Man Of Steel Soundtrack Review

91xKU4tQRiL._SL1425_Anyone who heard their first shred of audio from this film from the second main trailer for the film will been able to pinpoint the man responsible in a beat. Mr Hans Zimmer is back at it once again. What astonishes is that they used their main cue in the trailer – or the one closely resembling a superman theme.

There is another variation on the theme which is very powerful – both tracks thought are right at the end of the track listing. The rest though is all too familiar padding for a Hans Zimmer score. It’s loud, it’s bombastic, it’s repetitive,  and naturally features far too much drums crashing and thundering to sudden halts.

Like with his Batman scores, there is often an earnest aim to build something very grand, and boldly become a strong theme- but is just as suddenly undercut by Zimmer’s drums that all too often ground the expanding strings to a sudden halt. It’s perhaps Zimmer’s most commonly used device for undercutting his own genius and easily his most annoying tic.

We can then conclude one of two things. One: that he just doesn’t have what it takes to write something as memorable as what Williams had done before, or that he chooses not to bother trying.  In the case of the latter we need to ask “Why?” Is it because of fear of failure, or just lack of confidence? Or perhaps he really doesn’t want to be compared and isn’t trying – To which the argument extends to – then why tease it?

Clearly Zimmer is onto something very special here, and seems a waste to not build on those aspirations instead of shying away. There are a few quieter moments though.  “I have So many Questions” perhaps is full of as much wonder and mystery as you’d hope for – and for a moment or two sounds almost like you are listening to one of Jerry Goldsmith’s sci-fi classics.

It seems odd to complain about a lack of variety in the film and yet to be presented with a wealth of material on this two-disc edition of the score. Disc one we presume is what all one disc editons will get.  A 17 track selection from the film’s score as it stands. Disc two gives rise to some of the cues left out of the score as well as a near 30 minute track of rougher versions from the film by Zimmer.  It’s like the work in progress version – but even so they are still pretty close to what they ended up with. So either this is a rough version that was a few steps away from the finished product, or even his first draft of a score is pretty close to the money.  Either way – because the music is so close to the (better defined) final versions it’s barely something listeners will want to return to as there isn’t enough change.

There is also a thick booklet and a few art cards and a sticker in this limited edition.

Zimmer then, continues to be a heavy drum beating leader of the Hollywood heavyweights of music. He has his reliable team of contributors and musicians to bring it all alive and in the end we do have a memorable score.  Not a patch on his work on the Dark knight trilogy, and a far cry from anything even remotely resembling John Williams, but with enough spark to suggest there could be interesting things to come if he sticks around for the sequel.

It may seem like very brash words in places, but this is still a worthy buy.

4 Stars


Steven Hurst


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