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Watchmen (Original Motion Picture Score)

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Editors’ Notes

Some fans of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ original Watchmen graphic novel have groused that 300 director Zack Snyder's much anticipated film adaptation largely eschewed the source material's rich, genre-spanning musical references. But such concerns shouldn't distract from the film's eclectically moody soundtrack by composer Tyler Bates, music that's charged with an entirely different dramatic task anyway. "Rescue Mission" effectively anchors the score, a deft fusing of Danny Elfman's Batman-music-past histrionics, choral flourishes and contemporary electronica that prefaces an even broader musical palette. "Silk Spectre" recalls some of Don Davis' post-modern The Matrix verve, while "American Dream" evokes a seamless wedding of the pastoral and synthetic, before "Edward Blake - The Comedian" successfully reinvents the Tangerine Dream/Vangelis ouevre for a new era. Expansive centerpieces like "Just Look Around You" and "All That Is Good" revolve around a similar musical axis (punctuated by a snippet of Mozart's "Requiem" and capped by the Pink Floydish "I Love You"), yielding a hypnotic soundscape of subtle distinction.

Customer Reviews

Decent soundtrack, especially Requiem!

Tyler Bates did a really good job of setting the tone for this long awaited film. I never noticed his music as being invasive or out of touch with the film, and that's a good sign. I especially liked the track Requiem. What a great track! It sticks out as being far above and beyond the capabilities that the rest of Bates' work shows. The orchestra is haunting and tragic, and the choir is so majestic. I don't know what inspired Bates to put such glorious music down. It's as if a much better and more worthy composer possessed him, one whose work is largely unappreciated by a nation that has no real music education in its schools and so has to miss out on the magic of his work, like the Muggles in Harry Potter have to miss out on wizardry. It would be so sad to discover that the spirit of said worthy composer had been insulted and spat upon by having his music used by third rate musicians without bothering to so much as credit him by writing his name on their hackneyed soundtrack. What was his name? Dylan? Cohen? My Chemical Romance? No, they were all credited. Hmmm. Try W. A. Mozart, you douche nozzels.

The essential sound of modern-day comic-book films.

This soundtrack embodies the spirit, the soul, the sound, and the intrigue of today's super-hero/comic-book films. A lot of the sounds in the music are low and haunting, presenting a mystery around the scene and shrouding the story in a mist of darkness. Today's comic-book film franchises present enough action, explosions, sex, romance, adventure, mystery, and intrigue that loud, orchestrated scores will either overbear the audience, or present itself in a fashion that will disembody it from the story itself. Tyler Bates has orchestrated an underscore, essentially, that works beautifully with WATCHMEN. Sure, I, personally, like the loud and booming bits of the orchestrated music in movies--even in the superhero/comic-book movies--but this soundtrack fits the idea, the scenery, the characters, the storyline, and the plot (if the film flows as well as the comic-book) of WATCHMEN. It's not exactly the typical soundtrack, and many people won't buy it because of the parts that I am praising--the darkness, the subtlety, and the quietness--but this is a beautiful compliment to what I'm sure will be an amazing film. I suggest you buy this album at his relatively low price if you enjoy listening to this type of music. Don't buy it, however, if you just want to buy it because it's part of the WATCHMEN franchise. You may not enjoy it, and then you will have wasted your money. I'm buying it! Ciao!

So Disappointed

I've never been a fan of Tyler Bates. I think he has no talent whatsoever as a composer. Although, I did enjoy his work on "300" even though it sounded like "Titus". All in all, I detached myself from my opinions and listened to his soundtrack for "Watchmen". Is it good? Not really. Is it worth your money? No. Most of the score is 2 minutes or less pieces that sound like clips more than actual pieces. It feel so incomplete. I expected an epic, emotional, and deep score for a film like "Watchmen". I just hope it works better in the actual film. Some tracks like "Rescue Mission" and "The American Dream" are nice but again, they're really short. Oh, and the track "Requiem" is Mozart, not Tyler Bates. Half of the pieces are under a minute! I only bought this score because I'm a huge Watchmen fan and even I'm regretting buying it. All in all, just listen to the music when you see the film. Don't bother buying this score. Warner Bros. should have gotten Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard to do this. They did a tremendous Oscar-worthy job on "The Dark Knight".


Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Best known for his post-millennial science fiction and horror film work, Tyler Bates is a composer whose work also includes television series and video game soundtracks. Born in Los Angeles, CA, he grew up in Chicago and was introduced to a wide range of music by his mother. He began composing music as a teenager and eventually moved from Chicago to Los Angeles in 1993 to pursue a career as a film music composer. During the early to mid-'90s, Bates scored a number of B-movies. In the meantime, he...
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