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Section Header
Wrath of the Titans
(2012)
Composed and Produced by:
Javier Navarrete

Orchestrated and Conducted by:
Nicholas Dodd

Label:
WaterTower Music

Release Date:
March 27th, 2012

Also See:
Clash of the Titans
Pan's Labyrinth
Thor

Audio Clips:
1. Wrath of the Titans (0:30):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

6. Pegasus (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

8. Cyclops (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

14. Brother Ares (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

Availability:
Regular U.S. release, primarily distributed via download but also availabile through Amazon.com's "CDr on demand" service.

Awards:
  None.









Wrath of the Titans
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Buy it... if you desire the equivalent in Javier Navarrete's career to what Thor was to Patrick Doyle in 2011, an interesting and at times entertaining infusion of intelligence into the otherwise mundane blockbuster sound of the 2000's.

Avoid it... if a continuation of Navarrete's own mannerisms is what you seek to hear, for he has indeed compromised his personal style significantly to adhere to this genre's expectations.



Navarrete
Wrath of the Titans: (Javier Navarrete) The fad of milking Greek God myths for studio profit continues as the Clash of the Titans franchise incomprehensibly lurches on in Wrath of the Titans, the sequel to the concept's 2010 resurrection. You can check your brain at the door once again with the 2012 extension of beastly battles from the Old World, its script lacking true ingenuity (or even cohesion) and its visuals a perpetuation of tired digital techniques that attempt to inspire momentary awe rather than illuminate the nuances of the story. Returning in the lead is Sam Worthington as Perseus, who is called to action another time to contend with the wars of Zeus, Hades, Ares, Poseidon, and other gods over control of the planet. This time, the gates of the underworld prison of Tartarus are thrown open because of humanity's lack of sufficient prayers (where's that weed-sympathetic Pat Robertson when you need him?) and all sorts of nasty Titans and Middle Earth-like welfare candidates with really bad teeth are unleashed upon the land. Perseus is tasked with assembling Zeus' Thunderbolt, Hades' Pitchfork, and Poseidon's Trident to form the Spear of Triam, the only non-battery operated tool that can slay the beastly Kronos, this movie's badass alternative to the beloved Kraken. Along the way, there are disobedient Minotaurs and Cyclopes as well as a hot royal babe in need of some attention by the end of the picture. Pay no mind to the largely poor critical reception that greeted the film in theatres; such applications of logic to this intellectually devoid franchise have no impact on the spending habits of movie-goers eager to rot their brains with such entertainment. While not blasting to the same profit margins as its predecessor, Wrath of the Titans did offer Warner Brothers some meaty international returns. With much of the crew (and even some of the cast) replaced for this sequel, it wasn't surprising to see the fate of its soundtrack slip away from Ramin Djawadi, the veteran Hans Zimmer/Remote Control clone responsible for the wretchedly predictable music for Clash of the Titans (a score that rates so high on the asininity meter that it didn't merit a normal review at this site). With the arrival of director Jonathan Liebesman on the scene, there was rampant speculation in the film score collecting community that his regular collaborator, Brian Tyler, would bring his sense of style to the concept's music.

The assignment of the score for Wrath of the Titans instead went to Spanish composer Javier Navarrete, whose music for Mexican director Guillermo del Toro's movies, including Pan's Labyrinth, has largely defined his career. The consensus about Navarrete was that his style of music was likely too intelligent for a movie like Wrath of the Titans, especially in his preference for uniquely developed orchestrations over the electronic garbage you hear in American blockbusters. But Navarrete, like Patrick Doyle in 2011, was faced with the intriguing prospect of merging his own compositional mannerisms with the expectations of audiences and studios in this, his first foray into mainstream action. The composer consulted with Hans Zimmer about Wrath of the Titans, naturally, and he manipulated the first drafts of his largely orchestral tone to stray into the realm of percussive loops and electronic groaning. It's interesting to hear composers like Doyle and Navarrete compromise their own orchestral standards to meet the dumbed-down standards of today's Remote Control sound, and for his efforts alone in this task, Navarrete's work merits your curiosity. He succeeds in forming a tenuous alliance between his own trademarks and the pounding Remote Control influences, not as well as Doyle accomplished for Thor but still quite admirable. While some listeners may be tempted to dwell upon the bass-heavy drones, the electric guitars, and looped clicking that does sully many of the action cues in Wrath of the Titans, you do hear Navarrete's own voice shine through, especially in earlier cues. Also clearly at work is popular orchestrator and conductor Nicholas Dodd, whose brass flourishes and wails do make a few cameos, most notably at the end of "Cyclops." The guitars really only interfere with the score in that cue and "Brother Ares" (if you excuse the "Kronos Megalos" remix at the end of the album), the remainder of the Remote Control inspirations closer to typical ostinato chopping and heavy bass drones. Pitch-altering electronic tones are applied to the score as almost a literal representation of groaning beasts, and Navarrete seems to try to keep them tonal enough to compliment the music's appeal. His specialty instruments are a bit obscured in the soundscape, but the Pakistani and Indian-native contributors do spice up the ethnic element at times. The choir, sometimes chanting lyrics in ancient Greek written by Navarrete himself, is well varied in its splitting of duties between treble and bass, and its mix with the other recorded ensembles is very satisfying.

