Legendary composer Alan Silvestri has once again been very productive lately. In early 2018, his outstanding score for Steven Spielberg’s film Ready Player One had received high praise and on top of that he was given the opportunity to also score the latest Marvel production – Avengers: Infinity War.
In 2011, the composer had been hired to score Captain America: The First Avenger and The Avengers followed one year later. These are two blockbusters for which an experienced and brilliant musician like Alan Silvestri can bring a lot to the table.
I am sure films of this kind are not everybody’s cup of tea and I certainly don’t blame you. The abundance of action can indeed be very exhausting and in terms of story and content, they really don’t offer that much – but this is an aspect the filmmakers are apparently not aiming for. Nevertheless, these films entertain millions of people all over the world and they are certainly marketable to say the least.
Music-wise, these are movies that offer any composer a tremendous opportunity. If that composer happens to be Alan Silvestri, then you are likely to be in for a real treat. This time, fans of Silvestri and The Avengers can look forward to a really well-produced and extensive album – or two albums to be exact.
On April 27th, Hollywood records released a 72-minute album as well as a 116-minute deluxe edition digitally. The shorter of the two versions, which is also available physically, covers several highlights of Silvestri’s score whereas the digital expanded edition seems to feature pretty much the complete recording of the score. As a result, the primary concern one might have is the total running time and general listening experience. All things considered, it appears to be just a bit too long after all. On the other hand, it is sometimes simply better to have too much music than too little. If you dislike certain cues, just skip them. If you were to find out that your favorite cues from the movie had not been included in the first place, you would probably be more disappointed. There are many examples of very fine scores that had an insufficient release.
If you have the desire to experience the full “Avengers feeling”, then I recommend you buy the digital download nonetheless as it features an additional seven cues and a substantial amount of the other ones has been presented in an expanded form.
The album starts off with the nice but brief cue “The Avengers” which is basically just the theme, followed by the extended version of “Travel Delays” – a piece that starts rather slowly, but turns into a solid suspense / action cue that makes you crave more of that. Certain moments of this particular cue echo bits of Judge Dredd. As a matter of fact, quite a few bits of this score sounded familiar (in a positive way).
The action cues are well-executed. “He Won’t Come Out” is a well-written piece of music that offers some exciting material. In “Field Trip” the action continues on a large scale as Silvestri delivered the best action cue of the score’s first third. Silvestri really is on a roll as you can clearly hear in “We Both Made Promises” and “Help Arrives” – the latter ranks among the score’s finest cues.
All the time, the music feels organic as it was written for a large orchestra. After a thunderous start, the speed slows down a bit. As of track eighteen, the ride becomes really exciting again. “More Power”, which at times is reminiscent of Alan Silvestri’s Eraser, stands as another noteworthy cue.
We hardly have some time to breathe as Silvestri lays another action goody on us. In “Charge” we get to hear some nice percussion elements and very attractive brass writing to boot. From this point on, the excitement barely lets up.
Despite some “shortcomings” in between, Alan Silvestri’s writing and his use of the orchestra are absolutely superb. His musical style is one of the most easily recognizable ones and I mean that as a compliment. He once again delivers a largely entertaining and sophisticated score. If you hire a composer like Alan Silvestri, you are likely to get quality. Thankfully, the filmmaking team did not settle for any lesser approach and Silvestri was given the chance to do what he does best.