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Super Heroes

Posted on 2008.08.28 at 22:10
Current Location: 75409
Current Music: Gotham Avenger

After a month of immersing myself in The Dark Knight and revisiting and ultimately including Batman Begins with every listen, as well as re-watching Batman Begins again, I finally popped in, "Gotham Avenger" Original Music by Danny Elfman, Shirley Walker & Elliot Goldenthal, and what a treat that was! Even knowing how this disc was put together didn't save me from the surprise at how effortlessly the songs not only blended together, but complimented each other in their selection. While the original Elfman score was very heavy and consistent, this mix manages to breathe into it a much needed rounding of levity and depth, mostly with the inclusion of Shirley Walker's tracks which seem uneventful when listening to Batman: Mask of the Phantasm alone. The unofficial conclusion of "side one" ends without a transition, but not without fanfare! The tracks selected for this compilation brilliantly tie into one another on an individual level, and collectively, create a wonderful landscape of Gotham. Elfman's original sound is found throughout, which essentially ties the entire album together in a neat, magnificent package. After the brooding, atmospheric ZimNewHow scores, this one managed to put a smile on my face from start to finish. Incredible!

Unfortunately and surprisingly, the same cannot be said of my initial reaction to "You'll Believe A Man Can Fly" which, after the goosebumps-inducing title track, left me unmoved. I began this one first, because I thought I'd enjoy it more, either through eager anticipation, or the fact it was discussed in such length through email and across several blog entries. I don't want to be Mr. Sourboots just yet, because I haven't given the entire album its due, and I hate to prejudge; I'll likely listen to it over and over and may even learn to love it. I'm just surprised I wasn't initially infatuated with it as I had expected to be, being instead completely blown away by "Gotham Avenger."


galinda822 at 2008-08-29 12:09 (UTC) (Link)
I've listened to none of them. I really need to start bringing music to work again.
ehowton at 2008-08-29 12:16 (UTC) (Link)
My headphones help me in ignoring my coworkers and oftentimes become the waffling point for whether or not they should disturb me. It works great!
Melancthe the Woe, So-Called
melancthe at 2008-08-29 13:48 (UTC) (Link)
This helps me too. No one bothers me when I'm wearing headphones and concentrating ...

... although, admittedly, that might be the frowny-face look of don't-piss-me-off-ishness rather than the earphones. Hmm.
ehowton at 2008-08-29 15:51 (UTC) (Link)
I manage to wear disdain of the entire human race as an expression of warning to those who wish to distrub me. And except for my management, and the completely clueless, it works rather well.
Melancthe the Woe, So-Called
melancthe at 2008-08-29 17:39 (UTC) (Link)
disdain of the entire human race

I'm turned on already.
galinda822 at 2008-08-29 14:55 (UTC) (Link)
Unfortunately I have to listen for the 8200 Executive line throughout the day.
ehowton at 2008-08-29 15:54 (UTC) (Link)
Understood. What I so enjoy about my noise-canceling headphones is that while they mask the drone of my fan, server, and desktop - non white noise sounds pass unfiltered. That being said, the 'ring' of the phone sounds as if I weren't wearing headphones at all. And with this technology, I really don't need much volume to have an enjoyable listening experience.
galinda822 at 2008-08-29 17:11 (UTC) (Link)
Maybe I'll put those on my Christmas list for Santa.
ehowton at 2008-08-29 17:59 (UTC) (Link)
I took a gamble with the $60 Sony's (as I couldn't justify paying $350 for the Bose) and they work surprisingly well. I saw the same set at Target recently for $49.99, so tell Santa to shop red.
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332 at 2008-09-02 19:40 (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad that Gotham Avenger comes across so well. It was a distinct improvement over the original assembly, which included music from Batman Begins, and so wasn't as consistent as the new version. While both Shirley Walker and Elliot Goldenthal contributed scores that were definitely in their own voices, they nevertheless were both following the approach that Danny Elfman established in 1989, while James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer were deliberately moving away from that sound.

Too bad you weren't so pleased with You'll Believe A Man Can Fly, but I can't hit a home run every time I'm at bat. If you're interested in hearing an alternate take on Superman, you might be interested in glenniebun's own compilation, which favors the adventure aspect more than the mythic, which is where I was coming from with my mix.
ehowton at 2008-09-03 23:18 (UTC) (Link)
Its probably still a home run - its very well put together and it sounds fantastic. I just couldn't get into it...I don't know why. Perhaps it was my mood that day? At any rate, I give all albums their day in court. I just recently began listening to a couple of Pop CD's that I disliked the first dozen times I listened to them; I know myself well - and some things take me awhile.

And since I have your attention, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for sending me these CD's. I consider each of them prized possessions and get downright emotional when I lovingly caress their cases. Oh, I have my favorites - Excelsior! and Redwoods are always there when I need them - THERE ARE NO ALBUMS ON THE MARKET TODAY which are able to convey what you do with your mixes. I was up late last night and popped in one I overplayed when I first received it: Myth, Faith Belief. I listened to the entire album straight through, and it easily put me to ease during my task. It is flawless!

As an aside, in making my iTunes library public, I went through and removed a lot of your albums - the ones which I marked as 'Compilations' were easy through the command line as they are stored together, but there a just a few that still remain, spread throughout the individual artists. I'm getting to them slowly, but I'll get them all out.

Thanks again.
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332 at 2008-09-04 15:45 (UTC) (Link)
Myth, Faith, Belief is one of my favorites as well. I really enjoy putting together the adventure albums.

As an aside, in making my iTunes library public, I went through and removed a lot of your albums - the ones which I marked as 'Compilations' were easy through the command line as they are stored together, but there a just a few that still remain, spread throughout the individual artists. I'm getting to them slowly, but I'll get them all out.

Thank you. I know that it is a bit petty, but I prefer all copies of my work to come from me. Silly perhaps, but it's my way.

You should be receiving your replacement copy of Sandcastles and Breadcrumbs shortly.
ehowton at 2008-09-06 17:56 (UTC) (Link)
I prefer all copies of my work to come from me. Silly perhaps, but it's my way.
I totally respect that. They're works of art.

Sandcastles and Breadcrumbs
Arrived yesterday - thanks! I need to set aside a time to listen to it straight through, uninterrupted, in order to more carefully experience the change.
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332 at 2008-09-06 18:37 (UTC) (Link)
The change from "A Face of Sand" to "Mumia Attack" and the expansion of "Rebirth" are really the only noticeable alterations that I made to the master, but I am most pleased with the flow of the album, which I think has much improved, and shows off more facets of Jerry Goldsmith's score and keeping that heroic theme (a little of which goes a long way) from dominating the second half of the album.

The other changes are much more subtle, which I might not have bothered with at all had I not already been working on the master to make the previously mentioned changes. There is the minor addition of a quiet drum roll at 1:29 - 1:31 of "Shangri-La" to smooth over a previously awkward transition between "Open Wound" and "Mother and Daugher Reunion," parts of "The Final Confrontation" are slightly louder on the new version than they were on the old, and the entrance of "Into the Sunset" has been set at the same sound level as the previous track so the transition sounds more natural.
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