Captain America: The First Avenger

Pros: It's good enough for the movie.
Cons: Aside from the main theme, it's easily forgettable.

The Bottom Line: The music blends nicely with the movie, but it doesn’t do much else on its own.

I personally thought the Captain America movie was all right.  I've never been real big on the Captain, though (what can I say, I’m a Batman girl).  Still, there were a few moments during the movie where I thought the soundtrack might be worth looking into – even if for just one or two songs.  I also thought that because the composer behind the soundtrack was Alan Silvestri (Van Helsing, The Polar Express), I might have a decent time.

The soundtrack has a total of 26 songs for 71 minutes, and since that track list is so long I’m not going to go through them one by one.  However, a surprising number of songs break not just the 1-minute mark, but also the 2-minute mark.  This at least is nice because frankly I have always failed to see the point of including a song that is less than one minute on a soundtrack.  There’s just not enough time to get any meat in there (or at least, any really good meat).  The longest track is #21 – “Invasion” at 5:09, followed closely by #14 – “Troop Liberation” and #15 – “Factory Inferno,” both of which clock in at 5:06.  The shortest is, interestingly enough, track #1 – “Captain America Main Titles,” at 0:56.

1. Captain America Main Titles - 0:56
2. Frozen Wasteland - 1:53
3. Schmidt's Treasure - 3:01
4. Farewell to Bucky - 2:50
5. Hydra Lab - 1:54
6. Training the Supersoldier - 1:08
7. Schmidt's Story - 1:59
8. VitaRays - 4:25
9. Captain America "We Did It" - 1:59
10. Kruger Chase - 2:55
11. Hostage On the Pier - 2:46
12. General's Resign - 2:18
13. Unauthorized Night Flight - 3:13
14. Troop Liberation - 5:06
15. Factory Inferno - 5:06
16. Triumphant Return - 2:16
17. Howling Commando's Montage - 2:16
18. Hydra Train - 3:27
19. "Rain Fire Upon Them" - 1:39
20. Motorcycle Mayhem - 3:05
21. Invasion - 5:09
22. Fight on the Flight Deck - 3:30
23. "This is My Choice" - 3:26
24. Passage of Time - 1:35
25. Captain America - 1:08
26. "Star Spangled Man" with David Zippel Alan Menken - 2:53
27. Captain America March - 2:36

If you consider the time period Captain America lived in, as well as his super hero style and status, in that respect Alan Silvestri did a fine job.  There is plenty of big brass America going on.  A lot of it has that sort of traditional “heroic” feel to it (and if you listen to a lot of soundtracks, you’ll know what I mean).  That kind of peppy, ta-da!, yeah, we can do it! kind of thing.  The Captain’s main theme is 100% grade-A hero stuff and it gets repeated here and there throughout the CD, but Silvestri does a masterful job sneaking it into different places so it doesn’t give you that annoying sound repetition that other composers can fall into when it comes to main themes.

Overall, however, the soundtrack doesn’t stand up well on its own.  It’s perfect for the movie, no doubt, but when it comes to casual listening...meh.  It doesn’t inspire me, though I will admit that part of it is because that particular big brass, hero-y stuff has never managed to inspire.  The other part is that it does match very well with the movie – the Captain has an action moment, there’s a bit of action music to go with it before the Captain walks and the music changes to match.  That sort of thing.  And that’s usually what will make a soundtrack more ho-hum.  No life of it’s own.

That’s not to say that every track is dull.  There are all the action sequences and heroic pieces and so forth that a lot of people will enjoy.  But in the end, action is action (not much difference between one track and another) and success is success.  #16 – “Triumphant Return” has a really nice flourish of, well, triumph, as well as the Captain’s main theme.  So which ones are worth your $0.99 at Amazon?  Honestly, it’s hard to say.  I actually have to go back and replay certain tracks to hear what they are because I simply don’t remember.  And even then, I’m still not really jazzed by anything enough to say, “Download this!”  I say go sample them on Amazon (or heck, YouTube) and see if this soundtrack is something you like.  As for me, I think I’ll put something else on my MP3 player.


...And quite truthfully, I could really do without the last track, "Star Spangled Man."


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I am an author, I sell books for a living, and I love music like there's no tomorrow. I've experienced much of this country, from forested hills of the East, to the golden plains of the Midwest, the sandy beaches of the Southeast, and the oh-so-majestic mountains of the Rockies. And when all else fails, eat chocolate.