Epic Television Scores: The Music of the Arrowverse
Blake Neely tackles the incredibly daunting task of scoring not one, but all four of the series that make up The CW’s Arrowverse. But what is most incredible is that each has their own very unique sound that captures the very essence of the show. I’m sure that in 2012 when Neely started working on Arrow, he never imagined that in a few years time, he would be composing four different superhero shows at the same time (as well as Blindspot and Riverdale).
With Arrow, Neely plays to the darker themes of the show. What’s interesting is that the music is sometimes very heavy, but still gives you that sense of motion. The themes for both the Dark Archer and Deathstroke are prime examples of this. But really, my favorite part is when the main theme of the show starts in toward the end of a scene and leads into the show title. It’s a very driving theme and is always placed perfectly within a scene. Neely also does a masterful job with the more melodic pieces, adding that increased sense of emotion into a scene, like in the season one finale, “Sacrifice.”
With The Flash, Neely did a fantastic job harnessing the momentum of the series and delivering a theme that makes us feel like we are running with Barry. The Flash has a much lighter tone than Arrow, but we still get music that is packed with emotion like in “How it Ended/Reluctant Hero.” I think that how Reverse-Flash’s theme was done is one of my favorites from all four shows. It’s such a cool and different sound, and adds a sense of anxiety because you know that he’s coming. Another piece that deserves a lot of praise is “Let it Snow Villains.”
With Supergirl, Neely really delivered a grandiose score. For Supergirl’s main theme, you have the driving undertone, but then the trumpets take over to belt out the main theme line. It then transitions into the feeling of flying. The music is very fitting of a Super. Currently, only the season 1 soundtrack is available, but two of my favorites off of the album are “A Hero Emerges” and “Hope Speech/Lifting Fort Rozz.”
Legends of Tomorrow is a beast in its own as you have to account for an ensemble cast. Neely succeeds in finding a balance between all of the Legends and also creates a theme that encompasses them all. My favorite music moment comes at the end of “Nuclear Missile Sale.” It’s just so awesome. Vandal Savage’s theme is also really cool and speaks to the ruthless nature of the character. It starts out really subtle and then just explodes in the end.
My absolute favorite thing about the work that Neely has done in the Arrowverse is when our heroes crossover. Some of my favorite pieces are from the weaving together of the different themes. I’m super excited for when the past season soundtrack comes out and we get the music for the epic four-way crossover event. A prime example of his ability to blend the themes is in the the two-part Flash vs. Arrow crossover event with the pieces “The Brave and the Bold” and “The Flash vs. Arrow.”
I look forward to what Neely brings us during the next season of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow and am hoping for some even more amazing music.