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Releases - CD - Trouble in Tokyo

Release Information
Label: La-La-Land Records
Release Date: July 22nd, 2008*
*though shipped on July 29th, 2008 to most outlets

Official Description
: When a high-tech ninja from the Far East attacks Titans Tower, the Teen Titans spring into action and bring him down. But when Robin finds out the ninja was sent by a mysterious and menacing Japanese criminal known as Brushogen ... our heroes realize that the action isn't over -- it's just getting started! An off-the-wall story accompanied by equally enjoyable music created by the Dynamic Music Partners, creating one of their most enjoyable scores yet!

Track Listing:
1. Meet Saico Tek ( 5:18 )
2. Interrogation ( 1:23 )
3. Main Title ( 2:36 )
4. Tokyo Arrival ( 1:28 )
5. Monster Attack ( 4:36 )
6. Troopers Tour + Robin’s Disappointment ( 1:46 )
7. Titans Watched ( 1:52 )
8. Starfire Videogame ( 1:18 )
9. Moment Lost ( 2:39 )
10. Tokyo Skyline + Robin Blots Out Saico Tek ( 4:11 )
11. All You Can Eat/Boy Troubles ( 2:01 )
12. Titans Attack ( 1:51 )
13. The Note (:51)
14. The Fight Continues ( 2:43 )
15. Raven Finds Books/Robin Goes Underground ( 1:19 )
16. Play It Louder (:55)
17. Bar Fight ( 1:18 )
18. Motorcycle Chase ( 1:57 )
19. Brushogun Origin ( 2:17 )
20. Chasing Titans ( 1:58 )
21. Meet Brushogun ( 3:48 )
22. Villians Makin’ Copies ( 2:16 )
23. Final Battle ( 4:20 )
24. The Kiss (:55)
25. Tokyo ’s Newest Heroes ( 1:58 )
26. End Credits ( 1:59 )
Total Time (53:33)

Review (Zach Demeter): It’s been years since Trouble in Tokyo aired on Cartoon Network and over a year since its DVD release, but patience for fans paid off with this release of the Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo soundtrack. Bringing together the three composers of the series into one big project, Trouble in Tokyo took the Titans to a local they’d never been previously to experience a whole array of new enemies and adventures. As new as the location is in the film, the soundtrack brings together some familiar elements of the series as well as mixing in plenty of new music in as well.

Composers Kristopher Carter, Michael McCuistion and Lolita Ritmanis are no stranger to animated DC works. On board with the various Bruce Timm produced features since Batman: The Animated Series, the trio work their way across a myriad of episodes of Batman, Superman, Batman Beyond and Justice League. While Teen Titans followed the same superhero genre as their previous works, the music written for the show was wildly different from what they had done previously and Trouble in Tokyo is a superb example of just how diverse the trio can be.

From the start, Trouble in Tokyo kicks off with an action-packed piece that eventually slides into a dramatic piece that takes the listener to a whole other area of music. Unfortunately I can’t seem to pinpoint which tracks are what on this release, as the track names and times listed on the rear cover don’t match up with the run times given on the actual tracks on the disc. It also seems that some tracks are blended together at times, with new tracks starting in current ones. Not a huge deal, but something I noticed.

In any case, the music presented here is honestly some of my absolute favorite work of the Carter/McCuistion/Ritmanis trio. I’ve loved their music ever since Batman Beyond and Teen Titans is such a fantastic mixture of truly superheroic themes mixed with the bubblegum style fun that Teen Titans has always represented. While I didn’t absolutely love Trouble in Tokyo when I first saw it (and I still have only seen it twice…guess I should rewatch it sometime, especially after this soundtrack), I was immediately blown away when I started listening to this soundtrack. I think by covering the show as much as we did for so many years I just became burnt out on it and didn’t get to enjoy it the same way everyone else was and the music is just an absolutely fantastic way to get back into the series, as it embodies everything that’s so wonderful about it.

Track 4 ("Monster Attack) is absolutely fantastic. The upbeat nature of the battle mixed with…well, I don’t even know what to call it really. It’s just a very lively and entertaining track to listen to. The rest of the soundtrack follows an oriental vein, with plenty of cues thrown in to match the location. Even with those elements, however, the soundtrack always seems to return “home”, with a bit of the Titans theme thrown in or just a general action filled piece. The soundtrack also mixes in quite a bit of emotion for the Robin and Starfire characters, which is incredibly apparent throughout all of the soundtracks “quieter” moments. There’s a lot of drama thrown into this score and whether its action or sorrow, Carter, McCuistion and Ritmanis have always been able to pull it off without a hitch.

I absolutely adore this CD and it ranks up there as one of my favorite DC Animated scores released yet. While I’ve enjoyed the “epic” music from the DC Universe features, nothing quite matches up with the excitement and fun that Teen Titans can provide. Truly there is some beautiful music to listen to here, but when the music gets pumping, blasting the stereo up a few levels only helps you enjoy it that much more. Highly Recommended.

The CD
La-La Land Records has packaged Trouble in Tokyo in the usual jewel case with artwork from the series thrown about on the release. everything looks and sounds terriffic, although I did notice that compared to the Gotham Knight soundtrack, this one doesn't sound as "loud" and crisp as previous releases from La-La Land Records. Nothing really that hinders the experience, just something I noticed after listenting to their two latest releases back-to-back.

Inside the casing is some images of the composers and a listing of their previous works, as well as the liner notes. This little booklet has commentary from Dynamic Music Partners (that’d be Carter, McCuistion and Ritmanis’s s music group) as well as some words from Glen Murakami who points out some of his favorite tracks on the disc as well as the impact that the trio left on the series as well as the film. Following that is a serious of thank you’s from Carter, McCuistion and Ritmanis, as well as a shot of them mixing mix with a shot of Trouble in Tokyo up on the monitor, in full widescreen glory as if to tease me since we’ll probably never see it in its original aspect ratio.

I still have a bit of a problem with the way these soundtracks are put together, more from a visual standpoint than anything. Some of the graphical work looks incredibly cheesy, such as the backdrop image of the three composers behind the actual CD itself. The faded outline around them just looks very strange, as does the texture background behind that. I’m not a graphic artist so I can’t pretend I could do better, but something just seems a bit off-beat about that.

Overall Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo is a fantastic soundtrack and one I won’t soon forget and will be listening to for many years to come. The series may have come to a close years ago, but if we can continue to get releases of it in some format, whether on DVD or CD (or widescreen Blu-ray releases! Come on!), the show will undoubtedly live on not only through reruns but also from the various releases that continue to arrive on store shelves. Highly Recommended.

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