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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Music is a voice so often overlooked. It is a language and it communicates all manner of emotions, thoughts and so much more. It stands to reason, therefore, that the music of a popular television show (and its subsequent movie remakes) would depend heavily on music as a means to express the mood and enhance the action. Many of us literally grew up with Batman and the infamous evils of Gotham City. Many of us can hum the theme song which is so addictive. But what about the music within the shows, the music that defines the scene? The villains of Gotham City have their distinct musical sounds, just like they have their catch phrases which define who they are and what evil they plan. There is a deeply powerful psychological draw in the music that infects each scene and it takes a distinctly clever artist/musician/composer to construct these musical sounds.
Matthew Hodge’s book, Gotham City Sounds: The Music of Batman Villains, takes readers on a different journey through Gotham City – a musical journey. Musician and composer, the author sheds insight on the scenes and the characters of various Batman shows, movies and video games. He leads the reader through descriptions of characters and scenes, then discusses the music that drives each scene forward. His discussions include insight into the work of the composers and their own thought patterns when creating these psychological, subliminally suggestive musical sounds to intensify both scenes and characters. With the Batman theme evolving over the past century (and there are more Batman movie projects in the works), there is room to expand the musical repertoire of Batman and the show’s notorious villains. The Batman music is a result of scores (no pun intended) of musical geniuses, whose work has, sadly, gone unrecognized. These composers are Hollywood’s unsung heroes, their powers of persuasion second to none. A fascinating read.