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Batman: The Brave and The Bold - Music from the DC Comics Animated Television Series
Street Date: January 28th, 2014
Label: La-La Land Records

DETAILS:

BATMAN THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD – 2 CD SET
MUSIC BY KRISTOPHER CARTER, MICHAEL McCUISTION, LOLITA RITMANIS
LLLCD 1289
LIMITED EDITION OF 2000 UNITS
RETAIL PRICE: $19.98

PRODUCED BY KRISTOPHER CARTER, MICHAEL McCUISTION, LOLITA RITMANIS
MASTERED BY DOUG SCHWARTZ AT MULHOLLAND MUSIC
LINER NOTES BY JOHN TAKIS
ART DIRECTION BY JIM TITUS

From Warner Bros Animation and La-La Land Records comes the world premiere release to one of the most unique incarnations of the Dark Knight the world has ever seen – Batman: The Brave and The Bold. This witty and riotous animated series ran for a few seasons on the Cartoon Network and has developed a cult following over the years. One of the highlights to this unusual series was the Crime Jazz sound created by composers Carter, McCuistion and Ritmanis. Filled with fun and exciting themes, space aged goofiness as well as heart pounding action cues this is the most unusual and interesting Batman music-scape ever created!

TRACK LISTING:

DISC 1
1. Batman: Brave and the Bold Main Title§ 0:33
2. Original Beetle Flashback*** 2:05
3. The Search** 2:19
4. History Lesson** 1:05
5. The Ideal Society* 2:24
6. Initiate Attack Sequence** 1:25
7. Ted’s Sacrifice* 1:40
8. Island Blows Up*** 2:37
9. Worthy Jaime*** 0:47
10. No Rest For The Weary*** 2:17
11. Through The Door** 0:21
12. My Son, Tornado Champion** 2:19
13. Major Disaster* 2:03
14. Father Son Bonding*** 2:57
15. Conversation By The Sea*** 1:28
16. Internal Change*** 1:37
17. The Logical Solution* 2:11
18. Dare to Love* 1:54
19. Who Am I?** 1:41
20. Gentlemen Ghost Busted*** 2:41
21. Action In The Sky** 1:39
22. Plastic Man Origin* 0:57
23. Flashback Defense* 1:11
24. Oa Arrival*** 1:21
25. Prisoner Roundup*** 1:37
26. Return To Camelot* 2:09
27. Etrigan Transformation** 0:38
28. Forest Fight** 2:17
29. Ogre Altercation* 1:59
30. Morgan Enslaves Bats*** 0:45
31. Castle Fight*** 1:53
32. Dragon Transformation* 2:18
33. Morgan Defeated** 1:21
34. Etrigan Departs** 0:44
35. Faust Battle* 2:03
36. Aquaman On The Scene** 1:14
37. Orm And Manta Plot*** 1:29
38. Fighting Fish Fun*** 1:38
39. Call Me Ocean Master** 1:53
40. Bat Chum*** 0:48
41. Black Manta’s Showtime** 1:18
42. Shrimp To The Rescue* 2:44
43. A King Is Born** 0:48
44. Meet Bat-Mite*** 1:59
45. Villains & Holidays* 1:54
46. UFOs and Alien Monsters* 1:16
47. Run Bat-Mite Run*** 1:28
48. Bat-Mite Goes Home*** 1:04
49. Just Like Green Arrow** 0:28
Total Disc Time: 79:17

DISC 2
1. Black Orchid Snags Ivy*** 2:42
2. Catwoman Seeks Cloak*** 1:21
3. Thugs Emerge From Smoke** 1:07
4. Catwoman Steps Out** 1:08
5. Cloak Reveal** 1:16
6. Get The Birds Of Prey** 0:53
7. Matches Montage*** 1:52
8. Outsiders vs. Despero*** 3:06
9. Jonah’s Back In Town* 0:46
10. Jonah’s Hand** 1:11
11. I Aim To Repay My Debt* 2:07
12. Enter Mongal** 1:26
13. Furies Attack*** 1:30
14. Bats Hex Face Mongal*** 0:57
15. Mongul’s Savagery** 1:36
16. Giddyap!* 1:31
17. Manta Machine Fight*** 2:53
18. Wildcat** 3:24
19. Motorcycle Chase* 1:40
20. Subway Fight* 0:58
21. Slug Is Sleazy And Slimy** 1:18
22. Wildcat Tricks Slug* 3:36
23. Mystery Montage* 0:57
24. Armed And Dangerous** 2:49
25. Joker Revealed* 1:24
26. Your Car Or Mine?* 2:09
27. Don’t Touch That* 1:17
28. Death Trap** 1:11
29. Sinister** 1:07
30. Seduction And Pulse** 1:56
31. Batmania Battle* 2:32
32. Joker Laughs Last*** 1:11
33. Cadabra And Zatana** 2:25
34. Young Wayne’s Oath* 1:10
35. Confession*** 1:33
36. Tiki Tavern Souce** 0:30
37. Moxin Crashes Ball*** 2:05
38. Casual Contract* 0:55
39. Batman vs. Everyone* 1:41
40. The Slinking Coward** 2:43
41. Jazzy Action Source** 0:50
42. Ambush Bug Materializes** 1:28
43. Bat-Mite Goes Too Far* 1:31
44. Bats Reverts To Norm*** 1:42
45. If Only Piano Source** 1:09
46. Batman: Brave and the Bold End Titles§ 0:36
Total Disc Time: 75:05

