Fans of small screen superhero shows must be feeling pretty super themselves to be able to add to their collections the two latest releases of exciting instrumental music from DC Comics’ television adaptations of The Flash and Arrow, both composed with heroic effort by Blake Neely.
While Neely’s music was written for the context of storytelling for a moving picture medium, the following comments are from the point of view of a listening experience away from daily activities happening in Central City and Starling City.
Click ahead to read the full reviews of both soundtracks, from our very own…Soundtracker!!!
Blake Neely has been one of the most prolific composers working in the industry since beginning his career in 2002. While having scored a handful of feature films, Neely has devoted countless hours of musical musings for over twenty television series. You have heard his work on Everwood, Eli Stone, Brothers & Sisters, and The Mentalist to name just a sampling. With few exceptions, the only way you have heard his television work is if you actually watched the shows. Television scores infrequently find their way to being released on their own whether as downloads or as compact discs, which is a real shame since with today’s production values, many scores for the small screen sound just as big and exciting as theatrical efforts. The good folks at La-La Land Records have recognized this in Neely’s more recent work by having previously released an earlier season of Arrow compositions. Now they add the third season of Arrow to the quiver, as well as the first season of The Flash – both as glorious limited edition two-disc sets that are just as fun to listen to on their own as they were to hear side-by-side with sound effects and dialog in the shows.
Music for The Flash, as one would hope, comes speeding to your ears beginning with the very first track (“The Fastest Man Alive/Always Late”) with racing strings, choral bursts, and exciting percussion, then it just soars with the use of horns. Many tracks on these two discs zip along with similar energetic gusto, but remember, Neely is a storyteller with music. He has the good sense of where to pull back the action to have you feel the more human emotions that a story requires. He understands the delicate tones needed to make you feel pensive, sad, and wistful with even a touch of romance tossed in for good measure.
While both discs in this set have introspective compositions, the second disc contains mostly this quieter style of music with a few bursts of heroic energy added here and there. One such burst is the five minute long musical defibrillator titled “The Flash vs. Arrow”. Once this track gets going, so does your heart. An excellent piece to listen to while you jog. You may not reach speeds like the Flash, but you’ll want to try.
If you were paying attention to the title of that last track in our discussion, yes, the music from the epic The Flash vs. Arrow crossover episodes is included here, as well as on the CD set of Arrow. Part one appears on disc two of The Flash album, and part two appears on the second disc of the season three Arrow album. Filling out the second discs of both sets are bonus tracks from the respective series.
The music for the third season of Arrow comes on strong on disc one of the CD set. It is delightfully heroic in tone, and sucks you right into the musical vortex of Oliver Queen’s (aka Arrow) world. One of Oliver’s new foes in this season of the show is Ra’s al Ghul, last seen on the big screen played by Liam Neeson in The Dark Knight trilogy. While assuredly Arrow in tone, a flavor of the orient is added to some of the music to reflect on the geographic background of this new villain.
While I enjoy some of the quieter moments of Arrow’s repertoire, I find myself drawn more towards the exciting cues. Thankfully, this set is loaded with great action music such as cues “Mean Streets of Hong Kong”, “Taking on Brick”, “Oliver Returns”, “Escape Through Catacombs”, “Disarming the Bombs”, and “Palmer Battles Queen”. Listening to these CDs while doing menial tasks around the house such as the laundry or washing dishes seem that much more exciting!
Do yourself a favor and order THE FLASH Season 1 – Original Television Soundtrack (a whopping 59 tracks) and ARROW – Season 3 Original Television Soundtrack (58 tracks) limited edition (3000 units) 2CD sets exclusively at www.lalalandrecords.com on October 20, and other major music retail outlets on October 27, 2015. And in-between those two dates, you can hear the latest of Blake Neely’s heroic music on television as he takes to the skies on October 26 when Supergirl premieres on CBS!
Check out the Soundtracker’s interview with Composer Christopher Lennertz