Music composed by Robert J. Kral
Label: La-La Land Records
Catalog: 372924

Year: 2007

1. Superman: Doomsday Main Title
2. Fortress of Solitude
3. Alien
4. Killing the Hick
5. Doomsday Rising
6. Superman Vs. Doomsday
7. Doomsday Battle
8. Superman's Sacrifice
9. The Death of Superman
10. Lois & Martha
11. Toy Man Attacks
12. Return of the Hero
13. Superman Clone
14. Heartbeat
15. Relocated
16. Lois Was Right
17. Cat Rescue
18. A Safe Superman
19. Lois' Plan
20. Clone Discovery
21. Luthor's Fate
22. Superman's Return
23. Superman vs. Superclone
24. Superman's Victory
25. Smallville Elementary
26. Superman: Doomsday End Titles

Total Time: 56:32

Reviewed by
Tom Hoover

Inspired by the best selling graphic novel in DC comics history, "The Death of Superman," Warner Bros. Animation delivers Superman: Doomsday to the small screen. On board for the animated adventure is composer Robert J. Kral, who is a veteran of television shows such as Angel and The Dresden Files. For this film, Kral was asked to create an original Superman theme for the saga, one that is original to this feature and without references to any of the past material in Superman lore, musically speaking. Kral's intent with the new theme was to emphasize more of the 'Man' than the 'Super,' which is an interesting take on the Man of Steel, focusing more on his mortal qualities than his super powers. In addition to the new theme, the material in this soundtrack presents a darker tone than most would expect from a Superman title, which is appropriate here due to the elements of the story. With an excellent running time and a nice package design, this CD by La-La Land Records is professionally done and well presented.

Kral's new Superman theme opens up the album with fanfare though there are ominous notes present within it. In short, it's not all camp. The new theme is serviceable and mostly upbeat, though if you are expecting a rendition in the John Williams style, you should adjust your expectations. Kral's motif is appropriate for this specific storyline since this is an edgier Superman saga and the music on the album represents this. That said, I was a bit surprised by just how dark and combative the nature of the score was. Obviously, the production team took the work seriously enough to create a relevant and mature score for this animated film, which is commendable. However, the harshness of the music felt a bit disruptive to listen to during the darker action/suspense sequences. When the music shifted to more pleasant tones, highlights emerged, like the love theme with Lois, which is heard during varying moments of the score, and track 8, "Superman's Sacrifice." The latter makes for one of the key highlights of the score as it is quite effective with its emotional impact.

During the course of my listening experience, I could tell how the tempo and the mood shifted according to the scenes, thus it felt like I was being taken on a well constructed story line. The score shifted from tones of heroism to darkness, tragedy to hope and all the while maintaining a steady balance with the main theme appearing where appropriate. The only time I felt that this balance was disrupted is with the final set of tracks, where the music started to feel a bit repetitious for my tastes and the main theme was heard too frequently (I could have done without the "End Credits").

Superman: Doomsday may not be an epic score but it's also not a poorly made one either. As far as animated features go, this one is an above average effort that offers a thoughtful blend of music and story components that is entertaining to listen to. Had the main theme offered a bit more of a resounding impact, then this score would have been a sure-fire pick. As it is, it's a respectable effort and a moderate recommendation.