Music From DC Universe Animated Original Movie:
Batman: Assault on Arkham
The latest DC Universe Animated Original Movie is all about The Suicide Squad’s Assault on Arkham! Robert J. Kral has the talent for music that is epically Arkham themed!
Robert J. Kral is a name I should have recognized and known. After all he is the master behind the music of the Joss Whedon series Angel. I love that show. Plus he also did Green Lantern: First Flight and Duck Dodgers heck yeah. However the score for Assault on Arkham is unlike any DC Animated Film score I’ve ever heard before. There are some themes here that are classic Batman, but the rest of the score is tailored to the film as it should be. However it might be the most unique Batman animated score I’ve ever heard. Or maybe it’s just that I haven’t listened to Kral’s work in a while.
There are 23 total tracks here with a run time of 57:58. There is one album exclusive track, that was not featured in the film. This is Track 14: “Riddler’s Proposes a Cure”. I’m all for album exclusive tracks, but I wish it would have been listed as a bonus track. The only reason is that I like listening to these scores as they were featured in the film. It isn’t the worst thing ever, and as I did my first listen through it didn’t effect my enjoyment of the music that much. However if it wasn’t in the actual film as I said before I wish it was listed as a bonus album exclusive track.
There are so many favorites to choose from out of these 23 tracks. I love the tones in almost every single one. Kral masterfully gives Harley fun themes, and there are times where the music is very dark and gritty. Then there are times where it is light and fun. Take Track 8: “Infiltrating Arkham & Joker Assault” for example. It starts off being mysterious and sneaky spy sounding music. And that’s just the first minute of the 5 minute 35 second track. By almost 2 minutes in we get a completely different sound, but all of it sounds so great together. I would use the chocolate and peanut butter go great together metaphor, but that doesn’t seem right. At nearly three minutes into this track Kral adds more mystery to the sound, and it draws your ear in. I’ll say this, it’s a Joker theme I’ve never heard before, and it’s damn good. After listening to this one track it left chills in my bones when it comes to The Joker in this film. Track 11: “Suicide Squad in the Big House” is another favorite. Kral brings guitars and electronica to a new art form here. Mixing in all kinds of instruments. Track 21: “Harley’s Rage” is a wonderful track that is dark for Harley, but it shows how she is feeling in this film. I think my favorite track is Track 23: “Batman – Assault On Arkham End Credits” Simply because it is somewhat of a Batman theme I kinda expect, but adds in a whole new dynamic.
Maybe it’s the way that the film opens, but there doesn’t seem to be a main theme to this soundtrack. It opens with Track 1: “Nigma’s Confrontation / It’s Batman” Don’t get me wrong I like the opening track, but I’m used to these things having a main title track. I guess that was meant to be a “main title”, and it’s good. I guess that goes back to where I said this was the most unique Batman animated film score. Because it’s tailoring itself to Arkham. I think why this is such a unique score, is because very little of the film has to do with Batman. I mean Batman is in the film, but it’s main focus is Deadshot and the Suicide Squad.
Overall this just might make my top list of scores and soundtracks this year. Very exciting music, light and fun, as well as dark and mysterious. I will say that as far as the La-La Land Records release it’s awesome, but I wish the liner notes had something from Robert J. Kral himself. The liner notes are actually Jay Olivia’s commentary on each track. I understand he directed the film, but I’d love to have read something from Kral instead. You can get this awesome score from LA LA Land Records directly! You can also find the track listing there.