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SOUNDTRACK REVIEW

Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders
Studio: La-La Land Records
Release Date: November 8th, 2016

Description:
BATMAN – RETURN OF THE CAPED CRUSADERS: LIMITED EDITION
LLLCD 1415

Music by Kristopher Carter, Lolita Ritmanis and Michael McCuistion
Limited Edition of 1500 Units
RETAIL PRICE: $15.98
STARTS SHIPPING NOVEMBER 11

La-La Land Records, DC, Warner Bros. Animation and WaterTower Music present the original motion picture score to the all-new animated DC Classic Original Movie, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, starring the renowned vocal talents of legendary Batman performers, Adam West as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Burt Ward as Robin and Julie Newmar as Catwoman. Acclaimed composers Kristopher Carter, Lolita Ritmanis and Michael McCuistion craft a heroic joyride of musical fun and thrills, infused with an infectious retro-jazz-swing spirit that, with the contributions of talented live players, expertly compliments this film’s heartfelt tribute to the dynamic duo’s adventures of yesteryear! Produced by John Takis for La-La Land Records and mastered by James Nelson, and featuring heroic art design by Dan Goldwasser, this special release contains in-depth liner notes by Takis and is a limited edition of 1500 Units.

Track Listing:
1. Classic Batman Main Title*§ 1:24
2. Batman’s New Look** 0:25
3. Meet Our Baddies*/It’s the Bat-Signal** 2:22
4. To the Batcave*§ 1:53
5. Not So Fast, Old Chum**/Crosswalk Conundrum** 0:30
6. Riddle Me This?***/Atomic Lab Fight*§ 3:13
7. Jokermobile Chase*** 1:49
8. Catwoman Has Batnip* 1:49
9. TV Dinner Factory Arrival** 1:24
10. TV Dinner Factory Kerfuffle*/TV Tray Death Trap*/Dessert Denouement* 4:31
11. Establish Police HQ*/The BatShadow Rises*/A Moment With Aunt Harriet***/You’re Dismissed** 2:15
12. In Search of Criminal Activity*** 1:10
13. Batcave Batmobile Arrival**/To the Bat-Rocket** 1:20
14. The Right Bat Stuff*/Space Joker Playon* 1:29
15. Bat-Rocket Approaches the Station*** 1:21
16. Outer Space Rendezvous**/Under the Influence*** 3:34
17. Zero-G Brawl* 2:29
18. Like a Bat in the Night*/Holy Hitchhiker, Robin** 0:37
19. Bruce Snaps at Aunt***/Back Alley Dirge** 1:03
20. Why Won’t He Answer?*** 0:33
21. Gotham Crime Spree** 0:39
22. Bat Dupe See*/Batmen Take Over*/Robin Figures It Out** 3:39
23. Catwoman Is in Her Element/To the Catmobile*** 2:10
24. Batcave Showdown** 2:24
25. Radioactive Silo Trap**/Bat Anti-Isotope Spray***/Surprise Prison Inspection** 2:46
26. Mass Prison Break** 1:32
27. The Show Must Go On**/Bat TV Two See§ 2:38
28. Bad Batmen*** 2:00
29. One Step Ahead** 2:22
30. Villains Plan*** 3:44
31. Airship Battle** 2:18
32. Farewell Catwoman*** 1:39
33. Classic Batman End Title§ 3:22

Bonus Tracks
34. Gotham Palace TV Theme** 0:21
35. Hector and the Hoedaddies*** 0:21
36. Bedbugs TV Source** 0:53
37. Kitkat Kave Dancing** 0:35
38. Gotham Palace TV Source #2** 0:45
39. Joker Circus*** 0:43
40. Elegant Party Source*** 1:01

Total Album Time: 72:30

* composed by Kristopher Carter
** composed by Michael McCuistion
*** composed by Lolita Ritmanis
§ “Batman Theme” by Neal Hefti, arranged by Kristopher Carter



Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders Soundtrack Review
By James Harvey

A jazzy, upbeat and absolutely electric release, La-La Land Record’s Batman: Return of the Caped Crusader soundtrack release captures the bright, colorful spirit of the movie, but also does something ... a little more. Dynamic Music Partners does an excellent job in recreating the musical stylings of the classic live-action series, but also takes a few chances that end up paying off in spades. It's a score that not only echoes the spirit of the original music used in the classic 1960s Batman series, but also adds a unique spin to a score we'd expect with this type of project.

