part of it was arranged with the train sequence from the trailer in mind; however I could be, and likely am wrong on that.
In any case, I like what I’ve heard thus far, and truly hope the movie ends up yielding a similar reaction from me when I finally get to see it next month.
Post a comment if you’d like a download link to the Captain America sample soundtrack!