Various Artists: Batman: Arkham City – The Album

batman, arkham city, soundtrackVarious Artists: Batman: Arkham City – The Album
What has made Batman such a compelling character over the last 72 years is that he is mysterious and dark yet he is the good guy. So when I think of artists that should be populating a Batman associated soundtrack I think of dark and mysterious bands. The soundtrack to the latest Batman video game, Batman: Arkham City – The Album delivers that, sort of.
The soundtrack begins with perhaps the least dark or mysterious band, Panic! at the Disco. It is no coincidence that they are also the most popular band on the soundtrack. Their contribution is called “Mercenary” which contains some of the classic Batman themes like loneliness but otherwise it seems like an odd choice for the soundtrack. I assume it was chosen mostly because it mentions “collateral damage,” a theme of any good action movie.
The dark and mysterious bands start with Coheed and Cambria. The band’s prog-rock song writing lends itself well to Batman’s pathos. But Coheed and Cambria operate in a certain world, which is to say all of their songs revolve around a singular story. Batman is definitely not part of the Coheed and Cambria story so the band write a song with “Deranged” that explore common themes between Batman’s story and their own. They talk about a dark city with “streets of misfortune,” vague phrases that could apply to Gotham or their own city.
Unfortunately past those two songs and a contribution from The Raveonettes, the album is made up of songs that sound like they could have been on the Batman Forever soundtrack. All the rest of the tracks have this mid-90s modern rock feel that just seems passe. It might work in the context of a video game but as a stand alone album, it just adds up to something that I don’t imagine many people will want to listen to.
Rating: 3.6/10
MP3: Panic! At the Disco “Mercenary”
Buy: iTunes