[Album Review] Various Artists - 'Batman: Arkham City - The Album'
When you think of DC's Dark Knight. Batman, you automatically think of Gotham Cities night backdrop, darkened alleyways and the worlds most sadistic villains. So why is it when it comes to soundtracks and album's based on the series films or games, labels choose the strangest selection of songs? We'll let the whole Prince soundtrack slide because he's well….Prince. Duh. Normally when I think of Batman soundtracks the first song that comes to mind is Seal's "Kiss From A Rose" and I have no bad things to say about that song because it's still a classic. But besides that song being amazing and all, the "pop" soundtrack for our dark superhero doesn't seem all that fitting.
So let fast forward to present day, because I know everyone wants to avoid talking about the Batman & Robin film, let alone the soundtrack. After 2009's successful action, adventure game Batman: Arkham Asylum, The Dark Knight and associates return for the series' follow up sequel Batman: Arkham City. Unlike the first game, Warner Bros. decided to approach the sequel with a more marketable approach and release the game's score as well as an album inspired by the game on their imprint Watertower Music and bring in some of modern day's popular rock bands such as Panic! At The Disco, Coheed and Cambria, System of a Down's Serj Tankian, AFI vocalist Davey Havok's side project Blaqk Audio, Deftones vocalist Chino Moreno's side project ††† (Crosses), Daughtry and many more.
As stated, earlier when you think of Batman you think of a dark setting but when you see a band like Panic! At The Disco, who are more theatrical rock, involved on a Batman related project, it just makes you scratch your head a bit and ask why? Don't get me wrong though, this in no way should prevent you from checking out the album at all. It's a wonderful collective of artist and songs, especially cuts like the heavy tune "Trophy Widow" by The Damned Things, The Boxer Rebellion's "Losing You", A Place to Bury Strangers' "In The Shadow", Blaqk Audio's "Afterdark" which is one of the songs I could definitely hear fitting in with the game's setting, same as other tunes like †††'s "The Years", Raveonettes' "Oh, Stranger", Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's "Shadow on the Run" and Serj Tankian's "Total Paranoia". You could take a majority of those songs and remove the vocals and they would fit in with overall atmosphere of the game.
Overall, I like to think of the album as just another compilation rather than a soundtrack or album that is being accompanied to the franchise's latest entry. A majority of the album is very enjoyable, however, the comic nerd in me just can't picture some of it in the game's setting but if you can get past that then you got yourself a nice rock/electronic album for your ears to vibe to. So go give it a try and check out some of the standout tracks we listed above. The album is now available at physical retailers and via major electronic retailers such as iTunes and Amazon. If you are looking into nabbing the game, as most of us are, and you dig the soundtrack, look into getting the Collector's Edition of the game which features a digital redemption code for the soundtrack and features an additional exclusive track. Nice!
Sample all tracks on the album below...
- Panic! At The Disco "Mercenary" Idolator
- Coheed and Cambria "Deranged" IGN
- The Duke Spirit "Creature" NME
- Black Rebel Motorcycle Club "Shadow On The Run" Rolling Stone
- Blaqk Audio "Afterdark" Alternative Press
- Raveonettes "Oh, Stranger" AOL/Spinner
- (Crosses) "The Years" Consequence of Sound
- The Damned Things "Trophy Widow" Guitar World
- Daughtry "Drown In You" E!
- The Boxer Rebellion "Losing You" Filter Magazine
- Serj Tankian "Total Paranoia" Revolver Magazine
We give Batman: Arkham City - The Album 3 out of 5 Awesome SAWSES! It's not Seal's "Kiss From A Rose" but its definitely a worthy rock compilation.