Musical Score By: Blake Neely
Distributed by: La-La Land Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In the television series based on the DC Comics character, Melissa Benoist is Kara Zor-El, a Kryptonian whose parents, like those of her cousin Kal-El, sent their thirteen-year-old girl off in a spaceship to escape the doomed planet. She was supposed to protect her infant cousin. Unfortunately, Kara’s ship was stuck in The Phantom Zone for twenty-four years, arriving on Earth long after Kal-El had become Superman. Hiding her powers for over a decade and working as a journalist at CatCo Worldwide Media, Kara eventually becomes Supergirl to protect the citizens of National City.
The musical score of Supergirl was created by award-winning American composer, conductor, arranger, orchestrator and musician Blake Neely. Learning the piano at the age of four, Neely began composing songs at a very young age. He would eventually learn to play a number of instruments, including the synthesizer, drums and the French Horn. While in college, he secured an internship with Disney Studios, leading to a job with Disney Hollywood Records. In 2002, Neely got his big break composing the musical score for the television series, Everwood. Since then, he has created musical score for a number of television series and films, including Resurrection, The Mentalist, Brothers and Sisters, Life as We Know It, Pan Am, The Pacific, The Flash, Blindspot, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and more.
Since Blake Neely was already working on the musical scores of Arrow and The Flash, he found it a bit daunting when approached to create the score for Supergirl: “My first thought was not ‘awesome!’ rather, it was a daunting question of ‘how will we do all of these?’” The show’s creator wanted something along the lines of John Williams’ orchestral score for the original Superman. According to Neely, “Although the score quickly evolved into a less traditional orchestral sound and more of a hybrid electronic/ orchestral score, the aim was always to give Kara a classic sound and a very simple but hopefully memorable theme.”
I absolutely love that theme, first heard in the track You Will Do Extraordinary Things. Featuring trumpet fanfare and an orchestral sound that makes one feel as though they are soaring above it all, this theme reminds me of that 80s John Williams Superman theme of old. The rest of the soundtrack proceeds in orchestral fashion until we come to Strange Visitors from Other Planets. Here, the score gets some added electronic sound, in an effort to define the alien/other-worldly presence. There are some quirky tracks on the album, like Catty Questions, a nod at the moments of humor present in the series. Jonn Jonzz’s theme is otherworldly with electronic sound, but there is a hint of formidable hero in there as well.
I really enjoyed the Supergirl: Season 1 Soundtrack with its action scenes enhanced by heavy percussion, quirky notes and heroic themes woven through. Fans of the television series will definitely want to get their hands on this album. Fans of the old Superman movies might want to check it out as well thanks to the nod Neely gives to the Williams’ score of old.