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Reviews - Soundtrack

Packaging

Label: La-La Land Records
Street Date
: October 6th, 2009*
* - Exclusively through La-La Land Records. Also available in digital formats via Amazon and iTunes.

1) Green Lantern: First Flight Main Title (2:05)
2) The Ring Chooses Hal (4:42)
3) Hal Meets the Lanterns / The Flight to Oa (3:45)
4) Labella's Club (3:30)
5) Going After Cuch (3:03)
6) The Way I Heard It (2:22)
7) Bugs in the Baggage (4:16)
8) Teleport Pursuit (2:29)
9) Brutal Attack / The Fate of Kanjar Ro (3:53)
10) Relinquishing the Ring (1:19)
11) Back from the Dead / Boodikka Turns (5:54)
12) The Weaponers / Sinestro Transforms (4:29)
13) The New Power Arrives (2:37)
14) The Corps Fights Sinestro (2:47)
15) The Corps Falls (1:39)
16) Revival of the Green Lantern (2:30)
17) Asteroid Battle (2:50)
18) Ring Against Ring (3:05)
19) The Green Lantern Pledge (1:02)
20) Green Lantern: Closing Credits (3:05)

Synopsis: When Hal Jordan first becomes a Green Lantern, he is put under the supervision of senior Lantern, Sinestro, only to discover that his so-called mentor is part of a secret conspiracy that threatens the entire Green Lantern Corps. Composer Robert J. Kral catches all the space-faring action with his riveting score.

Review (Zach Demeter)
While available on iTunes, Amazon and other various retailers for some time now, the Green Lantern: First Flight soundtrack will land on CD via La-La-Land Records on October 6th, 2009. This is great news for those of us who are obsessed with maintaining the highest level of quality when listening to orchestrated scoresÖand also good news because it gives fans a tangible product to hold onto. A minor perk for some, but for me holding the CD and cranking it up in full CD quality trumps MP3 any day.

Of course I should probably confess that I donít actually listen to the physical disc itself. I copy it to my PC via way of the FLAC format, which maintains CD level audio quality throughout. Then I pump it through my home theater setup and let it thump around the room. Iíve listened to film scores in compressed MP3 format before and I have to say that the FLAC format (or CD format if you still have a player hooked up) makes a major difference to the listening experience. But thatís just a general observation and really has jack-all to do with this particular soundtrack release.

Robert J. Kral returns for this third DC Universe go-around with Green Lantern: First Flight. Watching the film for the first time, one of the things you take notice of is the opening titles theme, which mixes the super heroic underscoring that Kral pushed into other outings like Superman: Doomsday and Batman: Gotham Knight and mixes in sci-fi elements that may remind some of early Star Trek. Itís certainly a unique composure and one that stands out while watching the film. Normally you want the score to blend with the action on screen, but even when you took notice of it during the film, it never detracted and, in fact, was often the highlight of a scene at times.

Sadly where First Flight was weak as a film so too is it weak as a score. See, while watching First Flight you get caught up in the whole sci-fi cop drama aspect of it, but in reality the film is such an uneven split (something like 60/40, Iíd wager) of Sinestro and Hal Jordan that itís hard to really grasp what the film is about. Itís entertaining to watch, sure, but while doing so you often wonder just where the films headed. There are some genuinely surprising twists in the story (if youíre not soaked up in Lantern lore, anyway), but it ultimately just hangs a little flat in the end. Entertaining to watch, but itís kind of like a microwave dinnerólooks great on the box and may even smell delicious while it twists on the turntable, but by the time you take it out to eat it youíll find that once you finish it you just really arenít all that satisfied with it.

So with the film already suffering from a slightly uneven story, the score by Kral must follow suit. Listening to it isolated here actually left me rather underwhelmed. Usually I can pick out a few great tracks to listen to again and again, but here it all just really flowed together as one. Which is nice that it was uniform throughout and had a nice upswing in the finale departmentÖbut there really wasnít much that stood out to me.

This isnít a knock on Kralís work, mind you; he scored something that fit the material, it just doesnít make much of an impact when there isnít any animation to back it up. I will say that the ďLabellaís ClubĒ music started off as something out of Batman Beyond and eventually turned into something akin to something that would accompany a very bad nightmare, but that track aside nothing really jumped out at me (and that track didnít really do it in a good wayóI nearly skipped the last 20 seconds of it because it started to sound like nails on a chalk board).

So the score itself is definitely something that fits the film but as a stand-alone? Eh. I just couldnít get into it. Not to say I wonít ever listen to it again as Iíll gladly add it to my bi-monthly binges of animated DC scores, but thereís just really nothing that feelsÖwell, special. As far as scores go Iíve definitely been more impressed, but having said that itís still a solid effort by Kral and worth picking up if youíre a fan of animated DC scores in general. Recommended.

The CD
The CD itself arrives in packaging that mimics the DVD releases. The cover art is that of the single disc DVD while the disc art is of the two-disc/Blu-ray releases. Thereís also a booklet that contains a smattering of images from the film as well as a summary of the film and a two-page intro the soundtrack by composer Robert J. Kral. The production quality of these soundtracks have been kicked up a notch as well; in the past Iíve complained that they sometimes look homemade, but this whole set looks wholly professional.

Overall a nice package and with over an hourís worth of music (61:10 to be exact), you canít really go wrong for the price that this costs on iTunes/Amazon ($9.99). I canít seem to find the soundtrack on La-La-Land Records website yet, but you do get a nice little forward by Kral and the opportunity to rip it in something higher than the 256kbps that Amazon/iTunes offers.

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