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Young Justice: Outsiders - Music from the DC Universe Original Series
Release Date: August 25, 2020
Label: La-La Land Records
MSRP: $24.98
Media Quantity: 2 CD, Digitally
Product Language: English
Original Soundtrack Language: English
Run Time: 2:26:57

Scroll down to read the review!

Young Justice: Outsiders - Music from the DC Universe Original Series
Music by Lolita Ritmanis, Michael McCuistion & Kristopher Carter
La-La Land Records, DC, and Warner Bros. Animation present the original score to the acclaimed DC Universe Original Series Young Justice: Outsiders. The renowned Dynamic Music Partners composing team, comprised of Kristopher Carter, Michael McCuistion and Lolita Ritmanis unleash a powerful musical odyssey of heroic thrills, chills, drama, bravery and heart! This is some of the most striking and vibrant music in series animation today, with the musical highlights of the beloved show assembled across this deluxe two-CD presentation. Produced by the composers and mastered by James Nelson, this special release features courageous art design by Dan Goldwasser and exclusive, in-depth liner notes by writer John Takis. This is a limited edition of 1000 Units. LLLCD 1525.

Track Listing:
DISC 1
1. Young Justice: Outsiders Main Title 0:26
PRINCES ALL
2. Anna Has Monster Heart Attack* 2:43
3. Prince Brion Asks For Help** 0:28
4. Royal Assassination* 1:32
5. Tube To A New Adventure* 0:43
ROYAL WE
6. Space Trek 3016* (Source) 0:31
7. To The Palace** 0:52
8. Tigress Meets Halo* 1:27
9. Brion Experiment Continues* 1:37
EMINENT THREAT
10. Vertigo Tortures Dr. Jayce** 1:50
PRIVATE SECURITY
11. Raging And Rapid*** 1:07
12. Over The Bridge / Around The Bend** 1:27
AWAY MISSION
13. Attack Launched*** 1:08
14. Forager Intervenes*** 0:40
15. Brion Is Enraged*** 0:41
16. An Authentic Villain*** 1:50
17. Brion Turns To Leave** 0:34
18. Wrapped In A Memory*** 1:48
19. Forager Banished** 2:23
RESCUE OP
20. Black Spider Arrives*** 1:26
21. Kids Confront Sensei* 3:23
EVOLUTION
22. The Armada Approaches* 0:46
23. The Spirit Is Forged** 0:39
24. Armada*** 2:32
25. Kalibak Joins The Fight* 2:11
26. Ancient Babylon And Beyond** 0:55
27. Vandal Battles Starro*** 1:29
TRIPTYCH
28. S.T.A.R. Labs Machine Heist** 1:36
29. JL Heroes Street Fight** 1:23
30. Bring Back The Horror*** 0:25
31. AntiLight*** 1:03
HOME FIRES
32. Family Family Family*** 1:18
33. Main Man Sneak Attack* 2:03
34. Lobo Dispatches Forager** 2:20
35. Forager Emerges** 0:56
36. Light And More Light*** 1:22
EXCEPTIONAL HUMAN BEINGS
37. I Like The Sound Of That*** 0:28
38. What's In A Name*** 1:12
39. JL Battle Bane's Gang** 3:48
40. Bash Bashford Arrives*** 1:05
ANOTHER FREAK
41. Fred Bugg With Two G's** 1:35
42. Looking Backward Or Ahead** 1:28
43. Fatherbox In Control* 1:01
44. Indigo*** 0:42
45. HaloCyborg Standoff* 3:33
NIGHTMARE MONKEYS
46. He's Dead Tom* 0:56
47. How Does This Fit*** 1:51
48. Waterfall Flashback** 0:25
49. Ready To Get Back To Life** 1:01
50. All The Kids Are Doing It** 0:46
TRUE HEROES
51. Danger Morph*** 0:51
52. Halo Horror House* 1:44
53. Might Be Ready To Be Heroes*** 1:12
TOTAL DISC TIME 73:12

