The Avengers



Pro: Good main theme, a solid bit of work
Con: Not nearly as strong as it ought to be

The Bottom Line: Not bad, but could have been so much more.

I have to tell you guys – years before when I first went looking for it, this soundtrack was a beast to find. For some reason it was available…and then it wasn’t, and then all you could get was that annoying “soundtrack” with all the junk songs on it (I have a personal dislike of those). But I finally managed to nab it. While I’m not sure how Alan Silvestri managed to net both Captain America and The Avengers (they liked his Captain stuff?), at the very least this soundtrack is a lot shorter at 18 tracks instead of 26, and at the same time it’s actually about 5 minutes longer. Much better. Nothing clocks in under 2 minutes and the longest track almost peaks at 6 minutes.

The trick with The Avengers is that the makers needed someone versatile. You’ve got all these various Marvel heroes packed into one movie and each will have his or her own style. With all the different composers for the other movies, it was up to Silvestri to craft all sorts of pieces and weave them together.

Despite being under 20 tracks, I don’t be doing a track-by-track for this one as most of it has the same style, just moving back and forth between, triumphant Avengers stuff to dark, dangerous, oh no stuff.

1. Arrival - 2:59
2. Doors Open from Both Sides - 2:48
3. Tunnel Chase - 2:36
4. Interrogation – 2:38
5. Stark Goes Green - 2:41
6. Helicarrier - 2:09
7. Subjugation - 3:00
8. Don't Take My Stuff - 4:42
9. Red Ledger - 5:11
10. Assault - 4:26
11. They Called It - 2:41
12. Performance Issues - 3:35
13. Seeing, Not Believing - 4:25
14. Assemble - 4:31
15. I Got a Ride - 4:00
16. A Little Help - 3:14
17. One Way Trip - 5:50
18. A Promise - 3:34
19. The Avengers - 2:03


There’s a big difference between a score complimenting a movie and enhancing a movie. When music enhances the movie, it inherently makes it better, more exciting, and more emotional. When it compliments it, it just sounds good and helps to move the movie along without really adding a whole lot to what’s going on.

In this case, I would most definitely say that Silvestri’s work compliments The Avengers, but it doesn’t do anything to elevate it further. Granted, The Avengers was a fantastic movie and I’m not sure if it could have been elevated any more, but having some truly, truly amazing music would have been fantastic. Perhaps the issue is Silvestri’s track record. He’s not necessarily the go-to guy for epic action movies such as this one. He’s Forrest Gump and Night at the Museum. Other movies that come close include The Mummy Returns and Van Helsing. But again, both of those soundtracks weren’t that memorable either; I never listen to either of them. Frankly, I think Silvestri’s crowning achievement was the Back to the Future suite.

Or maybe I’m just turning into a big, damn snob with really high expectations. But I like a soundtrack to make me perk up and go, “Ooh!” or get goosebumps or suddenly have to go write something because it’s shoved an idea into my brain.

It’s not bad music. At all. It just doesn’t really lend itself to anything else. The vast majority of it is background music of no real consequence, whether it’s a car chase or portal opening. And as I’m listening to it right now, I can actually hear the Van Helsing and Mummy Returns in it – quick strings and bangy percussion in tense fashion. You know, that kind of dun dun, dundundun, dun dun! stuff that goes on when tension is high and some extra horns get thrown in when excitement abounds. Very march-like. There are some pieces that are on the mellow side, such as some of “Stark Goes Green” (I honestly don’t remember the piano in there). Listening to “Subjugation” as Loki walks among kneeling people, I really wish he’d been given his own theme. He really needs one.

Still, the one great thing we get out of it is the main Avengers theme. The first taste of that appears at the tail end of “Tunnel Chase.” But it isn’t until “Assemble” that we finally get to hear it in its entirety, full blast. It’s only a shame that it fades out so fast – but then we were in the middle of an alien invasion, so I guess I should let that slide. Funny enough, the thing that actually made me notice this soundtrack in the movie (theme aside) was when everyone started to lose: the 3:05 mark in “A Little Help” because it got more emotional and less generic action. The same can be said for the 0:55 point of “One Way Trip.”

So I’ve ranted on and on – what is my final verdict for this soundtrack? I would have to say about 3.75 out of 5. Not quite good enough to merit a 4, but I can’t in good conscious put such hard work at a 3. Sample a few tracks for yourself and decide whether or not to pick and choose which to buy, or go whole hog. At the very least, skip to the end and buy that track; it demands appreciation in the way Thor smashes a mug and yells, “ANOTHER!”

HEY BRIAN TYLER, YOU’RE UP NEXT, BUDDY.

NT

**Please take note that at the time of purchasing the album digitally through Amazon meant missing “Interrogation” for some reason, which was included in the physical CD.

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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.