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.|
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.
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").
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.