DISC 2
TRUE HEROES (CONT.)
1. Off To The Halloween Dance** 0:46
2. Arriving In Bialya** 1:12
3. Bittersweet Reunion** 1:43
4. Rescue And Escape** 1:13
INFLUENCE
5. Not Their Biosigns*** 1:39
6. You Have A Choice** 0:53
7. Just Me*** 2:01
8. Granny Disciplines Barda* 1:22
9. Granny Activates Machine* 2:56
LEVERAGE
10. First Covert Mission** 1:40
ILLUSION OF CONTROL
11. Harvest Festival Montage** 1:16
FIRST IMPRESSION
12. Launch The Outsiders*** 2:37
13. Forager Misses Bioship*** 0:22
14. Reach Ships Attack** 1:53
15. Enter The Outsiders*** 1:19
16. Getting Used to It*** 0:34
17. It's Not The Reach** 0:39
18. Mothership Crashes* 2:15
19. AntiLight Report*** 0:39
EARLY WARNING
20. More Outsiders Success* 1:51
ELDER WISDOM
21. Penthouse Battle** 1:51
22. Not Quite Right*** 0:47
23. If Not Us, Then Whom** 2:11
24. Not Hero Behavior*** 2:18
QUIET CONVERSATIONS
25. Pain*** 0:14
26. You Are Very Brave*** 0:51
27. Fighting While Planning** 2:04
28. The Unhappy One*** 0:30
29. Admitting Abuse*** 0:37
UNKNOWN FACTORS
30. Oracle Calls Aquaman** 1:43
31. Nervous About Genes*** 0:28
32. Busy Tower Life* 1:52
33. Planting A Seed*** 1:37
34. I Hope You Learned A Lesson** 2:39
ANTISOCIAL PATHOLOGIES
35. Pit Excursion* 1:33
36. Thinking About This*** 0:26
37. Spill Your Secrets*** 3:24
TERMINUS 38. Can't Be Trusted*** 1:05
39. Wally Psychic Videogame Flashback* 1:56
40. Captured Heroes*** 1:50
41. The Age Of Darkseid Begins** 0:57
INTO THE BREACH
42. Halo In Excelsis* 1:58
OVERWHELMED
43. Patience** 0:41
44. What Would Superman Do** 1:28
45. Artemis Will Never Walk Alone* 3:30
46. Markovia Here We Come** 0:48
NEVERMORE 47. Brion Usurps Throne* 2:04
48. I Am The Superboy** 0:49
49. All's Well That Ends Wait Is That A Cliffhanger* 1:49
50. Young Justice: Outsiders End Credits Long Version 0:55
TOTAL DISC TIME 73:45
TOTAL ALBUM TIME 2:26:57

Composed by Kristopher Carter, Michael McCuistion and Lolita Ritmanis * Composed by Kristopher Carter ** Composed by Michael McCuistion *** Composed by Lolita Ritmanis

Young Justice: Outsiders - Music from the DC Universe Original Series
Review by Paul Outram

Never the end. Those are the words that the Young Justice producers - Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti - have instilled in the fanbase as a sort of mantra. This phrase brought hope to those for whom the beloved DC Comics/Warner Bros. series ended far too soon. More than that, though, it expressed a fervent desire on the part of these producers to revisit this particular take on the DC Universe; to make it known that if they had their way, then they would be back in a heartbeat. I think it's safe to say that the showrunners' gratitude for the eventual revival of the Young Justice brand is an emotion that is in evidence all throughout the long-awaited third season.

It is clear that considerable effort was expended in plotting a 26-episode season that allowed fans to catch up with countless old favourites and become acquainted with other individuals from the DC Comics canon - all of whom have a role to play in the ongoing conflict between the Team and the Light. Whatever one's opinion of Young Justice: Outsiders might be, there is no denying that it is a powerhouse showcase of these characters and the vibrant world that they inhabit - an all-star send-up of the youth of the DC Universe that has never been seen before in animation or film.

