Skip to main content

Giveaway: #FeelPretty Win I Feel Pretty On (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD)

Soundtrack Review: 'Arrow Season 4'

Like the series, Arrow: Season 4 Original Television Soundtrack offers a mixed quiver.

Review by Matt Cummings

If any of you found Arrow: Season 4 to be...well...a little boring, you're not alone. I've always appreciated the gritty street drama of Star City, and Actor Steven Amell is fantastic as the titular hero. But the series under Producer Greg Berlanti has declined since the amazing Season 2 (remember Slade?!), with too many love stories and far too many episodes. The biggest complaint I had with Season 4 was that Arrow was now fighting fantastic (and unbeatable) villains, something better suited for (better) shows like The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. Moreover, a paternity story slowed down any inertia which the show was building, leading to a wild League-esque battle royale that set up Legends. Composer Blake Neely's Arrow: Season 4 Original Television Soundtrack suffers from the same lack of direction, serving as more of a setup album than establishing itself as a must-buy.

With the formidable Ra's al Ghul (Matt Nable) defeated in Season 3, Oliver Queen/Arrow (Amell) hopes to restart his life, driving off into the sunset with Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards). But Diggle, Thea, and Laurel are having a hard time adjusting to life without him. They need his leadership to keep Team Arrow afloat, but Oliver is ready to move back to a more normal life. All of that changes when the dangerous magician Damien Darhk (Neil McDonough) arrives to destroy Star City, forcing Oliver to suit up once again. But he's unprepared for the chaos Darhk will bring, and soon recruits old friends like The Flash (Grant Gustin) and new heroes such as Hawkman and Hawkgirl to battle Darhk. Without knowing it, Oliver is thrust into the middle of an escalating conflict that will see million of lives precariously hang in the balance, while one of his friends will pay the ultimate price for his decisions.

The 23-song track by La-La Land Records is all over the place in terms of effect. We have the very good My Whole World Exploded / Savage Fight, Ghost Takedown, Fighting Ghosts and Resurrected and Infected, which establish themselves using familiar Neely DNA but add newer tones like more chanting and sound effects. His trademark style is apparent throughout, even when the ballads like the passionate For Better or Worse arrive, mixing hallmark strings and piano with electronic keyboards to build multiple layers. It's a very strong and beautiful track, but it also sounds like material we've heard before, simply re-arranged just enough to make it seem newer. Sometimes that plan works very well, such as Taking a Hand, in which Neely uses the unusual Duduk wind instrument to great effect. The very good Darhk Showdown and Not Black and White round things out, but along the way you'll start to notice a pattern where things can start to grate a bit.

Season 4 doesn't start off that well either, such as the dull Return to Star City / Darhkness Arrives and Beyond Saving. Not every song needs to be an amazing one, but soon everything from these series begins to blend together and it's impossible to remember anything other than the gold-standard Storming the Castle from Season 3. Let Each Other Go is another example of outright borrowing from a previous season. But if you're willing to look past it and appreciate others like Code Names, Thea Has Bloodlust, and a little tympani action in Genesis - because who doesn't love a track with tympanis - you'll find yourself adding more than a couple to your SuperHero playlist. Just be sure to add a few of these as they're shorter set up pieces.

Scoring for television isn't an easy gig, many times forcing a composer to use familiar (and even previously-used) material for its beat. But Arrow: Season 4 Original Television Soundtrack offers us enough new to equal out what's starting to feel like retreaded melodies. If Season 5's music is any indication where Neely is going, prepare for more of the same.

Arrow: Season 4 Original Television Soundtrack is now available on CD and digital download.

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Movie Review: #MissSloane

The political drama Miss Sloane fails to lobby us into Oscar territory.
Review by Matt Cummings
In a time when women were supposed to be leading our country, Miss Sloane arrives to remind us of what could have been. Unfortunately, this message about a headstrong female Washington lobbyist loses us early with an unappealing director, a paper-thin plot, and suffers from a ton of convenient realism. If the good (but not impressive) performances weren't there to buffer these and many other gaps, we might have found ourselves voting for impeachment.

For Washington lobbyist Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain), life is about getting her clients what they want from the halls of Congress. Her boss Dupont (Sam Waterston) will sleep with NRA types, fudge travel records, and bully smaller firms into submission if it means a hearty paycheck at day's end. But when Sloane leaves the company to push Gun Control legislation with one of those smaller firms, Dupont turns to his bulldog Co…

Enter For A Chance To Win Passes To See WARCRAFT In Dallas

Enter for a chance to see WARCRAFT on June 7th at 7:00 PM in Dallas.

From Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures comes Warcraft, an epic adventure of world-colliding conflict based on Blizzard Entertainment's global phenomenon.


The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: Orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people and their home.

So begins a spectacular saga of power and sacrifice in which war has many faces, and everyone fights for something.


Directed by Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) and written by Charles Leavitt and Jones, the film starring Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Rob Kazinsky and Daniel Wu is a Legendary Pic…

Bethany Ashton Wolf¹s FOREVER MY GIRL ACQUIRED BY @roadsidetweets

Forever My Girl tells the story of country music super-star Liam Page (Alex Roe) who left his bride, Josie (Jessica Rothe), at the altar choosing fame and fortune instead. However, Liam never got over Josie, his one true love, nor did he ever forget his Southern roots in the small community where he was born and raised. When he unexpectedly returns to his hometown for the funeral of his high school best friend, Liam is suddenly faced with the consequences of all that he left behind.

Roadside Attractions and LD Entertainment partner for their 7th collaboration with Roadside’s domestic distribution acquisition of Bethany Ashton Wolf’s uplifting family romance Forever My Girl, it was jointly announced today by Roadside Attractions co-founders Howard Cohen & Eric d’Arbeloff, and Mickey Liddell of LD Entertainment. Forever My Girl will be released wide in theaters on October 27, 2017.

The two companies previously collaborated on numerous films including multiple Academy Award® nominee …