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Soundtrack Review: 'Legends of Tomorrow: Season 1'

Like the series, Legends of Tomorrow: Season 1 Original Television Soundtrack sets a course for superhero time-traveling kick ass.

Review by Matt Cummings

CW's superhero shows have become a M-TH staple in my DVR. Whether it's the speed and quick wit of The Flash, the gritty Star City vigilantes of Arrow, or the newest arrival of Supergirl, CW has hit creative gold by assembling this team. Perhaps at the top of these was the surprise hit DC's Legends of Tomorrow, a time-traveling epic featuring several characters culled from Arrow and The Flash. The completely original series from Producer Greg Berlanti sported impressive special effects, more witty banter than three people can stand, and of course a solidly entertaining score from Composer Blake Neely. The bold and unapologetic Legends of Tomorrow: Season 1 Original Television Soundtrack arrives full of superhero kick ass and ready to take the throne as Neely's best so far.

The time-traveling Captain Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) has witnessed the end of humanity thanks to a horrific final assault of London during 2166 by the immortal madman Vandal Savage (Casper Crump). In an attempt to save his future from Savage, Hunter has assembled an unlikely team of 2016 metahumans including the criminals Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell) and Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller), Atom (Brandon Routh), the resurrected White Canary (Caity Lotz), and the duo Firestorm (Victor Garber and Franz Drameh). But this team isn't exactly prepared to work together, nor are they qualified to be true guardians of history. As Hunter takes them on a time-traveling chase to hunt down Savage, they'll all learn just how dark and sinister Savage's plan is, as well as who's responsible for his seemingly innate ability to escape the capture of The Legends. The results will threaten their lives and even time itself.


Featuring a mammoth 27-song tracklist by La-La Land Records, Legends is a glorious and over-the-top auditory escape. Composer Neely - who's given us distinct themes for each of CW's shows - puts together the most impressive collection of television music he's done yet. It's not that he's doing anything particularly new or cutting edge: he's still using synths for most of this, and his movements sound a lot like his other CW work, but his bombasity breathes a life into Legends that's usually missing from Arrow. Maybe it's the larger nature of this universe, one in which gritty street vigilantes might get run over by time-traveling wizards and 50' assassin robots. Either way, tracks like At the Oculus / Cold Hard Sacrifice are wildly entertaining and give the show a unique voice that few shows can muster.

Take a track like Savage Meteoritual Fight: it has all the elements we're accustomed to by Neely and yet it's also distinctly new territory for him, featuring odd trombone escalations and chants around 1:10. He comes back down to more familiar ground soon after, but these bold chances elevate the track significantly. Another - Martin Sends Jefferson Away - is a beautiful and epic piece that oozes team sacrifice as a Legend is send back to 2016 to save his team from certain destruction. Sacrificial Trip to the Sun would have no place in the Arrow soundscape, but here it's pitch-perfect. By the time we get to the final track Who’s Up for More?, we're ready for the next adventure.

Even The Magnificent Eight - which celebrates The Legends' travels to The Old West - is fabulously cheesy. It's one of the best episodes as well, featuring the undeniable Jonah Hex, and Neely's use of chimes and Spaghetti Western styling is equally memorable. But that's Track 17, which is usually reserved for filler as we march to a grand conclusion. Not here: Eight stands as impressive as the rest, including the first three tracks London 2166 / Set a Course, You Are Legends, and Boarding the Waverider / Back in Time. Each of these sets the mood for what we're about to experience, which could be the best television soundtrack of the year. That SuperHero playlist I mentioned in my Arrow: Season 4 review is about to get a lot bigger.

Simply put, Legends of Tomorrow: Season 1 Original Television Soundtrack is perhaps the best television score of 2016. Filled with a bombastic tone and monumentally-epic DNA, Neely has crafted an impressive array of music . It's going to be difficult deciding which tracks to add my SuperHero playlist, because most if not all are fabulously rewarding. And with the promise that Season 2 promising to blow open CW's comic book world, it's my hope that Neely's music will also rise to the occasion.

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 1 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.

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