Appreciating the Spider-Verse movie soundtrack

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Yes, it is known, the animated Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse movie is an awesome masterpiece. It’s beautiful creative artful animation, combined with a gripping story packed with action, humor, laughs, and drama well-earned it an Academy Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Critics Choice Award for Best Animation film of 2018.

But, I felt a part of it went unnoticed by the big critic heads out there: that is Spider-Verse’s excellent movie score and soundtrack.

The vocal tracks are a mix of current music artists including Post Malone, Swae Lee, Nicki Minaj, Anuel AA, Juice Wrld, Lil Wayne, Ty Dolla Sign, Thutmose, Ski Mask the Slump God. The results are an excellent feed of the best examples of modern hip-hop and urban beats.

And wow, it’s two single hits are damn perfect for this film. The first being Post Malone and Swae Lee’s “Sunflower,” a dreamy style, unlike anything expected based on past Spider-Man media, but really sets the mood and animated world centering on Miles Morales. Just listen to it!

And there is my personal favorite track, which I think is the best vocal ever set for a superhero film, “What’s up Danger,” by Blackway and Caviar. This piece exemplifies everything that one needs to know about the spirit of Spider-Man’s character. Listen:

There are many other great vocal tracks throughout the movie to gush about. But, the end credits with its mindbending animation, is heightened much further by its “Elevate” track by DJ Khalil with Denzel Curry, YBN Cordae, SwaVay, Trevor Rich. It’s adrenaline pumping, head thumping, body-energizing awesomeness. It’s a good track to put in your exercising playlist, to give that extra boost to keep going. Gotta go hard!!

So yes, great vocals…but now let’s move on to the cinema score of Spider-Verse, done by Daniel Pemberton, whose other recent work includes Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs and Guy Ritchie’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Here, his original work is masterful and sets a roller coaster of suspense, mystery, tension, raw emotions at perfect moments throughout.

Every track sets the mood, and in some parts really enhances the tension and drama. Some tracks tell a story just from its tone and progression. Visions Brooklyn 1,2,3 is a perfect example, and a personal favorite. But to truly appreciate, one needs to listen to the whole track…

Prowler’s theme is memorable, sending chills to the viewer as it perfectly signifies the stalker hunting its prey, closer and closer. You hear this, and you run!

The “Spider-Man Loves You” track feels like an addition to a legacy of Spider-Man films. It may not be as catchy as the iconic 60’s cartoon intro, but there is a feel to it that is special to this new expansion of Spider-Man towards a new generation of fandom; which I believe has done far more than the MCU live-action movie and tie-ins in the preservation of its original premise.

So yes, the Spidey-Verse soundtrack is amazing. I think it’s better than the Black Panther movie soundtrack, which did receive the Academy Award for Best Original Music Score. Yet, I think with all the love for Spider-Verse from its fans, there will be many repeat viewings for decades to come, and the love and appreciation for its soundtrack will grow with age.  

HERO OF TIME: Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Live Orchestral, coming soon

Hero of Time, an epic re-imagining of the soundtrack to Nintendo’s treasured adventure RPG classic,
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, is set to release on March 27th, 2017.

Presented by the Materia Collective, the Hero of Time is an arrangement and recording with a full 64-piece orchestra, featuring key moments of the classic game. The project was given life through successful funding on Kickstarter, by over 1,000 backers contributing over its $50,000 goal.

Preview:

Hero of Time will be available through digital and limited edition CD formats on March 27, 2017. Preorders are available now via Bandcamp for digital/LE CD), iam8bit for vinyl (!), and iTunes. Hero of Time will also be available on Spotify on March 27th.

“Orchestral recordings of music from The Legend of Zelda have become increasingly popular over the last several years,” notes arranger and project director Eric Buchholz. “With Hero of Time, we sought to create a single, cohesive experience that weaves all of the complex underlying themes of the game, like impermanence and mortality, with Koji Kondo’s timeless melodies that have become as iconic as the game itself. The orchestration takes an ‘east-meets-west’ approach, with the inclusion of taiko ensembles, eastern woodwinds, and harmonies found prevalent in Japanese film and game scores.”

The full track listing is as follows:

01. Hero of Time
02. The Man with Evil Eyes
03. Fateful Morning
04. Hyrule Field
05. Castle Town Market
06. Princess Zelda
07. Lon Lon Ranch
08. Dungeon Dwellers
09. The Legendary Blade
10. Seven Years
11. Sheik
12. Memories of the Forest
13. Feast for the Fire Dragon
14. Dark Waters
15. Village of the Shadows
16. Spirit of the Valley
17. Courage, Wisdom, and Light
18. Ganon’s Tower
19. Great King of Evil
20. The Desecration of Power
21. Epilogue ~ End Credits

For more info on the Hero of Time, visit the Materia Collective at www.materiacollective.com.