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Soundtrack Review

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Wonder Woman 1984
Sketches from the Soundtrack


Composer: Hans Zimmer
Label: WaterTower Music
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 05 February 2021

WaterTower Music releases the Wonder Woman 1984 Sketches From the Soundtrack. Unlike the separately released Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Sketches is a rare opportunity to hear the music ideated for development for the final Soundtrack. In the DC/Warner Bros. movie, directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine, Diana Prince is living a quiet existence as a curator of ancient artifacts in the excessive and, some might say decadent time of Earth in the 1980s. She occasionally uses her powers to help in certain situations, but is forced to step into the limelight to save mankind from a world of its own making. During this time she will face Max Lord, as well as her fated nemesis Cheetah. The music is by Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer, who has previously scored The Dark Knight Trilogy, Interstellar, Inception, and The Lion King. For this one, the director discussed with the composer not only a number of themes which would relate to the '80s, but layers of emotion for the character, and purer, more heroic variations on the original film version of Wonder Woman. The Sketches album is available for download...

We begin with '’84' – Vangelis-type synthesiser music with a theme behind it. This is a nice piece, apart from the annoying electronic drums. 'No Hero Is Born From Lies' has shades from the first track, but begins more low-key. It evolves into a semi-dramatic Christmas-like score – complete with bells! 'Apex Predator' features caustic guitar sounds which cut through a lighter melody. It has an otherworldly feel which turns to a chase pace. The drama steadily builds and the beat becomes a stomping. A grand piece. 'The Monkey Paw' has a light, atmospheric tune which is a little more orchestral in its format. A shuddering tone is ever-present, and there is something reminiscent of a Blues sequence. 'Barbara Minerva' carries a synthesiser style which reminds me very much of the early work of Gary Numan. I like this very much, but then – aside from my Rock and Metal background – I was always a fan of the early electronic bands, before they lost their edge and became ‘Poppy’. This one is far too short.

'Dechalafrea Ero' rumbles and fades. It takes until the seven minute mark before it becomes scratchy and introduces electronic noises and strings. At 11 minutes this is far too long and dull, but is perfectly acceptable as incidental music. 'In Love' is a sweet emotional piece, perhaps belonging more in a John Williams score. The difference here is that it’s more restrained. Imagine a 19th Century toff’s ball. 'Citrine' is a John Carpenter synthesiser mood, with background high tones which are brought together as it becomes louder and more prominent. 'In Harm’s Way' is a repeated beat with music which is added and builds to brass sounds and heavy, dramatic themes. Somewhere between a march and superhero melodrama. 'Life Is Good, But It Can Be Better' (great title!) introduces a fluttering/chattering pattern that is joined by piano and strings, plus a new recurring theme. Although this is close to 12 minutes long there is always something new and interesting going on. Good stuff.

The Final track is 'The Amazon', which is basically the Wonder Woman character theme Zimmer created earlier. However, this is a fuller piece with orchestral moments halfway through – along with quieter interludes. The ideal and obvious one to sign-off with. My main complaints regarding the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack were returning too often to similar themes and the loud, dramatic sections. Hans Zimmer should have just released this one; it’s a marked improvement. The music is much more varied, it’s weighted more heavily in electronica, and nearly all of the tracks are lengthy offerings – rather than unrelatable short snippets. Although a couple of examples are overly long; nevertheless, this has turned into a quite an imaginative assortment.


Ty Power

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