Review: The Heroes soundtrack proves that Heroes' true heroes are its composers

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

At least two seasons past due, here is a disk of soundtrack goodies from Heroes, composed by Wendy (Melvoin) and Lisa (Coleman). It's more a collection of character themes, for the most part, aside from the main theme and two tracks taken from important scenes (9, "Kirby Plaza," and 10, "Fire and Regeneration"). But let's not quibble. This is meaty stuff, and it repays multiple listenings, preferably on headphones, so you can tweeze out the production layering, which is very satisfying.

Most cues clock in at more than five minutes, so there is plenty of thematic development here, as well as some great shifts in expression and mood. Listen, for example, for the brief burst of vocal percussion toward the end of "Mohinder," 6, accompanied by djimbe and tabla, and the very appropriate ticking clocks at the beginning and middle of "Sylar," 7.

What's most impressive here is how well the two composers mesh musical styles (such as some nice taiko and koto drumming in "Hiro") and how clever their segues are. There are also some nice little references to other composers here and there, like a nod to Danny Elfman's Beetlejuice in "Sylar." These themes are all from season one, when the show was really kicking tail.

Shenkar's voice weaves in and out of the cues in surprising places, and it's always a goosebump moment when you hear it. Not that there aren't other such moments, especially in "Jessica / Niki / Gina," 8, where a jaunty beat is overlaid by a wailing female voice guaranteed to creep you out. This perfectly suits the schiziness of these characters.

"Fire and Regeneration," the final cue of the final show of season one, blends themes from that scene, in which Sylar is confronted by the other characters. Wendy and Lisa themselves "consider this cue to be the sound of Heroes, the cue that gave us the direction for the series."

This being a La-La Land presentation, there is the usual well-done booklet. This one has a fascinating description of Wendy and Lisa's composing process by executive producer/director Alan Arkush. I'd like to see more of this sort of thing, and it helps add an even higher grade to this outstanding disc. Go get it.