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Zimmer’s Magic: The Power of Music in ‘The Dark Knight’

Watching Dark Knight for the tenth time this week with Hans Zimmer’s incredulous soundtrack leading the show … was the reason for this write-up today.

Powerful, raw and simply emphatic, the film score is simple in design, but truly effective when put together with Nolan’s trilogy epic.

With this one, is it any wonder that Zimmer has been honoured an Academy Award, two Golden Globes, three Grammy’s, an American Music Award and a Tony Award? Which, for the Dark Knight, he won two for.

I think the caption within the vinyl sleeve says it best, don’t you?

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“…Zimmer’s extraordinary vision for these scores set the bench mark for comic book hero soundtracks thereafter,

defining the genre.

The imitable rhythmic tension in the music is matched by equally dramatic melodies, and this Main Theme, embellished here by Lindsey Stirling’s violin work, brings new life to this extraordinary score.”

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I think it also gives us the true identity of any film, providing us with little elements of context of what and when to feel throughout. Music without film, would be Italy without pasta. It is impossible to imagine without – and Zimmer’s soundtrack is a true superhero soundtrack. Bold, brash and dark. The perfect trio of words to describe the caped crusader, too while we’re at it.

This is possibly why this trilogy is one of the greatest superhero trilogies of all time, and has been since. It is also why that it is one of the most talked about trilogy to date, despite the first instalment being released in ’05. And it’s not just about its music.

Stellar casting, stunning choreography, a heroic story, and an incomprehensible performance from Ledger’s Joker – that no-one saw coming – the Dark Knight is the perfect super-story.

What a film. What. a. film.

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Let’s Talk: Are Music Albums Dead?

With streaming services providing 40,000 singles each day, the pressure to stand out is overwhelming – and it seems that albums are not part of the plan for the future in the industry.

But the way we consume music has changed. And changes everyday.

With our attention spans shrinking to the same as a fish, music has become more consumption-based as opposed to a more musicality-based concept. For avid listeners to return, singles are being the dominant force – and albums? Albums are being left in the dark. Now, albums are merely littered with fillers, covering a mediocre concept story for the explosive single that carries the whole damn thing. There is always a certain song that someone skips or a certain part of the album that they miss completely.

Personally, I enjoy the whole listening of the album, it makes the music present itself in a different light, bringing up new concepts, ideas and feelings to the music – where you may not have if you listened to the single on its own. After all, there is a reason why those concept albums from the likes of Pink Floyd and The Beatles are some of the most loved albums in the past decade. There is a reason to play the whole thing. The beauty of an unrefined, raw album where the songs slot beautifully against one another. I guess it’s a bit like listening to Audible.

So, let’s talk. Will albums ever return or will they remain a distant past as singles consume us?

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Passing The Torch: Should “Aged” Musicians Retire?

Good morning, folks. My friends shared some “exciting” news today. Green Day are expected to release new music and a new album in the year 2021. To my surprise or shock, this news to me was anything but the sort. It may be my lack of interest over the years for a band who were in their prime, but have seemingly “past it” – or it could just be the simple fact that there are far better, and far stronger upcoming artists and bands who’d I gladly listen to instead.

HERE COMES THE SHOCK – No shock at all, retire already!

In the music industry right now, with the rise of streaming lurching us into the scary thought of not being able to control our music in the future, there are more artists and more bands than ever before on the Internet. Striving for our undivided attention – which is always divided, mind – the industry has desperately become convoluted and over-saturated. And it seems to be music with a tarnished reputation or music with no reputation at all.

Is it time fo rthose “old” musicians or “retro” artists who have had their moment in the spotlight to stand down, postpone making new music and make way for those upcoming artists who equally deserve their moment on the stage? In a perfect swan song, it may seem fitting for these experienced professional musicians who have actively made music going on 20 years, to retire and share their pearls of wisdom to the next generation. That’s the cycle of life, no?

If it is a case of these musicians simply doing it for the love then (it won’t be for money, that’s for sure), by all means, showcase tours and gigs, but do not litter the rich music media already with talks on how ‘this old band that we used to listen to in the 90s are back making new music’, because it does nothing but clutter the clogs of communication again. Leave those opportunities for the younger generations who work just as hard to make it somewhere in the music industry. I mean, there’s plenty of them, right?

