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Arrow – Season 3 Limited Edition (Soundtrack Review)

Arrow - Season 3 Limited Edition (Soundtrack Review)From “La La Land Records” comes the Soundtrack for The CW’s third season of “Arrow”!  Written by award winning Composer Blake Neely, this limited edition 2 disc release is jam packed with intense and darkly emotional music that allows you to relive the experience of watching the show!  It also includes music from THE FLASH VS. ARROW crossover episodes, with Part One appearing on THE FLASH album and Part Two appearing on the ARROW recording.

Arrow - Season 3 Limited Edition (Soundtrack Review)

The score for this season of Arrow follows a rather traditional approach when it comes to “Action” film music.  The fundamental theme that seems to run through all of these tracks is that of determination towards a clear goal.  The percussion and rhythm section has a particularly militaristic feel.  Which, as a listener makes for perfect background music while driving to work or trudging through an arduous task. But there are other times where the groove takes an Asian direction and this is where the music seems to shine the most.  Neely incorporates unusual rhythmic patterns that might be a little jarring to the western listener.  But they serve to take you off balance while at the same time gripping onto you with it’s unflinching focus.

Arrow - Season 3 Limited Edition (Soundtrack Review)Arrow - Season 3 Limited Edition (Soundtrack Review)

In comparison to Arrow’s sister show, The Flash, Neely has taken a far more serious approach to his writing for this show.  There isn’t much in the way of melancholy or quiet emotional moments.  Here you’ll find a much more intense and aggressive style.  For the most part the music is rather simplistic in concept.  However, there are a few sweeping dramatic shifts but with Arrow they have a much more tight and focused vision.  Being that this is Arrow’s third season there isn’t much that the character is questioning about himself or his goals.  He knows what needs to be done, and he knows that he’s the one to take care of it.  That feeling is conveyed through the music as well.

Arrow - Season 3 Limited Edition (Soundtrack Review)Arrow - Season 3 Limited Edition (Soundtrack Review)

One thing I noticed about this score is that the pacing and transitions are a little bit “By The Numbers”.  The musical segues are somewhat predicable and have very little emotional surprises.  This music serves more to reinforce what’s happening on the screen and doesn’t make a whole lot of effort to enhance the overall emotion that the scene is expressing.  A score like this you probably wouldn’t notice as you were watching the show.  Which, traditionally speaking, is what a Composer strives to accomplish.  But the balancing act is to make something that is unobtrusive but still emotionally provocative.  Though it does support the drama of the show, the casual music lover may find it a bit jarring at times.

Arrow - Season 3 Limited Edition (Soundtrack Review)

If I were to describe the music this season by comparing it to another film, the closest thing that I can think of would be the music from “The Bourne Identity”.  Both of them consist primarily of percussive rhythmic elements that are performed through the use of synths and ethnic instruments.  But where the “Bourne” soundtrack is somewhat varied in it’s approach, perhaps due to it’s complex story line, the Arrow soundtrack is a little more on the rudimentary side.

Arrow - Season 3 Limited Edition (Soundtrack Review)

Another instance where this soundtrack really seems to shine with emotion is during the quiet moments.  Though there is still a subtle current of tension, it seems that Neely is really trying to convey Arrow’s inner emotional complexity while at the same time honoring his intensity.  During these quiet moments Neely also implores some of Arrows signature sound effects.  In particular the sound of the bow being drawn back and the release of the metal tipped arrow!

So if you love intensely driven and dark thematic elements combined with Asian flare, then you’ll definitely wanna pick your copy which comes out on October 27th!

 

Arrow - Season 3 Limited Edition (Soundtrack Review)

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Writer, Musician, Composer, Singer and Dancer. To sum up: I like to get jiggy with it!

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