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One area in which Navarrete doesn't really attempt to intellectualize Wrath of the Titans is his thematic development, opting to reside closer to Djawadi territory than what Doyle accomplished for Thor (with the exception of the last 80 seconds of "Andromeda," which sounds eerily similar to that Doyle score). Only one major theme exists in Navarrete's work, and he repeats it frequently at important junctures to remind audiences of a basic feeling of heroism for Perseus. Listeners are treated to a concert-like arrangement of this theme in the opening "Wrath of the Titans" track on album. There's a somewhat strange retro-feeling to the movement of this identity, almost placing it in the hip 1970's during certain performances, and it's not a particularly impressive set of progressions. But it suffices in getting the juices flowing and throws some lively acoustically-generated percussion into its "Wrath of the Titans" mix. The later reminders of the theme aren't generally as impressive as that opening volley, but the mix of the live percussion, like that of the choir, remains an asset throughout. The action cues are somewhat generic in their Remote Control emulation, especially when he pounds away on key with extremely broad and menacing whole notes on lower brass, though Navarrete does insert a few moments of the transcendent character more typical to his own style. The dissonant, descending choral exhales opening and closing "Zeus in the Underworld" are noteworthy despite being extremely challenging. A few trumpet interludes are also welcome additions, including the solo performance in "Pegasus," a fantastic cue of appropriately soaring optimism for the main theme in the higher registers of the orchestra and choir over the standard percussion slapping and churning string ostinatos. Finally, "Zeus Leaves" offers a dose of soothing choral beauty in the atmospheric fantasy realm that owes James Horner a few of its progressions. Overall, it is difficult to knock what Navarrete has produced for Wrath of the Titans even though the score clearly represents an intellectual compromise of his own standards of excellence. Collectors of the composer's works won't recognize much in this score, and he does seem ill at ease at times with the looped elements that sound artificially or hastily layered into several cues. But he has certainly done an impressive job, as did Doyle the year before, in pushing this genre's music towards a goal of infusing scholarly sanity into an otherwise bankrupt blockbuster sound. In fact, the album is quite an enjoyable listening experience in its highlights, and if only a greater thematic core had been attempted, Wrath of the Titans would have achieved a fourth star. ***   Amazon.com Price Hunt: CD or Download




 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  


Regular Average: 3 Stars
Smart Average: 3.05 Stars*
***** 33 
**** 57 
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   Amazon.com CDrs SMELL TERRIBLE!
  Michelle -- 9/15/12 (10:28 a.m.)
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 Track Listings: Total Time: 74:23


• 1. Wrath of the Titans (2:15)
• 2. Humans Stopped Praying (4:10)
• 3. Zeus in the Underworld (4:01)
• 4. Attack of the Chimera (4:10)
• 5. Son of Zeus (5:20)
• 6. Pegasus (2:59)
• 7. Andromeda (6:13)
• 8. Cyclops (5:05)
• 9. The Orb (6:45)
• 10. Ares Fights (3:15)
• 11. Perseus in the Labyrinth (6:24)
• 12. Escape From Tartarus (4:17)
• 13. To the Battle (4:34)
• 14. Brother Ares (4:23)
• 15. Zeus Leaves (5:34)
• 16. Kronos Megalos Remix (5:08)




 Notes and Quotes:  


The insert includes no extra information about the score or film. As in many of Amazon.com's "CDr on demand" products, the packaging smells incredibly foul when new.





   
  All artwork and sound clips from Wrath of the Titans are Copyright © 2012, WaterTower Music. The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 4/15/12 (and not updated significantly since). Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2012-2013, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.