There's never a moment, however, where nothing sounds out of place or wrong. It all sounds right. Even some of the film's heavier moments, such as Track 11, feel right even though what happens during those tracks (Spoilers: Batman takes a bit of a turn toward the dark side) is something we've never seen on the series before. The following track, "In Search of Criminal Activity" has a really cool 1960s P.I. vibe to it, and actually helps elevate the comedy of the entire montage/scene. And, following that, the "Batcave Batmobile Arrival/To the Bat-rocket" track has such an epic feel to it, offering us an idea of just how the classic TV series itself could've sounded if it was able to pull off the amazing feets only possible in this movie. "Bat Dupe See/Batmen Take Over/Robin Figures It Out" feels like a natural extension of track 11, and builds on Batman's evil excursions, with some great horror-esque violin work and drumming perfectly selling the events but still falling within the right parameters of what the music should be like for this movie. Not a single track feels out of place, even if it occasionally goes a little harder than one would it expect but it all of it sounds respectful to the source material. It's a testament to just how well Dynamic Music Partners knows this material and just how far they can push it.

There are times where you can hear hints of the work Lolita Ritmanis did on Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman and what Dynamic Music Partner did on Batman: The Brave and The Bold, slyly updating the sound of the 1960s Batman for today's audience without overstepping or overwriting the established music style. "Batman's New Look" offers the first hint of the creative's team Batman-inspired new score work, and from there, nearly every track offers something new with respectful nods to the past. Within seconds, we hear Joker's familiar theme on the "Meet Our Baddies/It's the Bat-signal" track, showcasing a perfect example of just that. "Riddle Me This/Atomic Lab Fight" is another great example of mixing the old with the new and coming up with some fantastic sounding score work.

One of the standout tracks in this release, even pointed out by Kristopher Carter in a recent The World's Finest interview, is "Zero-G Brawl," which takes the standard fight-scene fare and just turns it on its side. Mixing the theremin with an off-kilter sounding jazz sound results in a weird, comically unsettling track. Everything seems off, which works great for the scene in the actual movie, but also makes for a fascinating listen. "Villians Plan" is another great track, is it takes the established music style and adds a bit of mystique and danger to it. "The Show Must Go On/Bat TV Two See" also gives us a heightened, faster take on the classic Batman fighting score, similar to a previous track, but just perhaps a shade more intense given the events of the animated movie at this particular time.

The score nimbly moves back and forth between the old and the new without skipping a beat. One moment we're hearing the familiar horns and character themes from Batman and then, like the movie, Dynamic Music Partners effortlessly eases us into new territory by turning the musical status quo on its head. Driven by the plot, Dynamic Music Partner knows just how far to take the film's score, making sure to stay true to the show's light, campy roots and not taking things too seriously. Even some of the more heavy score moments always have a sense of levity or tongue-in-cheek about them, that no matter how dark the score may get (within the world of Batman), there's still a sense of joy and light-heartedness that we know is coming. It's a tricky path to walk, but the Dynamic Music Partners does it with ease. There are times when the listener is likely dead-certain that music they're hearing is straight from the show.

Just to quickly go off-topic, it's worth noting that La-La Land Record’s recent re-release of the Batman: The Movie score also deserves a shout-out here, and is a perfect complement to Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders. Collecting the score to the classic 1966 theatrical movie, a big-screen adventure spun out of the Batman live-action series, it’s an exuberant score that gives us a taste of the amazing music the produced at the time for the live-action Batman property. It’s a fantastic listen and absolutely catchy as can be.

Overall, the soundtrack release for Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders is absolutely fantastic on all levels. Coming with great liner notes about the score work and comments from the composers and the film's creative team, La-La Land Records has put together another excellent release for, well, an excellent score. Everything with this score is on point, and it feels perfectly at home alongside the likes of the Batman: The Movie score. It features fantastic work that perfectly pays homage while also remaining loyal to the roots of the original classic Batman TV series while, at the same time, taking risks in a respectful and organic way. Dynamic Music Partners continue to prove just how talented they are, especially when you consider their near flawless score work for this year's Batman: The Killing Joke release, which couldn't be further from what they created here. Their score work not only perfectly compliments the Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders animated movie but also stands strong on it's own. Once again, the Dynamic Music Partners have created a fantastic score that is a Must Own for any Batman or soundtrack aficionado.

"Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders - Music from the DC Classics Original Movie" is available directly from La-La Land Records and other digital outlets. "Batman: The Movie - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" is also available.

Nov. 28, 2016 Update: Congratulations to Dynamic Music Partners for their Annie Award nomination for "Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders!"

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