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Black Panther
Album Cover Art
Composed, Co-Conducted, and Produced by:
Ludwig Göransson

Co-Orchestrated and Co-Conducted by:
John Ashton Thomas

Co-Orchestrated by:
Tommy Laurence
Geoff Lawson
Andrew Kinney
Jon Kull
Henri Wilkinson
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Hollywood Records
(February 16th, 2018)
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Regular digital release, available only in MP3 form initially (for under $10) but offered as a high-resolution option (at $17) about a month later. No CD album was pressed.
Winner of a Grammy Award and an Academy Award. Nominated for a Golden Globe.
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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you are prepared for an extraordinarily diverse and immersive blend of African musical heritage and standard symphonic superhero music, their interaction constant and inseparable in this undeniably unique effort.

Avoid it... if you cannot appreciate an otherwise solid musical narrative because Ludwig Göransson's valiant attempt to infuse too many personalities into one wildly frenzied score produces an unnerving sense of musical whiplash for you.
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WRITTEN 3/24/18
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Black Panther: (Ludwig Göransson) Far overdue was an adaptation of Marvel Comics' character of Black Panther and the cultural significance of his presence amongst so many Anglo-oriented superheroes, though with constant prodding of actor Wesley Snipes during the 1990's, a film for the iconic black hero was long in the works. Upon the debut of the king of the African nation of Wakanda and his alter ego, Black Panther became a monumental critical and fiscal sensation in early 2018, grossing over a billion dollars with ease and earning near-universal respect from audiences for its exploration of African heritage and liberation while packaged in typical, standalone superhero flair. It's an immensely important step forward for black representation on screen, its nearly all-black cast and significantly black crew producing an imaginatively positive story of a thriving, futuristic, African culture tossing aside stereotypes of marginalization to reveal wondrous success in their racial experience without resorting to usual, tired depictions of poverty and suffering along the way. Introduced two years prior in Captain America: Civil War, the Black Panther character receives his origins story in this film, a history of the tribes forming the fictitious, hidden Wakanda and living in technological magnificence thanks to the element of vibranium gathered from a meteorite. Superhuman powers are granted by consuming an herb from the metal, and Black Panther and his chief rival, an American-born soldier calling himself Killmonger, fight for not only the crown of the land but to restrict the sale of vibranium arms to bad actors around the planet. The movie managed to supply its intended socio-political message without compromising its superhero aspects, making it a potent combination of commentary and entertainment that is extended, without a doubt, by its music. Director Ryan Coogler turned to rapper Kendrick Lamar to supply the rap and hip hop-oriented songs littered throughout the picture. The resulting album topped worldwide charts in reflection of the film's success, overshadowing a more surprisingly unique original score sprinkled in between by Swedish musician Ludwig Göransson. The young composer collaborated with Lamar to ensure symmetry in the transitions between score and songs; Göransson did produce one of the songs, but there is no evidence of overlap between the song, "Opps," and the score.

Göransson was hired for Black Panther based upon his previous two collaborations with Coogler, the more notable of which, Creed, expressing reverent symphonic tributes to Bill Conti's classic Rocky scores while infusing fanfare-like passages that would perhaps not too ironically foreshadow material heard in Black Panther. Critically, Göransson, who recognized immediately that he was personally removed from the culture necessary to construct ethnically appropriate music for this assignment, travelled extensively in Africa and immersed himself in a number of regional instrumental and vocal performance techniques with which to merge the standard Western orchestra necessary for the genre's overarching connections. Film music collectors do not often hear African influences in major feature scores, percussive and/or vocal effects occasionally supplied by the likes of Jerry Goldsmith or James Newton Howard, and the more intriguing connections made by Göransson here point back to brief passages of Nile Rodgers' Coming to America and Clinton Shorter's District 9 for the closest mainstream references. The balance between Alan Silvestri-inspired heroics, melodramatic string interludes for historical significance, defiantly cool hip hop electronics, celebratory choral expressions of multi-cultural blends, and a variety of specialty African instruments and sometimes breathtaking performance customizations by those contributors is, all together, a recipe for one of the most striking and potentially dizzying scores of this generation. Whether or not Black Panther functions for your sensibility depends completely on how well you can accept so many disparate musical personalities inhabiting one score. The mix of all the ingredients is paramount to Göransson's complex merging of opposites, and he generally succeeds. The primary African instrumental colors and vocalized languages, collected from Senegal, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, include drums, flutes, harp, and vuvuzela horn; while the Senegalese talking drums are the most obvious presence in the mix, in part because they are often provided too far to the front of the mix over other elements, it's the combination of the fula flutes and Senegalese singer Baaba Maal that often yields the most intoxicating results. The vocalizations in the score range from standard cooing to chanting, forced exhales, and clicking that provide the music its most authentic ranges of expression.

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.48 Stars
***** 94 5 Stars
**** 102 4 Stars
*** 73 3 Stars
** 42 2 Stars
* 39 1 Stars
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Am I racist for not liking Black Panther music?   Expand >>
ThomasPaine - March 27, 2018, at 5:44 p.m.
4 comments  (1851 views)
Newest: February 15, 2019, at 10:24 p.m. by
Agreed *NM*
Mr. Big - March 25, 2018, at 8:30 a.m.
1 comment  (716 views)
Alternative review at Movie Wave
Southall - March 25, 2018, at 6:32 a.m.
1 comment  (821 views)
Black Panther
Jonathan Gabriel Irons - March 24, 2018, at 9:47 p.m.
1 comment  (785 views)

Track Listings Icon
Total Time: 95:09
• 1. Wakanda Origins (1:44)
• 2. Royal Talon Fighter (4:00)
• 3. Wakanda (2:20)
• 4. Warrior Falls (4:06)
• 5. The Jabari (1:08)
• 6. Waterfall Fight (4:03)
• 7. Ancestral Plane (4:27)
• 8. Killmonger (2:55)
• 9. Phambili (2:31)
• 10. Casino Brawl (3:32)
• 11. Busan Car Chase (2:49)
• 12. Questioning Klaue (3:32)
• 13. Outsider (2:07)
• 14. Is This Wakanda? (2:46)
• 15. Killmonger's Challenge (5:07)
• 16. Killmonger vs T'Challa (3:30)
• 17. Loyal to the Throne (1:35)
• 18. Killmonger's Dream (3:15)
• 19. Burn It All (3:24)
• 20. Entering Jabariland (2:42)
• 21. Wake Up T'Challa (6:08)
• 22. The Great Mound Battle (3:48)
• 23. Glory to Bast (6:06)
• 24. The Jabari Pt II (2:22)
• 25. A Kings Sunset (4:28)
• 26. A New Day (1:47)
• 27. Spaceship Bugatti (1:23)
• 28. United Nations/End Titles (7:32)

Notes Icon
There exists no packaging outside of cover art for the digital product, an unacceptable circumstance given the extensive crew attributions for this score.
Copyright © 2018-2021, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Black Panther are Copyright © 2018, Hollywood Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 3/24/18 (and not updated significantly since).
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