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DC Showcase: Superman/Shazam!: The Return Of Black Adam/Jonah Hex/Green Arrow/The Spectre by Jeremy Zuckerman & Benjamin Wynn (Review)

posted May 12, 2011, 6:39 PM by Kaya Savas

I wouldn't label myself as a superhero fan nor a comic book fan. I am a casual fan of superhero movies with an exception to Nolan's Batman. However one cannot deny the amount of inspiration that superheroes give to composers. Some of the greatest thematic material in motion picture history has come from comic book based heros. I'll be honest, this album is not something I would seek out. It just doesn't appeal to me, but I am so glad I was introduced to it. What we have here is some amazing and fantastic music. Any film score fan or casual superhero fan like myself will appreciate what Zuckerman and Wynn have done here.

The album is a compilation of selections from DC Showcase shorts; there is a variety of styles all on this album. The total running time is around an hour, but I was surprised at how each section was able to grab me as if each bundle was a separate journey. The Superman/Shazam! music is definitely the boldest and will surprise you with all the textures and layers the composers throw at you. The music is thematic and captivating, and the structure leads you through a short exciting journey. Next up is Jonah Hex and this is my favorite section mostly because Leone is my favorite director and I am a Morricone nut. The composers pay homage to spaghetti westerns with their score in a way that is never a rip off. They use certain genre elements and give the music a modern flow. The trickling guitar sets the perfect mood and transports you to the world the story is taking place. The melodies are somber and focused. I absolutely loved it. Next is the percussion filled Green Arrow which will give you a short burst of excitement. The final chunk of score comes from The Spectre and here the composers go a Lalo Schifrin route as they give it a jazzy cop movie feel mixed with 70's grindhouse synths.

Overall this is one fantastic album that I think everyone should seek out. I know the appeal for albums like this are extremely limited, but I guarantee any film music fan or film fan in general will absolutely sink their teeth into this album. The genre nods are so much fun and nothing about the music is hokey or cheap. The production value is amazing and Zuckerman and Wynn add personal flair all along the way. This is a very fun album and worth exploring. Another fine release from La-La Land Records.