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Battleship by Steve Jablonsky (Review)

posted May 16, 2012, 10:32 PM by Kaya Savas

Let's start off by saying that the film looks absolutely terrible, but I was always excited about it because Steve Jablonsky signed on to do it. Everyone was comparing this film to Transformers so of course naturally they grab the composer of that particular franchise. It's easy to hear that they wanted him to replicate Transformers in some fashion, but luckily Battleship has an identity of its own. Yes, it's harsh and abrasive electronics accented with orchestra. But it's damn fun. I was supremely disappointed with his second Transformers score. While the 3rd film's score was a vast improvement it was still lacking that emotional gut punch of the first one. You won't find anything emotional in Battleship, but there are a few hair raising action tracks that are pure Jablonsky goodness.

If you're a traditional score junkie who thinks scores should be all orchestra and nothing else then don't even listen to samples of this score. Jablonsky hits us with two themes in this score that are pretty good. The track "Full Attack" is almost an experiment in sound design than score, but its structure is so amazing. This is a headache inducing track that I cannot stop listening to, and I don't know why. The way Jablonsky structured it to be a constant flow with a constant beat just mesmerizes me, and he is still able to build it to a climax. Throughout the score you'll notice he uses the sound of a ship's alarm within the music. I found it to be a clever addition to the soundscape of this techno/orchestral adrenaline ride. It never lets up and always keeps you in the thick of it. The only abrasive track is "Full Attack", the rest grow and build on you.

If I had to describe this score it would be Transformers after a Red Bull with a slice of Inception for good measure. It's full Jablonsky in pure summer mode. This is not Transformers, but it's more on par with Transformers: Dark Of The Moon. It's a high energy score that embraces electronics as a soundscape. The tracks build to some great peaks, but the dooming tone of the score doesn't allow it to get an emotional rise from listeners. Still, this is a damn enjoyable score that will guarantee you a speeding ticket if you listen to it non-stop in the car.
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