WandaVision – Christophe Beck

Concerning spoilers: I avoided mentioning story plots in this review, but I have to address some concepts which you may not want to know.

When Disney announced their own streaming platform Disney+, I was quite skeptical about its chances of success. Disney has many different very successful franchises, but I did not think those would be sufficient to compile a strong library of content to keep people interested, but boy what was I wrong. Not only was their existing catalog quite large already, but they also started to release exclusive content on their service, including the recent Mulan movie, and the Star Wars hit show The Mandalorian, making their streaming platform quite a success. 

Star Wars is not the only major Disney franchise that can deliver successful television shows however, as WandaVision from their Marvel franchise has also been a massive hit. The show has quite an interesting concept. The story takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame, but the teasers I saw were about a black and white ‘50s sitcom, with superheroes Wanda Maximoff and The Vision as husband and wife. The idea of WandaVision was that each episode would be like a sitcom, with each new episode in the style of a decade later than the previous one. You can imagine the challenge, with different clothes, hairstyles, house interiors for each episode, but also music that matches the musical style from the era the episode tries to represent, and that challenge was given to Christophe Beck.

As with the first season of The Mandalorian, a small digital album was released for each episode. Many mini albums contain a collection of short tracks perfectly suited for the sitcom from that era. In Episode 1 and Episode 2, representing the ‘50s and the ‘60s respectively, the music consists of happy sounding, orchestral tunes, reflecting the silliness on screen. In Episode 3 the music is more jazzy, with guitars and drums – perfect for a show from the ‘70s. In Episode 5, the music reflects an ‘80s sitcom and the music is more like pop tunes.

In addition to Beck’s short tracks, you can also listen to original WandaVision title themes, written by Kristen Anderson‐Lopez and Robert Lopez, who have collaborated with Beck before on Frozen and Frozen 2. Each theme fits each sitcom episode perfectly, and you can hear that the score and the corresponding themes are connected in Beck’s music. It is quite wonderful to see how much effort has been put into creating original themes for a fake television show that are meant to be played only once, with “We Got Something Cooking” as my favorite.

The themes and the music for the sitcom slapstick are not the only music in the series, however. The first hint of a world outside of the sitcoms can already be heard on the album of the first episode with “Wanda’s Theme (End Credits from “WandaVision”).” It is the theme Beck has composed for Wanda Maximoff, and it is an ominous-sounding orchestral piece, with female vocals adding even more mystery. The full orchestral music is quite a contrast to the sitcom silliness and is perfect for the series as it reflects the underlying tension that drives the story. As the season progresses you can hear more ‘real world’ music, which is a good mix of orchestral music and synth sounds. There is also another theme in the soundtrack, meant for the married couple, which can be heard in the themes the Lopez’s have written and which Beck has transformed that melody into a superb love theme, which can be heard in full in “Wanda and Vision (Love Theme from “WandaVision”).”

I am not sure if this soundtrack is a pleasant listening experience on its own. The sitcom tracks are too short to really get into and naturally, they are quite cheesy. The real-world music is, with the exception of the themes, also very much in service of supporting the scenes, but with that said, Beck was up for a real challenge to write the music for such a complex show, and for me, he has totally delivered. Each cue fits perfectly to the moment it was written for, from the ‘50s to the present.

Listen or buy

Tracklist

1 written by Kristen Anderson‐Lopez and Robert Lopez

The highlights are in bold.

