on 17 June 2013
Hans Zimmer has been handed the baton for the new Man of Steel film, following on from the mighty John Williams and John Ottman's rather excellent score for the failed 2006 reboot Superman Returns. Let's get this out the way at the start - if you are a fan of the music Williams wrote for the original films, stay well away from this release. This soundtrack is firmly in the camp of 21st Century music, and the more modern sound will not be to everyone's taste.
I won't go into every track on the albums (see lower down for the different versions). The softer piano theme for Clark Kent is extremely effective, and I would say stronger than some of the more action based material. The highlights are the brilliant "This Is Clark Kent" (Track 14) and "Sent Here For A Reason". DNA (Track 4) is brilliant and features some of Zimmer's choppy string ostinatos in full force. The General Zod theme in "I Will Find Him" is also impressive with some great writing for strings, brass and percussion. There are some absolute corkers on here. "Goodbye My Son" features a wonderful ethereal soloist and some nice writing for strings. It doesn't win any awards for complexity but it sounds fantastic. The best track has to be the epic "What Are You Going To Do When You Are Not Saving The World", which starts off with a rendition of the Clark Kent theme before building into the Man of Steel theme. I don't think anyone could not like this track!
The other question is whether to go for the 1CD Man Of Steel (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) version (run time is just short of 88 minutes) or the 2CD Man of Steel version which is just short of 2 hours. I personally always prefer to go for the version with more music - "General Zod" (CD2 Track 4) and "Arcade" (Track 8) are great, but they are variations on the themes you will have heard if you get the 1CD version. Whether you are interested in the lengthy (28 minute) minute sketchbook track and others will be personal preference.
The "Hans' Original Sketchbook" is an interesting concept on the second CD. It is basically synth mock ups of some of the main themes heard on the album. Some of which sound very similar to the final versions I might add. It does beg the question, and many have asked before, why Zimmer uses a real orchestra at all if the final version sounds slightly synthy. Regardless, I think this track is present to show the fans he does actually compose the themes for the films he is attached to. He has a lot of additional composers that work with him at his studio Remote Control, and Man of Steel has 5 other composers providing "additional music". Again some people have suggested how much he personally contributes to projects where his name is attached, but I think this sketchbook track shows he is the driving force, although other composers may rearrange his themes and contribute more than people might imagine.
So why 4*s rather than 5? As much as I liked the CD, I didn't think that Zimmer broke much in the way of new ground here. Granted, he is very competent at what he does, and whilst the themes were good, I didn't connect with it in a way that I have done with some of his previous work. Obviously this will be down to personal opinion though.
Overall, for fans of the music to the original films by JW this album will induce a strong allergic reaction that could only be cured by re-listening to the originals. In my opinion, this is not Zimmer's best work, but there is plenty to enjoy on the album. The main theme for Clark Kent is effective and although somewhat generic, the more action based man of steel theme certainly gets the blood pumping. All the themes are present on the 1CD version. The 2CD version does offer more music, a pretty decent booklet about the score and the chance to download a surround sound version of the score (which I have yet to do). I'm sure the neighbours will enjoy it when I do though! The choice of whether these additional perks are worth the slight increase in price will be your own. A solid 4* album from me, but despite the decent material and lengthy running time, Zimmer stayed in his comfort zone just a little too much to justify that final star.
on 21 June 2013
I was trying to decided if I should get the standard or the limited Deluxe Edition. In the end i decided to get this version and was pretty excited as I loved the music in the film and was particularly looking forward to the Man of Steel sketchbook on the bonus disc which is well worth the purchase
My Only issue with this (It would have been 5 stars as a product otherwise) When I read 'steel book' packaging I expect to get a steel book case like you do with other collectors/deluxe editions. Instead the CD case is made from glossy card made to look like steel.
To be honest as Limited Duluxe/collectors editions go, there isn't anything overly amazing in this package - 2 post cards, a very standard booklet and a digital download ticket.
That aside the music itself is easily 5 stars, Hans Zimmer has done an amazing job of capturing the emotion, power and excitement you would expect for a Superman Movie and made it modern and current.
If you are buying it for the music then you wont have any issues and will love it! Just don't buy it expecting anything special with the other extras.
on 23 January 2014
I'd go so far as to say this is my absolute favourite soundtrack to date!
Hans Zimmer is quite literally a musical genius in my eyes and pushes the scope for scoring and sound recording. Just watch the youtube 5-part series on behind the scenes of this film, he'll try all manner of stuff so far from the norm that it's absolutely inspiring and refreshing to see and hear. Whether he's using 10 of the best drummers in the world to drum synchronously to make a thunderous rhythm section, to using the craziest of contraptions (rather than just relying on synths) that create the most organic and epic sounds you'd never be able to recreate. This soundtrack hits the mark for me, conveying emotion and power in the bucket loads. The soundtrack alone has made me watch this film far too many times that I dread to say.