Foo Fighters have been a fine example of this. An album that is lacklustre throughout with no inkling from the “Wasting Light” era – and yet, it still tops the album charts. Why? For the simple fact that consumers buy it for the name of Foo Fighters. The name will continue to carry them to stardom because of their impactful reputation within the industry.

Now, I’m aware of how controversial a topic this is among the community, as these are some of our favourite bands who we’ve grown up with, and their legacy will never be forgotten, that’s for sure.

But is it time to pass the torch?

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Hidden Gems (Week 11)

Here we are, we are picking up some momentum now. Enter the fold for the eleventh week of the Hidden Gems series. By all means, venture into last weeks’ Hidden Gems with the tenth instalment below, where we entered double figures for this series.

The Strangers Club

Despite their residency name, the band are certainly no strangers to writing a collection of songs that are equally impressive lyrically and melodically. Where other bands have remained dormant throughout this time, The Strangers Club have capitalised on their time, and are not only continuing their songwriting process with feel-good Suede – with many more releases to come in 2021 – but are continuing their dominance in the live world when we return, landing them a top spot at Barcode Festival supporting glossy-indie favourites Bastille.

Model Family

Previously known as another alias as The Shoals, model family have certainly been busy behind the curtain developing a whole new fresh take on a vast array of influences. Bordering on the line of natural post-punk, with the classics of hard-hitting rock, they have proven themselves to be a jack of all trades and have been taken a liking amid fans across every aspect of genres – and rightly so. Their most recent EP, Are We Calling This Art? is just a glimpse into what elements that this band can bring us.

Pensacola Mist

Synth-pop sleuths Pensacola Mist are among those to venture into the unknown world of synth-wave, 80s alternative pop – and come out alive and well the other side. Strong, progressive and trend-setters of the retro, the duo have explored depths to their sounds in unimaginable ways, delving into synergies of 80s romantics and bitter-sweet nostalgia. Some go as far to call it the perfect soundtrack to the modern Neon City.

PLAY DEAD

With tongues as sharp as their wit, raucous garage-punk bundle, PLAY DEAD, are lashing down on us with their dirty take of our favourite hell-bent genre of breaking-shit-in-the-parking-lot. With three singles that are just as fitting and cutting as the genre they reside in, they have been championed by artistry alike, and undoubtedly earned their place on BBC airwaves. Daring to go all the way, they are set to release their eponymous debut, “Skint” on the 26th of March.

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Let’s Talk: Are we over-saturated with music?

G’morning all, let’s talk. Are we engulfed with too much music? In what seems like an album release every week, it can be very hard to keep on top of everything in today’s industry.

Especially with the amount of time we’ve got on our hands now, bands, musicians and artists are finding it more and more difficult to grab a listeners’ attention just for a few seconds of our time.

Music streaming catalogues and libraries hold over 50 million songs as it is – and with 40,000 new ones being added every day, that’s a lot of music to get through. Consumption is certainly outweighing musicality, in this regard.

Now, with popular music becoming a “glamorous wallpaper” instead of regarding it for what it is – art, I’m finding one or two worthy releases of my time where I would repeat over and over because I like them so much, and then, I would often overlook all the ones I’ve missed that would have the same treatment as the first one or two good releases.

But, is it worth arguing over having too much of something as paramount as music? Surely not, right? Where I would overlook these releases, there would be a niche group or collective that most certainly wouldn’t. You can’t have too much of a luxury or better yet, an art form that helps us through our daily lives. When you put it like that, I’m sounding simply ungrateful posing this question in the first place.

However, is there simply more choice and options, simply because we’ve made it what it is? Streaming services – and its ability to have everything at a touch of a button – has made the market so densely populated. And it’s all this new material from new artists just wanting to do the same as their predecessors before them. We’ve brought on our own downfall, as we’re at risk of over-saturating our own market!

This is the question I’m posing to you on this Tuesday morning, then.

Are we over-saturated with music? Let me know.