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Heroes OST (Review)

Heroes OST

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

IT’S part of the natural progression of things that every good, top-rated American show should have a great soundtrack accompanying it. Indeed, a lot of American TV series have provided bands with a springboard to fame off the back of one of their songs being used at a seminal moment.

Shows like Grey’s Anatomy and The OC are particularly renowned for the quality of the music they employ, with artists such as Imogen Heap indebted to the exposure they have subsequently received.

Heroes is the latest show to release an accompanying soundtrack and it’s as good as we’ve come to expect.

The series tells the stories of ordinary individuals who discover that they have superhuman abilities and very human weaknesses!

The soundtrack boasts music from a wide range of artists, including Panic! At The Disco, Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, Death Cab For Cutie, Nada Surf and The Jesus & Mary Chain’s first new recording in more than a decade. It features songs inspired by and used on the show – and there’s much to enjoy.

The highlights include Jesus & Mary Chain’s All Things Must Pass, a terrific throwback to their glory days that’s rife with great guitar work and some typically stoner-style vocals, and He’s Frank, a catchy indie-pop offering from Brighton Port Authority featuring an unmistakably gruff guest vocal from Iggy Pop. It’s the sort of effort designed to make you feel-good.

Imogen Heap’s distinct, beautiful vocals work well over Not Now But Soon, which cleverly draws on the Heroes theme instrumentally, whilst making the most of that lush, melodically layered voice.

And Nada Surf drop one of the best tracks from their current album, Lucky, in the form of Weightless, melody-strewn rock romp (if you haven’t got that album already this year, then do!).

Other worthwhile tracks include Bob Dylan’s moody Man In The Long Black Coat; Panic At The Disco’s ELO-inspired former single Nine In The Afternoon and My Morning Jacket’s Chills, as well as Death Cab For Cutie’s gloriously evocative Jealousy Rides For Me – another excellent showcase of a band that constantly warrant more attention than they get.

Slightly disappointing, meanwhile, is the Chemical Brothers’ collaboration with Spank Rock, Keep My Composure, which overdoes the foreboding synths to a certain extent. It grows on you, but falls someway short of what they’re truly capable of.

The inclusion of David Bowie’s Heroes, meanwhile, is just plain obvious! But hey, you might be complaining if it wasn’t there…

One track that is missing, however, is fans’ favourite Eyes, by emerging act Rogue Wave, which was featured in the first and fourth episodes.

But the atmospheric incidental music by Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman is included and actually works surprisingly well in stand-alone form, even though the Heroes Theme itself lasts a mere 12 seconds. In their other compsitions, however, there’s definitely a surreal, even ethereal element, in keeping with the mystery and religious undertones surrounding each character.

The best thing that can be said about the Heroes soundtrack, however, is that it is definitely capable of appealing to a wide range of listeners, whether they’ve ever watched the show or not. It’s an eclectic and constantly ear-pleasing mix that showcases some great new bands as well as some crustly old favourites.

For fans, meanwhile, there’s also special music videos and even some stunning artwork to check out. With the series emulating the aesthetic style of an American comic book using renderings from artistic consultant Tim Sale; similar illustrations have been created by award winning designer Steven Parke for each of the soundtrack’s musicians.

Check out the musicians’ artwork or watch videos

Download picks: He’s Frank, Nine In The Afternoon, Weightless, Chills, Jealousy Rides With Me, Not Now But Soon, All Things Must Pass, Man In The Long Black Coat, Abonecronedrone

Track listing:

  1. Heroes [main title] – Wendy & Lisa
  2. Fire And Regeneration – Wendy & Lisa/Shankar
  3. He’s Frank – Brighton Port Authority & Iggy Pop
  4. All For Swinging You Around – New Pornographers (The)
  5. Glad It’s Over – Wilco
  6. Nine In The Afternoon – Panic At The Disco
  7. Weightless – Nada Surf
  8. Natural Selection – Wendy & Lisa
  9. Bone Crone Drone 3 – Sheila Chandra
  10. Chills – My Morning Jacket
  11. Jealousy Rides With Me – Death Cab For Cutie
  12. Not Now But Soon – Imogen Heap
  13. Homecoming – Wendy & Lisa
  14. All Things Must Pass – Jesus & Mary Chain
  15. Man In The Long Black Coat – Bob Dylan
  16. Maya’s Theme – Cucu Diamantes & Yerba Buena
  17. Keeping My Composure – Chemical Brothers & Spank Rock (The)
  18. Heroes – David Bowie