Soundtrack Review: Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

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*Spoilers for Infinity War below, don’t read if you haven’t seen the film yet*

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Alan Silvestri has so far worked on three films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011); The Avengers (2012) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018) (he will also be scoring the currently untitled Avengers 4). Before seeing Infinity War, I didn’t think anything could top the musical excellence that was The Avengers but now I know otherwise. Silvestri has truly outdone himself with his score for Infinity War.

The score contains callbacks to Silvestri’s previous entries in the MCU including a re-appearance of the original Captain America theme (which visibly excited the audience in the theater I sat in). There is also, naturally, several recurrences of the main “Avengers” theme that debuted (so far as I know) in the 2012 film of the same name. But the callbacks don’t stop with Silvestri’s material; there is also a reprise of Ludwig Göransson’s Black Panther theme when the film moves to Wakanda. Even the entrance of the Guardians of the Galaxy is in line with their previous films. While “Rubberband Man”  (performed by The Spinners) does not feature in Vol. 1 or 2 of Guardians of the Galaxy, it did come from a list of compiled songs that could be used in future GoTG entries. So musically the score ties back to the MCU’s past.

 

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As for the new music in Infinity War, I hate to do this but we need to talk about THAT scene on Vormir, because that is the section that drove me to the point of tears. It was all going normally enough until Thanos learned that he needed to sacrifice what he loved most to get the Soul Stone. In the moment when he grabbed Gamora’s arm, the music just exploded into this cacophony of pain and sorrow. I’ve mentioned before that this scene humanized Thanos for me; I should have said it was the music in this scene that did it. The music reflects the pain of Gamora (learning that after all these years Thanos really does love her and because of that she must die) and of Thanos (who must sacrifice the one person he does love in order for his goal to be achieved). This is the kind of music that pierces you like a knife, locking you into the moment so that you can’t look away even if you want to.

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And then there’s the ending scene, where everyone starts to disappear. In contrast to the scene on Vormir, here there is a distinct lack of music that I can remember. There may have been some in the background, but if there was, it wasn’t enough to draw my attention. In fact, right after Thanos vanished from Wakanda, it was so quiet I thought the people had already disappeared. I still can’t get the sounds of the ending scene out of my head. If you recall, many MCU films end with a reprise of the main theme, sometimes subtle, sometimes not so much. But here, at the end of Infinity War, there’s no uplifting music to reassure us that all is right with the world again because everything is now very wrong. The music itself feels “shell-shocked” just like the surviving heroes who are realizing that (for the moment at least) they’ve lost.

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Honestly, I feel like my words are inadequate to describe how amazing the score for Avengers: Infinity War is, but I hope I did enough to give you a rough idea of how this score impacted me. Truthfully I could go on for several more paragraphs but really the best way to experience this score is to go watch the film as many times as possible and listen to the music. I know that can be hard with all the action on the screen but Silvestri does his best to bring the music to your attention.

Let me know what you thought of the music for Avengers: Infinity War in the comments below and have a great day 🙂

See also:

Film Soundtracks A-W

Avengers: Infinity War-Review (no spoilers)

My thoughts on: Avengers: Infinity War (spoilers!!)

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