*Note: I have a list of my favorite tracks a bit lower down, I just wanted to quickly rant about them before putting the list up*
Those who know me well enough would not hesitate to say that I am, to put it lightly, a soundtrack addict. I love them. When they are well composed, they can not only add so much to a film, but also make great music for listening to without the visuals. This is for sure the case in Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard’s work in this trilogy (*Zimmer did the soundtrack for The Dark Knight Rises alone*) is almost unparalleled. Zimmer and Newton Howard were able to make a sound so epic and amazing that for years to come, people will associate their work with Batman (and vice versa). I think that what both of these composers, particularly Zimmer, excel in is in how even though each character does usually have their own theme, their soundtracks do not seem choppy (I find the work of John Williams – though I love it – to be a bit too ‘themey’).
I love all three of these soundtracks, which makes it hard for me to say that one is better than the others, but for you readers, I will do my best.
Starting with the Batman Begins soundtrack. The score combined several different sounds that mirrored the emotional arch in the movie. Zimmer is able to do this in almost all of his soundtracks, which is what makes him stand out from many other composers. Examples of this are in tracks such as “Macrotus” and “Barbastella”, where Zimmer and Howard play to Bruce and Rachel’s relationship perfectly. The soundtrack is truly incredible, but I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite. It is an incredible base to work of of for future soundtracks, and thankfully, Zimmer and Howard did just that. I believe that the next soundtracks really elaborate on the better parts of the Batman Begins soundtrack. Overall, I loved this soundtrack, and the only main issue I have with it is that the tracks are all scientific names for bats. I must say, it makes remembering my favorite tracks very hard..
Moving on to The Dark Knight soundtrack. There is so much to say about this score, but in the interest of not boring anyone I’ll be brief. I’ve read some more mixed reviews for this soundtrack, but I actually found it to be the most musically intricate of the three. This soundtrack has conveys such a wide range of emotions (just as the movie itself did). Zimmer and Howard really know when to escalate the intensity of the music, and when to bring it down. The Dark Knight OST is honestly music that I can just sit down listen to, as opposed to parts of the Batman Begins OST, where many of the tracks work perfectly in the movie, but are not as good for recreational listening). In contrast, I can almost listen to the whole album without wanting to skip a single tracks. The Dark Knight OST is my favorite of the three, although, as I mentioned before, it’s a hard decision.
The Dark Knight Rises OST, the year’s most anticipated soundtrack at the time of the film’s release, is really Zimmer at his best (*edit: Listen to the Interstellar Soundtrack..). Although the soundtrack, in my opinion, falls a little short of the Dark Knight OST, it’s still amazing. I love Bane’s theme (the track “Gotham’s Reckoning”), and I love how Zimmer incorporates it into various other tracks (especially in “Fear Will Find You”, where the Bane theme and the Batman theme clash). It’s pure genius. One of the only things I didn’t like about the soundtrack is that the contents of some of the tracks are slightly too disjointed. Another slight problem is something I can’t quite put my finger on (that’s not me being lazy, I’ve tried to figure it out). I feel like something is missing from the soundtrack. It probably has to do with the lack of James Newton Howard’s presence. All this being said, these problem are extremely minor, and I absolutely love the soundtrack.
My Favorite Tracks
- “Molossus” – It’s really an amazing track, that shaped the rest of the soundtracks
- “Antrozous” – Similarly great track
- “Barbastella” – So emotional. I recommend keeping a box of tissues nearby
The Dark Knight:
- “Like A Dog Chasing Cars” – It’s an extremely intense track. Just listen to it
- “A Dark Knight” – 16 minutes of great music. It features bits from the whole soundtrack
- “Introduce A Little Anarchy” – Similar to “Molossus” from Batman Begins
- “I’m Not A Hero” – A great start to the album. It really sets the mood
The Dark Knight Rises
- “Why Do We Fall?” – I love this track, and the way it escalates. But coming in at about 2 minutes, it’s too short
- “Imagine The Fire” – This track really gives off the feel that the movie gave off, and I love it
- “Rise” – The last track on the album. It’s both heroic and tragic. A perfect end
- “Fear Will Find You” – I love how Zimmer clashes Bane and Batman’s themes, and I love both the themes
- “Despair” – Also a bit short, but it’s still extremely epic
So to sum it all up, not only is The Dark Knight Trilogy amazing, but so are its soundtracks. If you have yet to listen to them, I highly recommend it!