Hans is always pushing boundaries, he takes the beauty of orchestral instruments but manages to fuse them with all manner of massive, gorgeous, eerie and spectacular sounds. Don't deny yourself the pleasure of this CD or the movie, I even use the soundtrack to push me when working out, it really does excite me a little too much!
on 5 November 2014
"Man of Steel" looks to be very different from any previous Superman films, and so it requires a different style of music.
If anyone is right for the project, it's composer Hans Zimmer. Zimmer has been involved with some of my favorite movies in recent years - The Dark Knight, Inception, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Gladiator. With the Dark Knight Trilogy, he successfully created a new tone that was different from any previous Batman music. It appears he has done the same for the Man of Steel. Everybody loves John Williams' theme for the original Superman films - to try and replicate it would be a mistake. So Zimmer does the only sensible thing, and goes in a completely different direction with his score.
Every track on this album has something unique to offer; there is great variety, and that makes for a pleasant listening experience. There is plenty of the intense epic music that Zimmer is known for (those who have accused him of being too bombastic in the past will no doubt have the same complaint here). But there's also plenty of emotion too - some of my favorite cues are the softer ones.
As a bonus, you get a 28-minute track called "Hans' Original Sketchbook", which features some of Zimmer's key musical concepts, plus some early ideas and a bit of music unused in the film (although much of it sounds like pieces from other tracks on the album).
Also, for those wondering where the music used in the film's trailer can be found, it's the track titled "What Are You Going to Do When You Are Not Saving the World?" - Track #17 (or Track #1 of Disc 2 for the limited edition CD).
The superhero genre is full of great music, and the "Man of Steel" soundtrack is right up there with the best of them. I highly recommend this album!
 Goodbye My Son
 If You Love These People
 What Are You Going to Do When You Are Not Saving the World?
* The Deluxe Edition of the soundtrack, available in physical CD format or in MP3 format, contains an additional 6 tracks (approx. 30 minutes in length) not included on the regular release.
** Also included with purchase of the CD is an insert with a unique code to download the Man of Steel Soundtrack in the Z Plus App. This is the first soundtrack album to use the new DTS technology called Headphone:X - which simulates an 11.1 channel surround mix on a normal pair of headphones. The Z Plus app works with iOS devices (such as iPad, iPhone, etc) and the 11.1 mix can be emulated using any pair of stereo headphones.
*** With Amazon's AUTORIP service, if you order the CD then you automatically get the Amazon MP3 version added to your account for free (so you can listen to it immediately while you wait for the CD to arrive in the mail.)
on 5 August 2013
I love the original Superman soundtrack. I promise you, I do. My favourite moment (pretty much the only moment I enjoyed) from Superman Returns was the use of the original opening theme music. It is a piece of music that promises hope and courage and swooping grandeur. It's an icon and I respect that...but I also like the new Man of Steel. Sorry. I went into the film waiting to be disappointed. I loved the Nolan take on Batman but the how the hell did they hope to do the same with the ultimate alien boy scout?! There was no way...only, there was. I still can't believe how much I enjoyed Man of Steel and part of that love came from the music. I'm still in the camp where we don't think Hans Zimmer drowns out the dialogue. Sure, there are some close moments, but his music always finds somethinew new and surprisingly and oddly raw that I wouldn't expect to work. The held, stuttering violin strings in Dark Knight, the chant in Dark Knight Rises, the racing rhythm of the track 'Mombasa' in Inception. This soundtrack comes from the same breed. It is not afraid to experiment and it respects the right to carve it's own path. I can see why people struggle with this CD but, if you loved the film and you loved the music, what's not to like? The extra CD, with it's long first track of sketches, is fascinating. While the rest of it really gets the blood pumping and the memories fighting for attention. Now, excuse me, I have to take cover. I can hear John Williams coming for me.
on 1 July 2013
*This review is for the Limited Deluxe Edition*
I purchased this before watching the movie, but I only received it after coming back from holiday, having already watched the movie three separate times. It wasn't until the third watch or so, that some of this soundtrack stuck with me, and I started looking forward to getting home to listen to the soundtrack.
When I finally received it, my first thought was disappointment at the packaging: The sticker on the front (and in the description) says "Contains: LIMITED EDITION Steel Packaging. As such, I was expecting a steel book or tin case deal, but the album is actually a glossy cardboard foldout, with a raised \S/ symbol and lettering on the front. Once I had gotten over this fact, though, the overall impression of what I did get was rather good, and I think it simply should have been stated somewhere that it was a "steely design" or whatever, rather than actually being made from steel.
