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The Avengers (Soundtrack) by Joel McNeely

Tracksounds Rating = 6/10

The Avengers (Soundtrack) by Joel McNeely

Composed and Conducted by Joel McNeely
Performed by Uncredited
Released by Varese Sarabande on May 4, 1999

Track Title Time Rating McNeely's Silver Lining
by Christopher Coleman

One of the entries for 1998’s barrage of flop-busters was The Avengers. Thankfully, bad movies don’t equate to bad scores.  Joel McNeely’s score for this remake of the 60’s hit series is very listenable. It contains some electronic elements but is truly a strong orchestral score.  For this movie, McNeely truly excels in his action and suspense cues which is what kept me from turning the DVD off entirely.  Most of the time, such cues aren't the most fun to listen to outside of the movie, but McNeely's work is so good and Compass III's recording is so crisp that it is one CD you can rock your house with...if you and your neighbor's are in the mood.  Warning:  bombast-haters will want to stay away from most of the tracks contained on this CD, but there are a few tracks that even they should enjoy.

As I listen to this score I find myself making comparisons to John Debney’s score for Cutthroat Island. It’s not that The Avengers sounds anything like C-Island, but that I hear the influence of so many other composers melded together to form a fairly unique piece in its own right. Some examples can easily be sited. 

The Main Title might have been from David Arnold or Graeme Revell due to his use of electronic rhythms and strings.  Track 4, John Steed, Presume? might be mistaken for a tune from Randy Newman.  This happens to be my favorite track.   A close second is track 14, Are You All Right? which features many of the themes played at a slower, romantic tempo. One  can hear nods to Jerry Goldsmith and Elfman’s Batman in track 12, Invisible Jones and track 17, Aftermath.  While I say to myself, "Hey that sounds like Elfman or Goldsmith." At the same time I also say, "Hmmm, I like the way he utilizes these styles.  Similar, indeed,  but not a blatant rip off of any one particular piece of music."

While The Avengers as a movie has been quickly forgotten, at least, Joel McNeely’s score is a worthy buy. Of those that did see the film, well, they are trying to forget that they did.  The variety and "fun" that is communicated through the music makes this score a silver lining for this movie. This is a part of the phenomena of film music.  

I would not equate this to a "must have" sort of score, but I think it is one worthy of even a modest score fan's attention.

1

Main Title

2:52

****
2

Prospero Lab Destruction

3:51

***
3

Meet Emma Peel

1:09

***
4 John Steed, I Presume? 2:51 ***
5

DeWinter Castle

2:08

**
6

Sir August's Garden

4:22

**
7

Chasing Teddy Bears

4:22

***
8

Flight of the Mechanical Bees

3:04

**
9

Into the Love Maze

3:56

**
10

DeWinter's Waltz

1:25

***
11

Stairway to Madness

2:41

**
12 Invisible Jones 3:53 ***
13

Emma's Balloon Escape

4:18

***
14 Are You All Right? 2:30 ***
15 Avenging Crimes 5:09 ***
16 The Final Conflict 7:22 ***
17 Aftermath 1:05 **
18 The Avengers Theme 1:25 ***
  Total PlayingTime 59:26    

Category

Score

 
Film Continuity 6  
Originality 6  
CD Length 6  
Track Order 6  
Performance 7  
Final Score 6  
         

Other reviews:

This is possibly McNeely's finest work to date it's just a shame that it comes from such a terrible film and didn't give McNeely the boost into the mainstream he so richly deserved. *****
Tom Daish - Soundtrack Express


Composer 
Joel McNeely

The Avengers (Soundtrack) by Joel McNeely
If your new to McNeely's work, this is a great score to become acquainted with the young composer. If you're a fan, then you definitely want to pick this one up, because it is probably his finest since Star Wars: Shadows Of The Empire. ***** 

Roderick Scott - CinemusicAs with McNeely's last effort Soldier, his action music is sounding more and more like Jerry Goldsmith's, and I don't know if this was intentional or not; McNeely had, only a few years ago, reminded me more of John Williams. The Avengers is a muddled and confused film and score, however the score on CD has a few moments of highly enjoyable music.
**
Christian Clemmenson - Filmtracks

CD available through

All artwork from The Avengers is exclusive property of Varese Sarabande (c) 1998.  Its appearance is for imformational purposes only.  Composer Photo provided by Filmtracks.

 

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