Episode 1

  1. A Newlywed Couple1 (0:54)
  2. Toast-Mate 2000 (0:53)
  3. Dinner Is Served (0:25)
  4. Calendar Confusion (1:04)
  5. Frog in My Throat (1:48)
  6. Thank You for Coming (0:44)
  7. Parcheesi (1:03)
  8. Rings (0:36)
  9. Wanda’s Theme (End Credits from “WandaVision”) (1:47)

Length: 9 minutes

Episode 2

  1. WandaVision! (0:53)
  2. Rehearsal (0:55)
  3. Unwelcome Visitor (0:59)
  4. Strucker (0:37)
  5. Giddy Up (0:32)
  6. Beekeeper (1:05)
  7. Exit Stage Left (1:44)
  8. It’s Really Happening (0:52)

Length: 7 minutes

Episode 3

  1. We Got Something Cooking1 (1:07)
  2. Uncharted Waters (1:06)
  3. The Strangest Thing (1:17)
  4. Hydra-Soak (0:39)
  5. A Stork in the House (0:49)
  6. Fish Pants (0:52)
  7. A Child Is Born (1:27)
  8. Twins (1:40)
  9. No Home (3:30)

Length: 12 minutes

Episode 4

  1. The Awakening (2:19)
  2. Three Weeks Later (2:17)
  3. Westview (2:42)
  4. S.W.O.R.D. (1:01)
  5. The Players (2:02)
  6. Stay Tuned (2:28)
  7. Everything Is Under Control (1:01)
  8. Mission Failure (1:48)
  9. Who Are You? (2:35)

Length: 18 minutes

Episode 5

  1. Making It Up As We Go Along1 (1:42)
  2. Ten Years Old (0:36)
  3. Lagos (0:30)
  4. Evaluation (3:08)
  5. Family Is Forever (0:53)
  6. Missile Strike (4:02)
  7. Cue Credits (0:29)
  8. Ode to Sparky (1:48)
  9. Pietro (3:11)

Length: 16 minutes

Episode 6

  1. Let’s Keep It Going1 (0:56)
  2. Traffic Light (0:30)
  3. Fish to Share (0:15)
  4. Water Balloon (0:31)
  5. Chile Con Carne (0:33)
  6. Hayward’s Secrets (2:08)
  7. Yo Magic (0:43)
  8. Frankenherb (1:01)
  9. Charming As Hell (0:46)
  10. Dead or Alive (4:51)
  11. Super Speed (0:42)
  12. Freeze Framed (0:56)
  13. Hexpansion (5:36)

Length: 19 minutes

Episode 7

  1. W-V 2000 (Instrumental)1 (0:34)
  2. Agatha All Along1 (1:02)
  3. Mondays (0:54)
  4. The New Clown (1:00)
  5. She’s Perfect (1:49)
  6. Getting Weird (0:27)
  7. Your House My House (0:44)
  8. Nexus (1:13)
  9. Godspeed, Captain (2:57)
  10. Rebirth (2:01)
  11. Storytelling (0:54)
  12. Trespasser (2:38)
  13. Lovely to Meet You (2:30)

Length: 18 minutes

Episode 8

  1. Salem (1:40)
  2. Witchnapped (4:49)
  3. Sokovia (2:10)
  4. War Zone (4:30)
  5. The Mind Stone (2:29)
  6. What Is Grief (3:53)
  7. Some Assembly Required (2:40)
  8. Genesis (6:07)
  9. Ready for Launch (1:24)
  10. Wanda and Vision (Love Theme from “WandaVision”) (2:32)

Length: 32 minutes

Episode 9

  1. Not a Witch (1:58)
  2. Surrender Your Magic (3:26)
  3. We Feel Your Pain (2:38)
  4. I Am Vision (3:07)
  5. Unintended Consequences (1:53)
  6. Born For It (2:12)
  7. I Want More (3:22)
  8. Home Again (3:43)
  9. Stand Down (1:49)
  10. Ascendant (2:41)
  11. What Am I (5:12)
  12. Now Leaving Westview (2:44)
  13. Reborn (1:21)

Length: 36 minutes

Hollywood Records (2021) 

Author

  • Anton is the editor-in-chief and founder of Soundtrack World. After writing about film music occasionally, he thought it was time to create his own site to celebrate music from film but also other media. Next to working on this website as a hobby Anton has a full-time job in IT and plays the tuba in a local orchestra.

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