With that in mind, the task of scoring the music for this superhero spectacle could not possibly have been an easy one. The Dynamic Music Partners (Kristopher Carter, Michael McCuistion and Lolita Ritmanis) were tasked with a clear directive: to distil the mood of this ever-expanding, all-encompassing animated juggernaut into music that would appeal to a global audience of fans - the very fans who banded together to #KeepBingingYoungJustice! La-La Land Records, working in collaboration with the aforementioned trio of composers, faced an equally daunting challenge as they set out to translate the musical language of this 26-episode tapestry onto a 2-CD set. I'm happy to report that for the most part, this musical compendium of highlights from Young Justice:Outsiders strikes all of the right chords, at least for this fan. If you're as well-versed in all things Earth-16 as I am, then I hope that you will feel the same.

Fans of the previous Young Justice soundtrack may be pondering the implications of the six year production hiatus for the show's music - they may be worried that the sharp "sound design" style of the music in the first two seasons has lost its edge, or that it has returned in a greatly diminished form following the prolonged wait for the green light. They needn't fear. Dynamic Music Partners has worked on a number of other Warner Bros./DC Animated scores in the years since Young Justice: Invasion aired on Cartoon Network (Batman & Harley Quinn, Batman vs. Two-Face and Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, to name a few), and their expertise is very much in evidence in the music that is heard in this third season. They have put in the hard work to ensure that this third chapter feels like a coherent extension of the first two, as far as the music is concerned.

One notable example of this is in the cheerful and optimistic "What's in a Name?" cue composed by Lolita Ritmanis, which marks a return to the tranquil Happy Harbor High School theme from season one. Likewise, Michael McCuistion's "Arriving in Bialya" cue hearkens back to the tribal tones and urgency of a similar situation in which our heroes found themselves during the season two episode, "Intervention". The most obvious tribute to seasons past manifests in the form of Kristopher Carter's "Wally Psychic Videogame Flashback" cue. This cue needs no introduction for those who have watched Outsiders all the way to the end. All you need to know if you are one of the fans of the previous soundtrack, and yet are on the fence with respect to this new set, is that tracks such as this one will reacquaint you with the Young Justice of old, in an exciting and exhilarating new musical context. The triumphant return of Superboy's theme, during the course of various tracks that are included on the second disc, is yet another reminder of the show's origins in the midst of an array of new -- and equally worthy -- thematic material.

For all of that, it would still be understandable for fans to waver at the prospect of buying this set, if they are at all perturbed by the thought of purchasing incomplete scores. Two 77-minute discs provide for a stellar showcase of the composers' work on Young Justice: Outsiders, while also leaving out many other cues that may have been deserving of release. This is nobody's fault, as the discs have been crammed full of content - it is just a fact of the storage capacity of the CDs themselves. You might be wondering whether this two and a half hour cap on the music means that the flow of the set is undermined by abrupt transitions between different episodes, or between scenes that were not intended to be experienced side-by-side.

Fortunately, the selections from each score are staggered across this set in such a way that the listener does not have to endure any bewildering segues - aside from the sudden intrusion of the "Space Trek 3016" source cue from the episode, "Royal We" (To be fair, though, this cue serves an important purpose, in foreshadowing and setting the stage for Beast Boy's full-fledged re-introduction later on, during the "He's Dead Tom" cue from "Nightmare Monkeys"). This theme represents the only significant departure from the overall musical arc of this set. The first disc consistently centres upon cues pertaining to Covert Ops sequences from the first half of the season, and juxtaposes them with lighter, happier offerings where appropriate. It is then the second disc's task to take up the gauntlet from there and emphasise the emotional and bombastic moments from the season's second half - musically mirroring the shift from the private sphere to the public sphere that occurs during the course of this season. This is a logical approach to cherry-picking the content for the tracks - one which ensures that the chosen cues are vital to the major story arcs and themes that develop as Outsiders progresses. There are lots of characters and storylines to honor here, as this is a season in which everyone in connected, however loosely - and such shoutouts can be found in this set in no short supply!

