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Section Header
The Avengers
Composed, Co-Orchestrated, Conducted, and Co-Produced by:
Alan Silvestri

Co-Orchestrated by:
John Ashton Thomas
Mark Graham
Dave Metzger

Co-Produced by:
David Bifano

Labels and Dates:
Hollywood Records
(May 1st, 2012)

Hollywood Records/
Intrada Records (CD)
(May 1st, 2012)

Also See:
Captain America: The First Avenger
The Incredible Hulk
Iron Man
Iron Man 2

Audio Clips:
6. Helicarrier (0:31):
WMA (204K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

12. Performance Issues (0:30):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

15. I Got a Ride (0:30):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

19. The Avengers (0:30):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

Regular U.S. release. Both the download and CD versions of the album feature the same cover art, but the CD pressing contains twelve additional minutes of music.


The Avengers
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Our Price: $20.99
Used Price: $9.95

Sales Rank: 58741

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Buy it... if you were impressed by Alan Silvestri's model of heroism for Captain America: The First Avenger and desire a modernized version of that streamlined, mostly orchestral action sound.

Avoid it... if you still await Silvestri's return to his fantastic action and fantasy scores of previous decades, his output for the Marvel universe generic enough to merit continuing concerns that the composer is stuck on auto-pilot.

The Avengers: (Alan Silvestri) Hapless liberals who stand outside Wall Street and protest societal income disparity in the United States should rightfully boycott the series of Marvel Studios films leading up to and including 2012's The Avengers because, in 2005 and 2006, Marvel teamed up with Merrill Lynch and pitched the financing of these movies to Wall Street analysts eager to line the pockets of the top 1%. Their plan worked, and since 2008 these movies have earned countless hundreds of millions of dollars amid popular praise, especially for the Iron Man entries. The planned culmination of the "introductory" films was always meant to be The Avengers, possibly opening the door for multiple ensemble cast entries after many of the leading stars were locked up in multi-picture deals. The 2012 film, titled Avengers Assemble in the United Kingdom so clueless audiences don't expect to witness John Steed and Emma Peel continue their flirtations when walking into theatres, was generally well received by critics and has to be considered a popular success despite juggling so many prior concepts and characters in one condensed plot. While each of the four leading titular heroes from previous movies is given their due screen time (along with several secondary characters from previous entries, including Samuel L. Jackson as the organizer of this party), the basic plot points owe the most to 2011's Thor. The fantasy hero's brother from that story, Loki, attempts to conquer Earth with the help of allies using extra-terrestrial, bad-ass technology in The Avengers. In between him and this goal, of course, is the assembled group of Marvel's protagonists, most of them still shaking events that happened to them in their individual movies. As is customary in contemporary blockbusters, the destruction of cityscapes is an absolute necessity, and terror-weary New York City is the logical host for such eye candy. Comparatively speaking, Marvel's six years of development leading up to The Avengers was a tremendous success, and this culmination only suffers from a small handful of continuity issues, one of which the dropping of actor Edward Norton from the ensemble cast after the former performer of Bruce Banner was deemed by the studio not to espouse the proper "creativity and collaborative spirit" to continue. The music is another area of discrepancy worth noting in these films.

The soundtracks in the Marvel series of movies have been radically different in style, ranging from pop-oriented modernism to mostly orchestral in a traditional sense. The composers attached to these individual films changed with each entry, too, in conjunction with the shifts in director. With the exception of the two Iron Man scores (for which Ramin Djawadi and John Debney underachieved by pandering to the lowest common denominators of blockbuster film music), the results by Craig Armstrong, Patrick Doyle, and Alan Silvestri ranged from sufficiently entertaining to borderline excellent. For The Avengers, Marvel turned to their most recent collaborator, Silvestri, to bring the right tone to the ensemble picture, a logical choice given the composer's prior involvement in similar circumstances for G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and The A-Team. While those scores did not particularly impress most Silvestri collectors hoping for a return to Predator, Judge Dredd, and The Mummy Returns form, they are representative of Silvestri's attempt to evolve traditional orchestral bravado in the era of obvious synthetic augmentation. A similar stylistic approach is applied to The Avengers, a generally symphonic representation from yesteryear blended with a few unique electronic accents for occasional color. Standard Silvestri techniques are present, including rollicking, percussion-led rhythms and ensemble strikes punctuated by aggressively slapped snare. A few more metallic percussion accents would have been merited. The wholesome innocence of Captain America: The First Avenger is largely diluted, Silvestri content to play the score safely generic as to not offend the sensibilities of any of the main characters. He devises two significant new themes for The Avengers, one a title identity that only truly enunciates its full form as the heroes coalesce with absolute unity late in the picture. Silvestri wrote the demo-like cue "The Avengers" early in the process, including some retro drum pads reminiscent of the 1980's, and director Joss Whedon insisted that the theme (and some of the same retro attitude) be utilized throughout the score. This main theme, while generic among Silvestri's anthems, is sufficiently memorable, expressed with brassy glory in several short snippets before achieving its natural culmination in "A Promise." It remains to be known, however, if this somewhat average identity can helm a series of movies of this magnitude. There is a "snazziness" factor that remains elusive in Silvestri's recent themes for ball-busting activities.