§ composed by Andy Sturmer * composed by Michael McCuistion
** composed by Lolita Ritmanis *** composed by Kristopher Carter

Total Album Time: 154:22

LISTING BREAKDOWN VIA EPISODES:

DISC ONE:
FALL OF THE BLUE BEETLE!
HAIL THE TORNADO TYRANT!
TERROR ON DINOSAUR ISLAND!
DAY OF THE DARK KNIGHT!
EVIL UNDER THE SEA!
LEGENDS OF THE DARK MITE!

DISC TWO:
THE MASK OF MATCHES MALONE!
DUEL OF THE DOUBLE CROSSERS!
ENTER THE OUTSIDERS!
GAME OVER FOR OWLMAN!
CHILL OF THE NIGHT!
MITEFALL!

Review by James Harvey

The first track of the show's epic, catchy theme song should give you a hint of what to expect when cracking out the Batman: The Brave and The Bold soundtrack. Its fast, upbeat, a little jazzy, and oddly soothing at times. Granted, your enjoyment of this soundtrack will only stretch as far as your appreciation for the actual animated series (it boggles the mind that someone wouldn't enjoy this love-letter, but hey - can't please everyone).

What surprised me right away about this soundtrack is how ... normal it sounds from time to time. And I don't mean that in a bad way. We all have this perception of Batman: The Brave and The Bold as this 24/7 nutty show that was bonkers from the get-go, but not so. While the show played it fast and loose and remain light-hearted throughout, the show actually had a pretty epic scale, and this soundtrack actually captures that. Yes, the soundtrack has a jazzy, quick beat to it, but that is actually meshed with the more dramatic moments quite well. We get those serious moments, as things did get pretty tense on the show from occasion, but then the action and hijinks kick in and the scores just take off. In fact, the score is what keeps this series together no matter how bizarre things got, there was always a slight hint of similarity in each track, a small thread, to keep it all connected. Compare the score to "Chill of the Night" with "Mitefall" - two perfect examples of such different episodes which are thematically held together because of the score.

The composers are dead-on for each episode, hooking on to one idea and theme, usually a homage to the movies or characters or yesteryear and just running with it. They play up classic themes and archetypes to great success, whether it's playing up a more medieval theme for "Day of the Dark Knight" or giving Jonah Hex a classic spaghetti western sound to him, the range of Dynamic Music Partners knows no bounds.

The first track for "Duel of the Double-Crossers" is perfect example of how fun and jazzy this show can sound, and it's this sound that, even muted for some of the serious episodes, keeps things together. Pair that up with the show's big-scale heroics and light-hearted tone, and you have the basics for what this show is all about. The overall retro-jazz sounds creates a score that just pops. I wouldn't call it campy, it's too self-aware for that, but more fun. It's self-aware without being snarky or stuck-up about this. In fact, I'd even call this show kinda..innocent, and you get that feel on occasion. It's pure.

There's actually a couple beats in here that tug at the heart-strings a little...

My only real beef with the collection is the score selection as some of the scores here, I think, don't really reflect the nature of the series. I get the collection wanted to mix in both the fun episodes with a few of the more "serious" episodes, but the balance is lacking a little bit. The scores lean a bit more toward the serious than the upbeat, jazzy action jams, but that's a minor complaint. All the music in here is a joy to listen to ... I guess that is a roundabout way of hoping for additional releases down the road.

The score to Batman: The Brave and The Bold offers an entirely new approach on how to score a Batman cartoon and, no surprise here, the create team hits it out of the park. While I wasn't a huge fan of the episode selection, what's here is gold. Ideally we'll get more releases down the line to really show off the impressive work of these composers. But still, the light, jazz-influenced score work is a fun and dynamic, giving fans a two-disc set that belongs on the shelves of Bat-fans everywhere. It's a fascinating counterpart to the score work on Batman: The Animated Series, bringing back classic, retro sounds and giving them a bit of a modern spin. Highly Recommended!



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