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Soundtrack Review

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Season 1
Original Television Soundtrack


Composer: Pinar Toprak
Label: WaterTower Music
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 21 August 2020

WaterTower Music (Warner Media) releases Stargirl: Season 1: Original Television Soundtrack. From the DC Comics beginning in 1991, Stargirl portrays the first superhero team, Justice Society of America, and in particular High School student Courtney Whitmore, as she inspires others to confront villains from the past. The character is inspired by creator Geoff Johns’ sister, who sadly died in a plane explosion. Composer Pinar Toprak – originally from Turkey before moving to America – has previously scored the movie Captain Marvel, the Superman prequel series Krypton, and mega-selling video game Fortnite, among others. She has won various awards for her music and been shortlisted for an Emmy and Academy Award.

'The Justice League of America' kicks-off the proceedings with a pacey short piece. 'Pat Was Right' has a sad string section, with a pattering sound that turns into an Avengers-like teaser of a full-blown theme, before easing-off again into piano tinkling. 'Rescuing Starman' is dramatic and incorporates hints of voices. I particularly like the little weird background noises.

'Friendly Folks' is a light interlude with a simple but effective melody. 'JSA Files' has a tentative start with much going on in the background. The first hint of an orchestral score. The music of 'The Cosmic Staff' fits the piece perfectly, easing under the narrative of the story. It knows exactly when and how to pick up the pace slightly, becoming more human and feeling. Music to make a person believe in themselves. 'Brainwave Calls Icicle' incorporates sad strings once more, with dark moments. 'Pat Reviews Files' has an edgy espionage-type sound, with dark rumblings and a light conclusion.

'Brainwave Threatens Courtney' includes fluttering strings and a melody inspiring intrigue. There is dark rumbling and a portentous heaviness. 'Leave Blue Valley' is another feeling string moment of melancholy. 'Elegy For Joey' has the sad strings, but in some ways becomes something close to a Western theme. 'Rex and Wendi Leave' portrays a galloping building of tension, which again switches to melancholy strings, before the drama ensues. 'Rick Wears the Hourglass' is piano and strings. 'Beth Meets Chuck' is a jaunty piece, whereas 'JSA Vs. ISA' has a moody, throbbing sound which evolves into a Holst-like dramatic moment.

'I’m not Stargirl' with a slow, melancholy piece. Keys and touches of electronica make this a simple but heartfelt number, with a late rumble of dark foreboding. 'Henry Vs. Henry' is a continuation of 'I’m not Stargirl', but soon takes-off with a searching horn melody and fluttering accompaniment. 'Fighting Sportsmaster & Tigress' – an up-tempo beat which can’t help but make you connect with other heartfelt superhero battle scenes.

'ISA Manifesto' includes sounds which switch between mild strings and piano to off-kilter uncertainty, through to a mood of danger. 'Justin Needs Help' is a horror mood: dramatic with monk voices and religious aria undertones. 'The Christmas Gift' is a short linking piece. We wrap-up with 'Stargirl Destroys the Transmitter', which has dramatic themes in keeping with the superhero genre.

There is much to admire here but, for me, it’s missing a longer and more coherent suite of the main themes. This could quite easily have been done with the last track, the action and emotion playing-out at length to leave a lasting impression. Overall though, it’s a better than average score.


Ty Power

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