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Arrow: Season 4 by Blake Neely (Review)

posted Oct 25, 2016, 11:15 AM by Leo Mayr

Blake Neely returns for the fourth season of Arrow, having scored all previous seasons and spin-offs. At this point, you pretty much know what to expect from an Arrow score, yet Neely still finds a few ways to make a fourth one interesting.

Each season centers around one primary villain, this time around that honour belongs to Damien Darhk. As usual for Arrow, electronics dominate the score, yet there is a strong foundation of orchestral music. There are a lot of themes already established in prevoius seasons, so much in the same way as a new Game Of Thrones score, much time is spent with recurring themes and motifs. Since Neely frequently utilizes the same electronic sounds, a lot of the music will sound familiar to you, yet the introduction of new themes to the mix and the frequent thematic "guest appearences" make the score varied enough and establish a strong thematic continuity. In this season's crossover episode with The Flash, Neely not only combines two of his superhero franchises, he also does the groundwork for themes later used in Legends Of Tomorrow, a new spin-off show. The score's finale, "Not Black And White" is worth mentioning, as it perfectly demonstrates a new spark of hope in the shows mostly dark soundscape and features a great orchestral version of the show's main themes.

While the fourth season of Arrow doesn't do much different from the previous seasons, it serves as a great continuation of Neely's previous scores. For someone familiar with Neely's work in DC superheroe franchises, there definitely are a lot of great references to recurring characters and plot points, making the experience worthwhile.