I had heard a lot of hubbub about the original John Williams theme being used for the introduction of “Superman Returns”. I had also heard that Ottman was going to retool the general sound of the theme, but to be honestly, I’m not hearing much in the way of difference from the original theme. Regardless of the form it found itself as on the disc, this theme is a good link from the past to the future.
Individuals that watched the previous Superman movies will find some commonality in this new movie right off the bat. “Memories” works off the original theme and throws in a few, chorus-like “vocals” into the mix. However, this does not mean that there are lyrics that these vocals add to the overall sound of things; the vocals during “Memories” are purely instrumental in nature. The use of open spaces (quietness) at points during “Memories” shows Ottman as an artist that can paint a picture with nothing more than an orchestra at eir side. The picture that ey paints is as vivid as any Pollock or Lichtenstein artwork. One needs to also remember that what Ottman is doing is create something new and refreshing in a field that is not marked as being overly experimental or thrilling. In essence, when Ottman increases the dramatic tension during tracks like “Rough Flight”, ey is revolting against the dominant paradigm of the time, which says just to compliment the movie.
Ottman is crafting something that individuals can sit back and listen to over and over; this is a concert rather than just incidental music for a movie. The fact that the Superman theme (both in terms of the Williams piece and the character) comes back time and time again in these compositions allows Ottman to elicit certain feelings and emotions, imbuing eir golem with the mark that is needed to make it walk. For those individuals that may not have seen Superman Returns, there are a few additional features on this album; three trailers and a small documentary await those listeners that stick this CD into their computer. Overall, Ottman’s score to “Superman Returns” succeeds in highlighting all the relevant parts of the movie, as well as moving beyond that role and coming up with something that is able to find its own way. Here’s to hoping Ottman can bring eir vision to more movies in the near future.
Top Tracks: Bank Job, Tell Me Everything
OST: Music From The Music Picture Superman Returns / 2006 Rhino / 15 Tracks / http://www.supermanreturns.com / http://www.rhinorecords.com / Reviewed 16 June 2006