The Dark KnightIn the liner notes for The Dark Knight soundtrack, director Christopher Nolan describes the score for Batman Begins with a few words: “energetic, but with grandeur – action, but with emotion.” I’m hard-pressed to come up with a better (and more concise) description of Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard’s latest bat-work.

After pounding the box office with a record-breaking opening weekend, The Dark Knight is a bona fide blockbuster smash, and the heaping praise lavished upon all aspects of the film are, thankfully and miraculously, incredibly well-deserved. The film is a veritable masterpiece, showcasing some of the best acting, directing, special-effects and, yes, scoring in recent blockbuster history. For those that have seen the film, and few haven’t according to box office returns, the darkly thrilling score is hard to forget. And though I felt it was a bit overpowering at times during the film, on its own – and when I can control the volume – it’s the most exciting score album of the year.

Opening with a creepy and stealthy nine minute joker theme, aptly titled “Why So Serious?”, it’s clear that Zimmer and Howard are not messing around with their music. There’s over a minute of what can only be described as “warming up” – imagine a swarm of large mosquitos growing ever closer - before the action explodes with scratchy strings and heavy percussion. And in moments, The Joker, that eerily spooky and dangerously vicious creation of Heath Ledger’s, is clearly visualized through your speakers. These dark themes crop up occasionally throughout the album – just as The Joker does throughout the movie, go figure - especially in tracks like “Like A Dog Chasing Cars” and “Introduce A Little Anarcy”  but Howard and Zimmer don’t allow these themes to dominate.

There are still quiet, emotional moments, such as the almost peaceful “Blood On My Hands,” though these composers are just as comfortable mixing emotion with explosive action, as they show in “Agent of Chaos”… and well, throughout the rest of the album. “And I Thought My Jokes Were Bad” showcases the electronica feel present in spurts throughout the album. There’s something for any fan of score music here and most people I’ve talked to remember the score for the film in extreme detail. Zimmer and Howard haven’t simply created a backdrop for an action movie, they’ve created an action-filled story with music alone and I, for one, am thoroughly impressed.

Zach’s Rating: A
Perfect For: Anyone looking to prove that score music can be exciting
Stay Away if: You prefer light themes

For more information, visit the score’s official website
To purchase the soundtrack for The Dark Knight, visit Amazon

Be Sociable, Share!