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Reviews - Soundtrack

Packaging
Wonder Woman: Soundtrack to the DC Universe Animated Original Movie
LLLCD 1115
Music by Christopher Drake
Limited Edition of 1200 Units


Synopsis: Wonder Woman begins on the mystical island of Themyscira, where a proud and fierce warrior race of Amazons resides. They have raised Princess Diana, a daughter of stunning beauty, extraordinary strength and incredible fighting prowess. Diana possesses a host of super human powers granted to her by the gods and goddesses of Olympus and her strength and stamina are unparalleled. When Air Force fighter pilot Steve Trevor crash lands on the island, the rebellious and headstrong Diana defies Amazonian law by accompanying Trevor back to civilization. Meanwhile, Ares (the God of War) has escaped his imprisonment at the hands of the Amazons and has decided to exact his revenge by starting a world war that will destroy them all. It is up to Princess Diana to save her people and the world by using her gifts to become the ultimate Wonder Woman. Featuring a startling score by Christopher Drake, this highly-anticipated release should not be missed!

Track Listings:
1. The Battle / Origins
2. Sparring
3. Ares Imprisoned
4. Dog Fight, Part I
5. Dog Fight, Part II
6. Crash Landing
7. Manhunt
8. Let The Games Begin
9. Persephone's Betrayal
10. Bracelets and Arrows
11. Computer Room
12. Alley Thugs
13. Deimos
14. At The Gates Of Tartarus
15. Cept Hemo Laudus
16. Hades
17. Ospedale and Ares Rally
18. DC Battle
19 Ares' End
20. She Misses Him
21. A New Nemesis
22. Wonder Woman End Titles

Review (Jim Harvey)
Christopher Drake easily pulls off his best work to date with his score work on Wonder Woman, coming up with what could also be considered the best score of the still fledgling DC Universe Animated Original Movie. Drake has always found a way to make his budget-restrained syth-based scores really pop, but here, he goes the extra mile and makes something really special. Adding in the use of a choir just elevates this score, and is just one of the excellent choices he makes to really bring out the 'oomph' of this score.

Drake is able to really sell the intensity of the movie with his score, creating a quick tempos with added gravitas to them. There’s something about the more action-oriented beats that feel more complete, more whole, as opposed to the soundtrack’s quieter tracks. Unfortunately, in the quieter tracks, the use of synth becomes pretty apparent and, as a result, sound thinner and weaker. It’s not to say these are poorly composed tracks – far from it – but they just happen to be lacking to heavier composition of the more action-based tracks. However, those tracks also tend to make use of a choir, which adds a nice layer to fills out and shortcomings of the synth work.

The first track, “The Battle/Origin,” is a great example. Even though it starts off a shade slow as the film’s opening studios logo give way to the film’s epic opening battle, the tracks builds to that. But the use of a vocals really creates that epic sound that Drake is going for that just couldn’t be done with synth alone. Of course, those whole track is amazing given that is runs nearly the whole gamut of emotions from blistering intense action to a quiet, somber moment as a child is created.

The issues when it comes to a synth-heavy score are by no means the fault of the solid composition work done by Drake, far from it. Given that the heyday of animation scores at Warner Bros. Animation is far behind us (the days of Batman: The Animated Series, Tiny Toons, Animaniacs and the like), it’s a sound that fans have gotten used to, even if the transition hasn’t been the smoothest (see Justice League, which had a rough go with some of their synth score work). One wonders that if Drake had access to a full orchestra, and not the limited resources he had to work with, the score could’ve been even more epic than what it is now. The score for Wonder Woman is fantastic, and is well worth purchasing, as it’s a fantastic listen even with the musical limitations.

Standout tracks in the Wonder Woman score include the previously mentioned “The Battle/Origin,” easily the lengthiest and most complex track of the entire release. Utterly fantastic with a tremendous build-up and pay-off. “Let the Games Begins” is a fun track, featuring a slightly more upbeat take on the established “Wonder Woman” theme. “Demios,” “DC Battle” and “Ares End” also top-notch, featuring nice energetic long sections, though both are briefly slowed down so quieter moments can roll out in the actual film. Not much that can be done about that, but they can possibly hamper one’s enjoyment. That said, they’re completely solid tracks. Lastly, “A New Nemesis,” which leads into the “End Titles” track, is s short but fun little piece of music that will likely leave you wanting more. A perfectly performed capper for the movie and a solid way to lead into the album’s end.

La-La Land Records has created a fantastic looking package for Drake’s Wonder Woman score. The booklet has interesting notes from those involved with the film and each track sounds crisp, clear and pretty flawless. A digital edition of the album is also available from WaterTower Records, but La-La Land Record’s release, with the handsome packaging and superior sound, is clearly the way to go.

Wonder Woman – Soundtrack from the DC Universe Animated Original Movie is a very worthwhile addition to anyone’s collection, especially Wonder Woman and DC Animation fans. Christopher Drake’s work is fantastic, creating an energetic, pulsing score that perfectly captures the actual film. While the snyth score does hinder Drake a little, the final product is one that’s still a rollicking listen. And all o that is packaged in another stellar release from the La-La Land Records label. If you want to own the score to Wonder Woman, than the compact disc release from La-La Land Records is your best option. Highly Recommended!

"Wonder Woman: Soundtrack to the DC Universe Animated Original Movie" is available for purchase through the La-La-Land records website and digital retailers. A seperate digital edition is available through WaterTower Records.

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