Marvel's The Avengers Composed by Alan Silvestri
Hollywood Records (Digital Release) (2012)
More soundclips below provided by AmazonMp3
bombast and thinness perfectly parallel the film, but one can't help
imagining what tremendous music would have resulted from a less
faithful adherence to the generic aesthetic of today's blockbusters.”
Review by The Tracksounds Gang
It was a hulk-sized gamble that Marvel took.
Producing five feature films which would eventually tie together into one
massive, climatic show starring each of the heros of the five preceding
films. It was unprecedented and certainly had some wondering if they, or
anyone, could pull it off. Additionally, they put writer/director Joss Whedon
(Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Doll House) on the finale? Fans of Whedon certainly salivated at the idea of having their champion put in
charge, but for those unfamiliar with his previous works, the final
success of this great film experiment was dubious at best.
By now, most of us have seen the final results...and seen them more than
once to boot. It seems that the seemingly unthinkable was pulled off as
most found Joss Whedon’s blend of superhero-action, comedy, and
comic-geek-considerations pleasing enough to give up some $888 million
dollars worldwide. The film has been an undeniable success, but how much
did the original score play in that success?
Prior the release, the question on every soundtrack-genius’ mind was just
what lucky composer would be doing the original score. The speculation ran
rampant for months and at last it was announced that ALAN SILVESTRI would
be moving right from his work on CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER, to
THE AVENGERS. So did Silvestri deliver the superhero-like effort needed to
help elevate THE AVENGERS into the realms of unreached musical heights?
The Tracksounds team gang-tackles this question.
there ever was a movie for a mind-blowing, adrenaline-rushing,
heart-pounding, and ovation-standing music, it would be THE AVENGERS.
Featuring not one, but four iconic superheroes, the highest grossing
superhero film to date needs the kind of hummable, rousing score we have
come to expect from masters like ALAN SILVESTRI. Having written an
impressive Captain America March for one of the Avenger characters just
last year, Silvestri comes into this film stirring hopes of sheer
My rating in part suffers from extraordinarily high expectations.
Silvestri’s THE AVENGERS is competent, at times propulsive or dramatic as
needed. But sorely absent is any truly memorable thematic material. The
main theme featured in the closing credits, THE AVENGERS (18), feels
adequate, but uninspired--underwhelming. A lot of it (such as Don’t Take
My Stuff in track 7) is like listening to Van Helsing, without the main
themes in Transylvania 1887 or Burn it Down. It’s all right, but where’s
my woohoo, Alan? (/End whinging tantrum.)
Having said that, there are a number of keeper tracks. Helicarrier (5)
probably exceeds the main Avengers theme in majesty and heroic awe and
stands as my favorite on the album. The Assault (9) has a pretty kick-ass
finale, and Assemble (13) keeps me on the edge of my seat. Beginning with
a tender dramatic acoustic guitar phrase, A Promise (17) also delivers
some of the best action in the film. All in all, it certainly isn’t a bad
score, or even an average one. Sometimes, alas, when it comes to hyped
films like this one, good simply isn’t good enough anymore for a demanding
and spoiled audience. We want our woohoos.
Helen's Rating: 6/10
used to be that an upcoming ALAN SILVESTRI score would engender feelings
of excitement as I longed for his next score. But something happened
after, oh, somewhere in the vicinity of Polar Express that made that
anticipation fade, shrink, and eventually disappear entirely.
Sure, one can forgive The Wild with Beowulf, and G.I. Joe with A Christmas
Carol, but I'm unable to shake the impression that the spark responsible
for The Mummy Returns, Cast Away, Mouse Hunt, and so on has taken its
leave of the veteran composer. That being said, Captain America brought
glimpses of potential, but it was only really THE AVENGERS that I
envisioned as an opportunity for him to truly let loose and remind us of
the glory days.
The release is generous, and begins with a brooding track for the film's
opening. What seems to be preparation for a rousing thematic march never
rises above bland string rhythms though, but luckily later tracks
including the call-to-arms "Assemble" lay out the film's main theme
fantastically. A secondary theme for the saucy Black Widow presents far
more nuance, but it is largely underplayed save for one redemptive blast
in "I Got a Ride".
The Promise stands out as a dynamic track with sweet thematic exploration
and some almost Newman-esque guitar romance at the start and a ballsy
expression of the main theme at the end. Sadly, it is among the only
moments of relative calm. In between, one finds serviceable action tracks,
some tension cues, but very little regard for previous thematic endeavours
in the universe. It's a pity, because if anyone could have woven multiple
thematic threads together successfully for an action score, ALAN SILVESTRI
would be the man.
