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The Flash – Season 1 Limited Edition (Soundtrack Review)

The Flash - Season 1 (Soundtrack Review)From “La-La Land Records” comes the Soundtrack for The CW’s first season of “The Flash”!  Written by award winning Composer Blake Neely, this limited edition 2 disc release is jam packed with exciting and emotionally driven music that allows you to relive the thrilling 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.

The Flash - Season 1 Limited Edition (Soundtrack Review)
So right off the bat I noticed that there are a few similarities, or rather influences, from Danny Elfman’s score for the Spider-Man films.  Which in a way, makes a lot of sense if you look at the back-story for both characters;  both lost their parents at a young age which motivates their super heroics, both of them were picked on in school and their powers allow them to move around the city at break neck speeds.  The track “My Name is Barry Allen” incorporates whooshing sound effects that give the impression that The Flash is actually zipping around your speakers and headphones!
The Flash - Season 1 Limited Edition (Soundtrack Review)The Flash - Season 1 Limited Edition (Soundtrack Review)
This is something that I hope catches on with more composers who write for super-hero films and TV.  Adding a few sound effects that specifically remind us of the character gives the music much more personality and helps to set it apart from the usual action scores we hear almost everyday!  The only other instance that I can think of where this was used was in the score for the Dark Knight films.  From what I can tell Hans Zimmer waved some sort of fabric in front of the mics while recording to emulate the sound of Batman’s cape.  I remember hearing that in the theater and INSTANTLY getting the sense that ol’ Bats himself was standing right next to me!  It was great!  I really feel like Blake Neely captured that true comic book essence with his Flash score as well.
The Flash - Season 1 Limited Edition (Soundtrack Review)
The Flash - Season 1 Limited Edition (Soundtrack Review)

These days when scoring a comic book property one could easily go the route of “Let’s make everything as dark and brooding as possible”.  I mean, in some cases that’s totally appropriate.  But you just can’t do that with The Flash.  The character is just far too upbeat to turn him into something menacing.  I mean, his main super power is runnin’ around!  There’s no way you can make that menacing!  In a way this score kind of takes me back to the “Justice League” animated series from the 90’s.  Now, Blake’s music isn’t as tremendous and bombastic as those scores were.  But it still has some of the optimistic and virtuous sensibilities that that score had.  Which is perfect considering The Flash is a founding member of the Justice League.

The Flash - Season 1 Limited Edition (Soundtrack Review)

On tracks such as “Tricksters” and “Captain Cold” Neely doesn’t seem to be afraid to get a little playful from time to time, which is a fine line to walk.  When writing music for a Super-hero story not only is it easy to be prone to darker tones, but you also run the risk of being too campy as well.  With a character like The Flash, who in essence isn’t usually taken very seriously, one might think that the music should be as whimsical as that of the 1960’s Batman TV show.  But as Neely has shown us, there is definitely a balance between that, and incorporating depth and nuance, which I think he has achieved.

The Flash - Season 1 (Soundtrack Review)

The dynamic shifts in tone and intensity really help to set it apart from other TV music as well.  For the most part they’re pretty fluid and seamless.  Whereas most action soundtracks tend to be rather jarring as you listen to them, this one does a fine job creating gradual transitions within each piece of music that make for a much more listenable score.  Often times it’s difficult to enjoy film music when you’re not watching the show at the same time.  But the music for The Flash, though it still maintains the fundamentals of film composing, is definitely something that the casual music lover can enjoy.

 

So strap on your runnin’ boots and get your copy when it comes out on October 27th!

The Flash - Season 1 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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