CD: Green Lantern – The Animated Series (2011-2012)

September 4, 2013 | By

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Rating: Excellent

Label: La-La Land Records/ Released:  Vol. 1: August 31, 2012 + Vol. 2: July 3, 2013

Tracks & Album Length: Vol. 1: 36 tracks / (71:20) + Vol. 2: 37 tracks / (76:31)


Special Notes: Vol. 1: 10-page colour booklet / Vol. 2: 12-page colour booklet / Limited to 1500 copies.


Composer: Frederik Wiedmann




In a big change of pace, Frederik Wiedmann moves from horror films to the neon coloured world of the Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Warner Bros. Animation’s 2-season series dominated by heroism, interstellar worlds and exotic characters.

Wiedmann’s episodic scores, released in separate Vols. 1 and 2 discs from La-La Land, feature a collective 2.5 hours of large-scale orchestral music that’s heavily thematic and action-oriented, and while the production budget may have limited the bulk of sounds to orchestral emulations, in Wiedmann’s hands, the results are very detailed and nuanced.

The Green Lantern music is extremely robust, passionate, and large in scope – especially when conveying dreadfully dire situations for our hero – and action fans will really be delighted by the vivid orchestrations within the kinetic action cues. Instead of bombast, the emphasis is on layered rhythms and all manner of instrumental diversity, from brass through exotic percussion.

Each cue is tied to some character theme, and the CDs have been edited to create a cohesive, flowing drama as formal themes are spun off into grim or passionate guises – “The Red Knight,” for example offers a free-form unfurling of material, with swelling tonal clouds, synth pulses, and an authentic duduk – whereas slightly Asian harmonics dominate “Saint Walker.”

Thunderous percussion and acoustic instruments dominate “Bumpy’s Lazy Eye,” and sampled chorus are woven into “Hal’s Lantern.” It’s a cue that’s also indicative of the sometimes mercurial emotional tone of tracks where big sweeping moments give way for small character statements before large banks of brass or percussion swing forward.

If Vol. 1 serves as an intro to the series’ main themes, LLL’s Vol. 2 presumes listeners are familiar with the motifs, and goes head-first into drama and pounding action. “Breaking In” is heavily rock-styled with drums and lots of backbeats on percussion and vibes, whereas ”Breaking Through” features chorals, furious sweeps between thundering percussion, brass, and a steady, militaristic tempo.

There’s some melodic material to provide a few rest spots for the listener, but much of Vol. 2 showcases Wiedmann’s eerie atmospheric cues (“Dark Revelation”) and perhaps a greater integration of electronic beats and percussion.

One can sometimes hear slight traces of Wiedmann’s inspiration – lighter-styled cues sometimes evoke a little John Powell – and the large chorals have a nice grandeur that’s reminiscent of Basil Poledouris’ Conan the Barbarian in cues like “Battle of Betrassus.”

LLL’s CDs are tightly edited and showcase a great variety of material, and it’s to Wiedmann’s credit he was able to winnow down 20+ separate scores to a pair of CDs that maintain both variety and a dramatic arc. A prior release for the animated feature Green Lantern: First Flight [M] featuring Robert J. Kral’s score was released in 2009 by LLL.

A podcast interview with composer Frederik Wiedmann is also available.



© 2013 Mark R. Hasan


External References:

IMDB Soundtrack AlbumComposer Filmography


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