Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Composed By: Henry Jackman
Distributed by: Hollywood Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the sequel to the 2011 film Captain America: The First Avenger, Chris Evans reprises his role as Steve Rogers (AKA: Captain America), a World War II veteran who was given an experimental serum that enhances his human abilities, allowing him to perform at peak human capabilities. Still adjusting to live in the modern world after years of suspended animation, Captain America finds himself working with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Falcon (Sam Wilson) to uncover a conspiracy within S.H.I.E.L.D. But his biggest problem is a mysterious assassin called Winter Soldier, who possesses the same enhanced powers as Captain America...and a very familiar face.
The musical score of Captain America: The Winter Soldier was created by British composer and keyboard player Henry Jackman. Beginning his musical career at a very early age, Henry Jackman had composed his first symphony at the age of six and was an accomplished composer by the age of nine. By his teenage years, influenced by the underground rave scene, Jackman began producing dance remixes, club music and electronica. In 2006, Jackman's success in the music industry drew the attention of Hans Zimmer and John Powell, who hired him on to compose additional music for films like The Da Vinci Code, The Dark Knight, Kung Fu Panda and the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Since then, Jackman has worked as a solo composer for such notable films as Captain Phillips, Kick-Ass 2, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and more.
The Captain America: The Winter Soldier Soundtrack features some notably heroic cues. Tracks like The Smithsonian feature heroic trumpets that is incredibly like the Olympic theme Bugler's Dream. I actually found myself pausing this track, wondering if Jackman had just channeled his former dance remix self by sampling from this well-known composition. There are dashes of military drum beats here and there to remind us that Captain America was created as a super soldier during one of the greatest wars of our time.
But the majority of the album is not about heroism. In fact, unlike the original movie's soundtrack by Alan Silvestri, Henry Jackman's score features less in the way of orchestral music and more of what he is known for in the music industry - electronic sound. Action scenes feature ambient, repetitive sounds and fast-paced electronica. The Winter Soldier theme is defined by heavy industrial electronics featuring a metal on metal sound, dark synths and a sort of high-pitched scream which either defines the Winter Soldier's warped mind or his utterly eerie appearance. Darker moments, centering about the betrayal and conspiracy within S.H.I.E.L.D. are defined by darker tones either in orchestral or electronic style.
There are two songs on this soundtrack, but they are nothing special and not worth mentioning, so we shall move on.
The Captain America: The Winter Soldier Soundtrack features an interesting mix of orchestral and electronic styles. Many critics have panned the album, expressing disappointment in what they felt was an excess of electronic sound rather than continuing with the orchestral style of the original film's album. The way I see it, Henry Jackman is not Alan Silvestri, so why should he create this soundtrack using Silvestri's cues. Jackman's vision of Captain America's new enemy and his reaction to the Winter Soldier is spot on in my opinion. Without giving away too many details of the film, I thought Jackman's use of warped, distorted sound went perfectly with the character, considering what was done to create him.
In other words, I actually liked the Captain America: The Winter Soldier Soundtrack. I found it to be quite an interesting listening experience and look forward to seeing how well the music blends with the visuals of the film. I think this soundtrack is definitely worth taking a listen to.