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SOUNDTRACK REVIEW

Justice League vs Teen Titans / Batman: Bad Blood
Studio: La-La Land Records
Release Date: August 16th, 2016

Details: Composer Frederik Wiedmann delivers two of his finest scores to the ever popular and expanding DC Animated Universe. Justice League vs Teen Titans, in particular, have some of the finest music the composer has written to date -- giant sweeping themes, huge choral work, and a real fun sense of heroism. Both films were scored with a small orchestra.

Tracklist:
Disc One: "Justice League vs Teen Titans"
1. Justice League vs. Teen Titans 0:26
2. The Child Must Answer 3:11
3. The Power of Raven 1:25
4. Azarath 4:43
5. Return of a Father 2:51
6. Battling the Underworld 1:33
7. I Am a Weapon 2:14
8. Raven’s Crystal 1:58
9. Darkness Descends 0:42
10. The Portal to Humanity 1:34
11. Invasion 2:41
12. Secrets 0:52
13. Supernatural Events 2:36
14. Titans vs. Hell 0:58
15. We Are Your Best Hope 2:09
16. Raven’s Destiny 1:41
17. Defeated 0:56
18. Possessed 0:49
19. Rise of the Demon 1:32
20. Within Worlds 3:10
21. Hell on Earth 1:42
22. “Down to Nothing” Performed by Siddhartha Menon
Disc Time: 44:42

Disc Two: "Batman: Bad Blood"
1. Main Title 0:25
2. Nothing to Hide 2:56
3. Security System Down 0:47
4. Profile on Batwoman 2:06
5. No Secrets in This World 2:22
6. Aware of Absence 0:50
7. Pain Behind the Mask 2:26
8. Reports of His Death 1:41
9. Batwing and Robin 1:52
10. The Heretic 1:24
11. Bruce’s Nightmare 1:14
12. Past the Trauma 1:26
13. Sisters of Perpetual Grace 1:50
14. The Perfect Soldier 2:26
15. A Cold Heart 1:43
16. This Is Not the Time 1:26
17. In One Piece 1:42
18. Daughter vs. Father 0:51
19. A Man of Peace 1:41
20. Programmed to Kill 1:58
21. Diving Below 1:42
22. League of Shadows 1:44
23. It’s Just About Control 2:34
24. United Again 4:12
25. End Credits 0:46
Disc Time: 44:53


Justice League vs Teen Titans / Batman: Bad Blood Soundtrack Review
By James Harvey

Composer Frederick Weidmann continues to be a strong addition to the DC Universe Animated Original Movie line, providing fantastic musical backdrops to enhance and elevate the onscreen action, and his adaptability remains one of his strongest suit. Whether it's Batman and his clan of sidekick vigilantes trying to stop Talia Al Ghul from taking over the world, or the Teen Titans facing off against a demon from Hell, in the case of this latest soundtrack release of Weidmann's work, he is able to provide an invigorating, exciting score that perfectly compliments the story. And while he's shown some definite range and stretched his legs a little, Weidmann is always able to produce recognizable work that's distinguishable and almost immediately recognizable. There's always a flourish hidden somewhere that let's the viewer know that, as much as he wants to shakes things up, he doesn't want you to forget this is another great piece of Weidmann work.

With this latest release of Weidmann's work, a two-disc soundtrack title covering his work on Justice League vs Teen Titans and Batman: Bad Blood, we get his latest work on two recent DC Animated Original Movie titles, both of which are quite different from each other. One features Batman's family trying to hunt down a missing Dark Knight, while the other features the young Teen Titans characters duking it out with the Justice League and demons from the underworld. Both releases are excellent examples at how he's able to perfectly meld his work to nearly any genre of superhero storytelling, with his score perfectly complimenting two stories that are pretty far apart from each other, tone-wise.

Weidmann still knows when to have fun, though, regardless of the atmosphere. The Batman: Bad Blood track "Nothing to Hide" is fun and jaunty, though takes a little ominous detour before bringing up some nice heroic beats. We also get some great grungy tracks, too, like "Pain Behind the Mask," which adds a little extra oomph to Luke Fox's becoming Batwing. And, as you can guess, the "Sisters of Perpetual Grace" track is an awesome - fast, tense and dripping with energy and intensity. He always continues to surprise though, such as tossing in some interesting and surprising sounds and instruments into "Diving Below," which - as a result - elevates what should have been a pretty standard track. It's also fantastic to hear cues and themes carried over from the two previous Batman-centric DC Universe Animated Original Movies - Son of Batman and Batman: Bad Blood - as it helps solidify the continuity between these titles.

The score to Justice League vs Teen Titans is, naturally, more epic. Almost right away, Weidmann creates a more robust score that's on par with epic live-action superhero movies. The track "Azarath," for example, sets the tone for the dark conflict at the center of the film, but then "Battling the Underworld" puts a heroic spin on the conflict while also teasing the intensity of the battle and adding a few creepy strings to play up the hellish nature of the foe the Justice League and the Teen Titans face. While he never plays down the planet-scale stakes of the film's story, he manages not to let his score overtake the action, but instead compliment it and, perhaps, give it a bit of a boost. It's a fine tightrope that he walks expertly.

Weidman, thankfully, doesn't forget to embue the score - both Justice League vs Teen Titans and Batman: Bad Blood, actually - with a little humanity and sorrow, but we get more of that with the superhero team-driven picture. "Ravens Crystal," which explores the tragic backstory of Raven, almost revels in the sorrow, and acts a perfect lead-in for the next two tracks - the ominous "Darkness Descends" and "The Portal to Humanity," which starts to lead the score nicely to the looming climactic battle. Naturally, this all comes to head in the "Rise of the Demon" track. Weidmann's score supports the film's ups and downs, loud and quiet moments, as both teams are inevitably drawn into conflict with the villainous Trigon, but the human core of the conflict - Raven versus Trigon, and even the extended Bat-Family versus Talia and her group of foes - is never forgotten.

This is all wrapped up in another stellar package from La-La Land Records. Once again, they prove they're really behind these DC Comics-based soundtrack releases, and recognizing there is an audience for them, but putting together a nice title. The soundtrack's booklet contains some great background info and thoughts from the composer, along with some choice images from both animated movies covered in this one release. Added content like this is always a pleasure to have included, as it provides context for the the composer's works and helps us understand his creative choices on the project.

Justice League vs Teen Titans / Batman: Bad Blood features more solid work by Weidmann, and is another solid release by La-La Land Records. Fans of these characters, these movies, the composer, definitely won't be disappointed with what they hear. Weidmann continues to be a strong addition to the DC Universe Animated Original Movie creative team, and this release shows that. Make a little extra room on your shelf, this is one soundtrack release you'll want to add to your collection. Highly Recommended!

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