Dragonball: Evolution
Composed by Brian Tyler
Sound Clips: Chasing Dragonballs | The Final Battle
Running Time: 60:00
About the Soundtrack: "Dragonball: Evolution" is the first big screen, live-action adaptation from the hit anime series, "Dragonball Z."  A big fan of this franchise is none other than Brian Tyler, who actually sought out this specific project when he first got word that it was in production.  Now that it is completed, his score for the feature is available from Varese Sarabande and on iTunes, and includes 23 cues in all on the soundtrack. 
What You Need to Know:  It's so refreshing to hear a composer speak about delivering a product that not only functions nicely in the film, but also one that will earn the respect of fans.  This is what Brian Tyler set out to do with his score for, Dragonball: Evolution, an opportunity he whole heartedly embraced as he set out to write the score.  In a recent ScoreNotes interview, Brian commented on the fact that he was keeping an entire generations of fans in mind as he developed the music for Evolution, and in vintage Tyler style, he didn't let them down.  Not in my opinion, at least.
The music for Evolution is first and foremost respectable.  While the thematic content doesn't introduce any groundbreaking motifs, there are signature statements that make this a unique score.  For instance, the lively, martial-arts inspired percussion sequences are simply great to dive into.  These moments in the score are lively and somewhat intense, representing a more grown-up Dragonball experience to the viewer.  That said, another aspect to this album that works nicely is the anime style melodies, which is Brian's nod to the cartoon series itself.  While there was a risk that these bouncy and colorful tracks might not have synchronized well with the dramatic value of the score, the tones hit just the right element of camp to reach a workable balance.  In fact, as heard in tracks 11 and 17, these are some of my favorite moments in the score.  A nice touch on these cues.
The scope of dramatic power in Evolution is also ever present.  Tyler's brand of vintage action fare does make its way onto the album and it comes across well, as you might expect.  To counter it, and cohesively so, I might add, there are softer moments in the score that shape a secondary theme.  While this motif sounded perhaps a bit too familiar on the back end, there is a nice emotional touch behind it that makes it a respectable component. 
For those of you who enjoy a score that concludes with a flourish, you won't be disappointed with the final 10 minutes or so of Evolution.  Bringing forth some the best moments of the score, Tyler sends us off with a stamp of high energy, leaving the type of impression that will make you want to cue this soundtrack up again for another play. 

Final Score: Brian Tyler set out to create a score that would service the needs of the picture as well as represent the fans proudly in Dragonball: Evolution.  I think he did just enough to make that connection, though I would venture to say that a sequel might yield an extension of music that would be even more spectacular now that the foundation has been laid.  This one is a safe play for most and surely a must listen for Tyler fans.