Zach’s Tracks: Soundtrack Review – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Written by Zach Amsberry on November 18, 2022
Ludwig Goransson, in his infinite wisdom, once again delivers a unique, diverse, phenomenal score that encapsulates every emotion and feel of the film. Ludwig draws upon more synthetic and electric elements woven into the score’s latter tracks to create a new distinction between Wakanda pre and post-loss (of T’Challa). With the introduction of Namor and the Talocans comes new opportunities for a diverse soundtrack, making use of what is known as the “death whistle,” heavy brass, and the always pleasant-to-hear Mongolian throat singing. Using these new tools he creates a Mesoamerican-inspired section of the score that couldn’t be more different from that of Wakanda’s. Do I think this could be a contender for the Academy Awards? certainly possible.
Some stand-out tracks include but are not limited to (spoilers ahead):
- Con La Brisa: Foudeqush, Ludwig Goransson – Beautiful, melodic, Spanish song featured during the showcasing of the city of Talocan, currently the most streamed song of the soundtrack on Spotify.
- Sirens: Ludwig Goransson – An eerie yet gorgeous track brilliantly interwoven into its scene, coming off as supposedly background music only to discover it’s coming from the figures lurking in the distant sea from a boat’s view. Drawing from the myths of Sirens, whom would sing to draw sailors off of boats and drown at sea, if you are afraid of the ocean you will hate this scene
- Welcome Home: Ludwig Goransson, Baaba Maal – keeping with the tradition of the first film, mirroring it well which was a lovely touch, we are given an alternative version of “Wakanda” from the first soundtrack upon the scene in which we arrive in Wakanda by aircraft. Baaba Maal once again belts incredible vocals (actually different lyrics from the first film interestingly) backed up by chords as we are reminded of the wonder and mystery of Wakanda. Once Baaba Maal finishes, we dive into the tribal and orchestral climax that gives us our new Black Panther theme? Arguably my favorite on the soundtrack
- Wakanda Forever: Ludwig Goransson – Fittingly named, the track that brings it all together. Shuri embraces her destiny and honors her brother by taking up the mantle of the Black Panther, miraculously being able to recreate the heart-shaped herb. In the wake of T’challa’s death, the world watched as Wakanda sat in uncertainty for a year with no protector, no hero. When Talocan threatens their survival, the Black Panther returns to give hope. Ludwig brings the heat with electric and synthetic rhythm to introduce Shuri’s new role, and quickly melds the piece into Wakanda’s theme and most importantly, we hear for the first time in the film, the talking drums use the name “T’Chala.” Just like the scene itself, the music is saying more than can be heard. Easily my favorite scene in the film
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever delivers a worthy successor to both the film itself and the score of its predecessor. And I for one cannot wait for what comes next. 9/10.