As you might expect from an action film, the ‘Transformers: Age Of Extinction’ soundtrack filled with pacey tracks, rapid drum beats and some rapid-fire string pieces. Yet what I felt was really missing here was the one catchy piece letting me know that this was part of the ‘Transformers’ franchise. I have to be honest, even after listening to this three or four times, when I’m playing music on shuffle and these tracks appear, I usually can’t recognise them as being from this album. It’s just not that memorable.
That isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy some of the individual tracks. There are a few I really like, they just lack that distinctive feel that I think ought to be there in a soundtrack. It should be easy to associate most tracks with the film.
The album started off quite well, with a track called ‘Decision’. I enjoyed the gradual build in this opening track, which starts off very quietly and slowly adds in more and more drums and brass until it’s a big determined kind of a sound. I guess that means the decision referred to in the title was made!
There’s a punchy dance number later on that I also enjoyed. ‘Punch, Hold, Slide, Repeat’ starts off with some great electronic beats and then adds in strings and brass before getting a little bit trippy towards the end with some strange synthesised sounds.
On the other hand, I really wasn’t keen on the softer track ‘The Best Thing That Ever Happened’. It has a chilled out piano background which was all right, but then adds on layers of vocals just saying ‘ooh, ooh’ repeatedly. It sounds a bit like someone messing about on a demo. I think the places where the vocals were absent in this track had much more atmosphere than those with the singing on top and I think it would have been a better track had they been removed entirely.
I guess it was a bit of a mixed bag really. Overall, I think it is fine as background music and I can imagine it working well with the action of the film to distract you, but as an album on its own it’s hard to keep paying attention to more than a few tracks at a time. This isn’t one I’d be in a hurry to buy, it just doesn’t have enough to sell it as an album in its own right, so it’s probably one that I’d only recommend to avid fans of the franchise.
(pub: La-La Land Records LLLCD 1311. 1 CD. 23 tracks 77:50 minutes. Price: $25.95 (US), £28.90 (UK). Limited edition: 3000 units)
check out website: www.lalalandrecords.com