Vinyl Vlog 137

Vinyl Vlog 137

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Batman vs. Superman soundtrack LP by Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL.

One of the strange and cool new side-effects of vinyl’s resurgence (except for the wonderful new 6 month wait for new albums) is the role soundtracks have played in it. Lord knows if vinyl is a legitimate format for soundtracks or if they’re popular just because they make that little nostalgic neuron in our brain fire when we look at them. But the fact remains that some labels have made a reputation for themselves with album soundtracks (like the Mondo guys). Oddly enough, I think the overlooked label when it comes to soundtracks is Warner Brothers’ Watertower records. Just a look at their catalog and you realize that there are some serious heavyweights in their soundtrack catalog. So you just know they’re about to dazzle us with their vinyl presence.

Probably the highest profile release they’ve had is this year’s Batman vs Superman soundtrack which is by Hans Zimmer (every Christopher Nolan/every movie ever’s soundtrack) and Junkie XL (who I have heard nothing about). And regardless of what you might think of the movie (which I have not seen yet, but plan to), it’s entire production is that of a heavy weight punch to the face. This soundtrack is absolutely no different.

Now I’m not a classical music guy, but I’m trying to change that. I’m like Rob Gordon in High Fidelity when he says he wants to be a musician in any genre but classic. It must be because I’m not classically trained in anything (including writing reviews, as you can tell). But I know what I like. And I like this soundtrack. It’s hard to describe, because of the obvious subjective nature of music, but I can definitely say that there’s an urgent nature to the music on Batman vs. Superman that is a perfect fit for the actually story it’s lifting up. Every moment is either brooding, or fighting, or a face-off about to happen. Just play this at work in your headphones and you’ll get more work done than you ever have in your life (I know I did).

Of course we need to talk about the packaging (our first soundtrack on the Vlog!), which is a beautiful triple vinyl (our first 3XLP on the Vlog!), on multiple gatefold, with a cool-ass etching on the F-side. Just like the movie, this record is made to impress, and it doesn’t go unnoticed.

History will judge Batman vs Superman the movie however it may. But the vinyl soundtrack? That one’s an absolute killer. [OLLIE OTTOMAN]

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