“One of the best songs ever on a Transformers soundtrack” may be a bit too heavy with false praise. While there have been quite a few catchy songs off of the original trilogy’s soundtracks (including a few hits by the Goo Goo Dolls and Linkin Park) none of them quite fit the feel the movies were going for. The feel of the films (and Michael Bay’s Calling Card) are a “f—k yeah” explosions and action mayhem festival. Instead Linkin Park and those like them wrote songs that seemed to focus more on the teen romance between Shia Labeouf and Megan Fox. Now that both of those ingredients have been jettisoned from the film (thankfully) Transformers newcomers Imagine Dragons focus on the grittier aspects with their “Battle Cry“. The results are pretty good, if not great.
We had previously written about the song in an article last week but that we’ve had the chance to listen to it pretty thoroughly we can conclude that while it’s one heck of a ballad, the song can be a bit too bleak to be fun. This may have to do with the involvement of Hans Zimmer whose film scores (while often incredible) invoke the feel of impending doom more than ten thousand of the asteroids from Armageddon. This results in a dreariness that suffocates much of “Battle Cry”’s thrill. Really, the song is less of a “Battle Cry” then it is a very loud proclamation of fear. The opening of “I’ll let you know/And all this time I’ve been afraid,/Wouldn’t let it show” really sets the tone of cowardice throughout this piece that’s completely at odds with the aggressive feel of the beat. In fact, the only marginally optimistic and determined lyric of the entire song are the four words “it’s do or die” that are repeated in the chorus. All in all, this adds up to one very unintimidating “Battle Cry”.
Still though, it can’t be denied that when the moments in the song that work really work. Specifically at the 3 minute mark in which the overlaying tracks are amped up by a killed drumbeat to emphasize both the imminent death and the giant fight that is about to occur (supposedly). Any fault in the lyrics or misstep in the song is made up be this minute long sequence that is guaranteed to feature in the film. It will be interesting to see if there will be a film scene that can live up to
Our predictions are that “Battle Cry” will be seen as the standout of the soundtrack but be long forgotten by the time a new lineup of songs comes out for the inevitable Transformers 5. Take a listen for yourself and see if you agree.