Sadly, for those who remember Silvestri's older, superior work, THE
AVENGERS will only be enjoyable to the point that you allow yourself a
guilty pleasure. Its bombast and thinness perfectly parallel the film, but
one can't help imagining what tremendous music would have resulted from a
less faithful adherence to the generic aesthetic of today's blockbusters.
Marius' Rating: 6/10
prospect of THE AVENGERS in fully-fledged film form is an exciting one to
say the very least, and it’s especially enticing for those of us intent on
savoring each and every note of a film’s score. The assembling of so many
iconic, legendary characters presented the chosen one, ALAN SILVESTRI in
this case, with an unprecedented opportunity - the opportunity to unleash
a wild barrage of thematic action that cinema has rarely experienced.
Speculation as to how SILVESTRI would approach the score and the many
themes of the characters was rife pre-release, and perhaps it should have
come as no surprise when the score failed to meet such high expectations.
The decision to largely bypass the themes composed for each individual
character in the films building up to this release is clearly the greatest
disappointment, but not far behind is the aggravating inconsistency of the
music that is here. THE AVENGERS feels like a score that has the best
intentions at heart, but never quite follows through on its promises. The
main theme is hardly groundbreaking, but is a great amount of fun while it
lasts. The theme is hinted at multiple times throughout the soundtrack,
before receiving fuller treatment in the final two tracks. The problem
here is that, while this culmination results in great catharsis, the
majority of the music almost feels spiteful in its tortuous meandering.
Much of the score is generic tension-building and action music that is
punctuated by fleeting teases of what the score really should have been.
Rarely is there ever a true feeling of release across the hour-plus worth
of music. When the release finally comes, it’s unlikely to result in any
dramatic shifts in opinion.
THE AVENGERS is the definition of missed opportunity, and perhaps even
sadder is the fact that had this been a release independent from such
franchise history and expectation, it would still be nothing more than
Richard's Rating: 6/10
the problem. I have high expectations when it comes to any ALAN SILVESTRI
project and he only has himself to blame. With iconic efforts like BACK TO
THE FUTURE, FORREST GUMP, PREDATOR and my personal favorite, CONTACT, I
expect something musically substantial to take home with me after viewing
one of his movies. Silvestri’s work for CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER
was solid enough, but the memory of that score barely made it home with
me. I had high hopes that, in addition to his theme for Cap, Silvestri
would find a way to weave the established motifs for Hulk, Iron Man, and
Thor into a wonderful tapestry of musical-superheroism THE AVENGERS, but
this was not to be.
LOnce again, Silvestri provides a satisfactory score, as heard in the
film, but the music hardly transcends the medium. Of course, some will
argue that “transcendence” is not his job, but in the case of a film like
THE AVENGERS, I have to argue to the contrary. I believe, when the
occasion calls, it is the composer’s job to deliver a score that makes a
good film great and a great film a classic. In this case, Silvestri keeps
this great film level and simply from sliding into the “very good.” It’s
more like the score keeps pace with Whedon’s dialogue and action, rather
than helping to accelerate it or catapult it even higher than Whedon and
the cast could manage.
It is classic Silvestri to be sure. Determined rhythms and moderately bold
brass fanfares clearly mark the main characteristics of our forming-band
of super-buddies in the vast majority of tracks, but somehow it does so
with only a modicum of flare or personality. It’s all about Silvestri’s
main theme for The Avengers as a group and not the components of that
team. Aside from that, from the hero-side, the only recognizable motif we
hear is that of Captain America. And we simply don’t get a strong enough
musical-idea for the villainous Loki to last beyond the duration of his
In the end, there just isn’t much thematic progression or enough variety
in intensity from the start of this score to its finish. Granted there are
some exceptional moments which trend towards the end of the score (see
tracks 13-16). And there are subtler moments sprinkled into tracks like
“Stark Goes Green” (4), “Red Ledger” (8), “They Called It” (10) and “A
Promise” (17), but somehow those moments get lost in the deluge of the
somewhat non-descript, action cues. Frustratingly, besides Silvestri’s
newly-born anthem for THE AVENGERS, there just isn’t much to latch onto.
So Silvestri’s latest effort earns a 7/10 from me, which is certainly not
bad, but my rating is more about what’s missing from the score than what’s
The Tracksounds Gang has spoken. It's clear
that THE AVENGERS original score, while having its moments, has been
deemed a bit of an average, Silvestri effort and moreover, a missed
opportunity to deliver that all-too-rare score which becomes as well-known
within the popular culture as its film. As you'll see below, the
track-by-track ratings are fairly consistent with the score garnering 5
total 5-star ratings. Perhaps surprisingly it also received 3 1-star
ratings and 7 2-star ratings. Well, as this is considered only
"phase one" of Marvel's risky-turned-windfall idea, fans can remain
hopeful that a historically impacting score lay in wait for one of the
future Avenger films...whether from Silvestri or someone else.