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The second major new theme in The Avengers is an individual identity sought by the director for Natasha Romanoff's Black Widow persona. This distinctly Eastern European idea is a highlight of the score and occupies most of the memorably thematic moments of the score's first half. Introduced in eerie, plucked form in "Interrogation," this idea is developed well throughout "Red Ledger" before a short but redemptive and heroic statement in "I Got a Ride." Unfortunately, Whedon did not encourage Silvestri to utilize any of the themes from the prior movies, and the composer therefore missed a tremendous opportunity to create an intellectually pleasing score rather than a basically functional one. He did work his Captain America theme into several cues, with especially notable fragmentary references late in the score. While reprises of Armstrong's theme for the Hulk or Debney's underutilized identity for Tony Stark may not have been particularly effective with audiences because of their relative obscurity, the absence of Patrick Doyle's brothers theme from Thor is an obvious and curious omission from The Avengers. The dynamic between the two characters is clearly a central aspect of this movie, and the lack of any of Doyle's impressive thematic constructs for their universe is an major disappointment. Silvestri does sometimes suggest stylistic connections to his predecessor's scores, including some Djawadi/Debney contemporary keyboarding in "Stark Goes Green" and perhaps a touch of Doyle's rhythmic percussion in "Performance Issues." The most curious connection in The Avengers comes in the fantastic cue "Helicarrier," which seems to get sidetracked with Henry Jackman's unrelated Marvel music for X-Men: First Class. Overall, there is ten to fifteen minutes of noteworthy action material in The Avengers, but don't be surprised if some listeners find it to be too streamlined or even boring. A soft guitar passage at the outset of "The Promise" offers tonal deviation that would have been more welcome elsewhere as well. So much of this score still sounds like Silvestri on auto-pilot, and while enthusiasts of the movie could probably award this effort a solid four stars, those expecting the composer to match his top form and bring the franchise's identities together intelligently may consider it a more meager effort. The album situation for the score is somewhat unconventional, a commercial download release containing twelve fewer minutes of material than the CD alternative released by Hollywood Records and Intrada Records. Aside from the CD's addition of "Interrogation," most of the difference exists in the length of the available cues, the bulk of important material available on the shorter product. An adequate score all around, but not an exemplary one. *** Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For Alan Silvestri reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.36 (in 33 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.24 (in 31,647 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

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 Track Listings (Download Album): Total Time: 64:25

• 1. Arrival (2:59)
• 2. Doors Open From Both Sides (2:48)
• 3. Tunnel Chase (2:36)
• 4. Stark Goes Green (2:41)
• 5. Helicarrier (2:09)
• 6. Subjugation (3:00)
• 7. Don't Take My Stuff (4:42)
• 8. Red Ledger (5:11)
• 9. Assault (4:26)
• 10. They Called It (2:41)
• 11. Performance Issues (3:35)
• 12. Seeing, Not Believing (4:25)
• 13. Assemble (4:31)
• 14. I Got a Ride (4:00)
• 15. A Little Help (3:14)
• 16. One Way Trip (5:50)
• 17. A Promise (3:34)
• 18. The Avengers (2:03)

 Track Listings (CD Album): Total Time: 76:08

• 1. Arrival (2:59)
• 2. Doors Open From Both Sides (3:29)
• 3. Tunnel Chase (4:47)
• 4. Interrogation (2:38)
• 5. Stark Goes Green (4:46)
• 6. Helicarrier (2:09)
• 7. Subjugation (3:40)
• 8. Don't Take My Stuff (5:06)
• 9. Red Ledger (5:10)
• 10. Assault (4:25)
• 11. They Called It (2:41)
• 12. Performance Issues (4:56)
• 13. Seeing, Not Believing (4:25)
• 14. Assemble (5:21)
• 15. I Got a Ride (4:00)
• 16. A Little Help (3:49)
• 17. One Way Trip (5:50)
• 18. A Promise (3:34)
• 19. The Avengers (2:03)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert of the CD includes a lengthy note from the director about Silvestri and the score.

  All artwork and sound clips from The Avengers are Copyright © 2012, Hollywood Records (Download), Hollywood Records/ Intrada Records (CD). The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 5/6/12 (and not updated significantly since). Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2012-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.