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."