The soundtrack itself is brilliant, as the true test of any soundtrack is whether it brings you back into the movie, and boy did it. Certain key scenes played back in my inner theatre, and every musical beat is there. It was great listening to the bonus tracks available on "Disc 2: Experiments from the Fortress of Solitude", giving you an insight into how close Hans Zimmer was the first time around, before going into recording. "Flight", arguably the main theme of the movie is a brilliant, not too dark listen, logically also the title of the first disc.
Overall, a great soundtrack and a great edition for the Man of Steel fan. Considering that it's not much more expensive than getting the download, this is definitely the set to get.
on 24 April 2014
Whatever you thought of the movie (I thought it was over-hyped and devolved too quickly into endless, mindless action but had some good ideas, good bits and good production design), if you like Hans Zimmer's music this is a must-have album.
Though themes and riffs are definitely reused, it's rarely over done and there's enough variation to keep things interesting. Some of the tracks that accompany the many, many action scenes have a wonderful sense of energy, threat and desperation about them ('If You Love These People' which is the theme to the main punch up between Zod and Kal).
Particular highlights are 'Flight' (which hits the tone, the sense of freedom and power and general joy of the scene in question perfectly) and 'What Are You Going To Do When You Are Not Saving The World?', which is essentially an extended version of the beautiful track 'An Ideal of Hope' that played over the main trailer for the film.
Definitely recommended if you like any of Hans Zimmer's other music. Watch out for the weird 'uh-oh' sound effect about fifteen seconds into the track Oil Rig though...
on 24 June 2014
Was disappointed with the lack of a dynamic main theme, and the whole soundtrack sounds dull and flat. I'm a life long fan of Superman and this score had a lot to live upto when comparing it to the John Williams masterpieces. It didn't deliver, all the tracks sound the same, and seem far too long, I think that given the right soundtrack even the movie might have been slightly better.
on 3 July 2013
What is a soundtrack?
The best soundtracks have been called both evocative of the film or project they represent whilst maintaining sufficient individuality to be considered a piece of music in their own right. Before I go on, let me say I haven't seen Man of Steel at the movies yet. I collect soundtracks, I play them whilst writing to increase my emotions and those of the words, and I listen to them in the car for story inspiration and see where my imagination takes me as the music carries me along.
Therefore, I am not going to describe the track listing, what is strong, what isn't, and relate them to the film or the spiritual journey of the lead character.
Been a fan of Hans and his "stable" of composers for years so on first listen via youtube I downloaded this (always a sucker for deluxe edition extended versions) and given it several listens so far.
So is it any good?
For the most part the music is good, but the strength is it's greatest problem and the reason why I only gave this 3 stars.
It's repetitive. There are maybe three or four main themes repeated often in the entire score with minimal variation. Several of the tracks blatantly go down the line of...
Take a theme.
Add more instruments repeating the same theme.
Add drums, and continue to repeat.
Get louder and continue to repeat.
Get even louder still. Have your ears had enough? Well here it comes in the crescendo, even louder again!
So, in a nutshell, it's hardly Hans' most original or challenging soundtrack and a lot of what he does here sounds like variations on a theme. Worst point? One track is almost entirely played by what sounds like an urban drum band and it's a deafening rattle of monotonous percussion.
At it's height? I actually like the main themes, so whilst it was repetitive, it was enjoyable.although that does not necessarily make a good soundtrack. As such, it's great for writing to because you can get into a certain emotional mindset and let the music do it's job.
My advice if you're thinking of buying it? If you already heard the music in the film or on youtube and want more of the same, then you won't be disappointed. If you're looking for more complexity, it could be worth checking it out first on youtube to see if you like it.
on 6 July 2015
For me, this is one of the best movie soundracks of all time. It is rare that a movie is truly elevated by, rather than it's events simply complemented by, the muscic of the score. This is one of those cases. It easily adds 2 stars onto an otherwise enjoyable, but not necessarily rewatchable film.
Disc 2 contains sketches by Hanz Zimmer for what would become the full versions on disc 1. Overall, these are simply rough cuts and not worth the extra expenditure to own the deluxe edition. For most, buying the regular OST (a five-star purchase at half the price) will be enough.
If you like Hanz Zimmer's work this and want more then turn to the Dark Knight Trilogy, Gladiator, The Thin Red Line, Pirates of the Carribeaan (from 2 onwards) and Amazing Spider-Man 2 for more excellent scores from one of the greatest (if not the greatest) cinema composers of his generation.