Moreover, when there are sudden leaps in the chronology of the events that are represented on this set, these jumps are often fun and unexpected. For example, we move quickly from the Outsiders' recruitment of El Dorado ("More Outsiders Success") to the attack on United Nations Ambassadors Troia and Garth in the following episode ("Penthouse Battle"). This is just one of a number of instances in which the listener is bound to be taken aback in quite a positive way -- which speaks to the range and efficacy of the musical techniques employed by Dynamic Music Partners.

Very little of the "essential" or "important" music from this season is lost in the aforementioned shuffle. You won't find the tongue-in-cheek Bowhunter Security theme on here, because it represents a radical departure from the Covert Ops tone and mood of the early episodes - and surely that's understandable. But there's little else to gripe about with regard to the choices that have been made here. "Artemis Will Never Walk Alone" is on this set. Yes, that is from the scene that you likely remember (I'm taking care to avoid dropping major spoilers)! Other, similarly emotional moments from throughout the season are also shown due respect here, such as "Ready to Get Back to Life" (from "Nightmare Monkeys") and "If Not Us, Then Whom" (from "Elder Wisdom"). Highlights from the score for the fan-favourite, Vandal Savage-centric "Evolution" are also included, and are sure to impress those fans who revelled in the cosmic and historical lore of that particular episode. Best of all, we are treated to a whopping eight cues from "First Impression" - almost the entire score for this episode, in fact! I really could not be happier about that, as "First Impression" features my favourite of the 26 Young Justice: Outsiders scores.

The seemingly disparate musical selections that have been made for this set's track list find their synthesis in the unique and individual character themes that have been written for this third season. Early on, we are introduced to Brion Markov's theme - a 10 note leitmotif that speaks to the character's nobility and assures us of his desire to be an appropriate figurehead for the people of his nation. It's a complex theme that serves as a reminder of his inner turmoil and deliberation, as he finds himself frequently drawn back to thoughts of his homeland. There is also a seven note theme for Halo - a majestic and grand leitmotif that imbues her with a sense of mystic mysteriousness. This theme is proudly presented in all in its glory in cues from such episodes as "Another Freak", "True Heroes" and "Into the Breach". One of the more subtle new character themes that has been written for Outsiders belongs to Forager - his five note leitmotif underscores his vulnerability, trepidation and innocence, though it also surfaces in rather playful contexts, as is evident in the "Forager Emerges" and "Fred Bugg with Two G's" cues.

Other themes - such as Cyborg's or that of the AntiLight - appear to be designed to elevate the tension and unease, and they accomplish this well with their dissonant and unnerving tones. And while it enters the game rather late, it has to be said that Lolita's Ritmanis's theme for the Outsiders - the team that is finally formed early in the second half of the season - perfectly complements the air of confidence and self-assurance that these young heroes exude.

A special shout-out must also be given to the superb work that La-La Land Records has done in providing the listeners and fans with such a gorgeous CD set for our shelves! The disc art alone is cinematic and colourful - it is a rich and detailed look at the starry expanse of space, which brings home the seemingly unlimited scope and scale of this DC Universe show. The liner notes booklet is a treat and is sure to be savoured by readers who will enjoy discovering the beautifully written article within. John Takis's "Outside, Looking In: The Music of Young Justice: Outsiders" will be unmissable for those fans who enjoy hearing from the series' composers, particularly with regard to how DMP felt when they answered the call to return to scoring for the world of Young Justice. Clearly, Earth-16 is in good hands. One assumes that at the time when these liner notes were written, nothing was known of the fate of Young Justice beyond that of its third season, as Phantoms (Young Justice season four) is not alluded to in the liner notes. That said, I feel that it is necessary to implore fans and soundtrack collectors to buy this set, so that the music for the fourth season of this show may also, ultimately, see the Light of day.

The creative collaboration between that of the film music label (La-La Land Records) and the studio (Warner Bros.) - in producing this soundtrack set - serves an important function in providing for greater exposure to the Dynamic Music Partners, whose canon of knowledge and expertise is on full display here (Their work together does go back as far as Batman: The Animated Series, lest we forget.) Consumers and fans are fortunate that such an outlet exists for the release of this wonderful music, and therefore this collaboration is something that I hope will be supported. Must Own!

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