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Soundtrack review: Transformers – Age of extinction (Steve Jablonsky, 2014)

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Soundtrack review: Transformers – Age of extinction (Steve Jablonsky, 2014)

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Steve Jablonsky’s “Transformer” scores have been a joy to listen to over the years for me. Ever since the first one got released, I’ve looked forward to future installment even more than to the movies. Sure, the movies are fun, over the top, brainless action extravaganzas and I love them, I’ll go see each one they put out. The music is different, it’s as epic as it is smart, it has heart and the themes are wealthy and engaging. I got many goose bumps listening to the first three scores (especially the second one, “Revenge of the fallen”, which is my favorite) so I had high hopes for “Age of extinction”.
I can recognize a Transformers cue anywhere. The epic / melodic combination is a killer, and Steve Jablonsky took the best of Hans Zimmer and Remote Control Production’s influences and tools to create a distinct sound: the sound of Transformers.
“Age of extinction” starts big and beautiful, with “Decision” and “Best thing that ever happened”. Powerful percussion dominates “I’m an autobot” and gives the theme the weight it deserves. The score is full of themes like these. It’s a bold and epic score. It’s awesome and I can’t get enough of listening to it. It’s exciting and it gets me off my chair. “Hacking the drone” has a male voice singing, no lyrics, and I don’t mind. It works. Tracks like “Galvatron is online”   are gorgeous action tracks. I love the robotic sound I hear in “Your creators want you back”. That’s Transformers music right there. It also has parts that remind me of Inception of “The Dark knight”, but that can only be a good thing. “The final knight” is mysterious and atmospheric at times and it’s a welcomed change in mood.
In “The legend exists” we revisit the Autobot theme from the first movie, one of my favorites from the entire franchise. I missed this theme. And if there is one cue that summarizes the score, it’s “Dinobot charge”….Wow…what a cue! Epic, motivational, and it sounds like trailer music at its best, on steroids even. It’s a massive, crushing cue and it makes this score memorable for me.
The almost 80 minutes of “Transformers: Age of extinction” go by in a heartbeat, and I would surely like to hear more. Some might call the music of Transformers junk food. Well, yes….iIt is tasty, addictive and overly synthetic at times. It’s also a guilty pleasure. But this is what I came for, and I love what I got. I’m still very much emotionally invested in the music of this franchise, and I can’t wait for the next score in the series.
My ratings:
Cue rating: 80 / 100
Total minutes of excellence: 58 / 78
Album excellence: 74%
Cues to listen to:
Decision
Best Thing That Ever Happened

Optimus Is Alive

His Name Is Shane and He Drives
Hacking the Drone
Transformium
Galvatron Is Online
Your Creators Want You Back
The Final Knight
Punch Hold Slide Repeat
Galvatron Is Active
Hong Kong Chase
The Legend Exists
Dinobot Charge
Drive Backwards
Honor to the End

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Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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