Various Artists

Iron Man 3: Heroes Fall: Music Inspired by the Motion Picture

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For 2010's Iron Man 2 soundtrack, rock legends AC/DC allowed the producers to compile a handful of their best-known tracks to accompany the big-budget superhero sequel. The result was cheeky and lent a bit of rock & roll muscle to the comic book fun of the film. For 2013's Iron Man 3: Heroes Fall, gone is Angus Young's flagrant Gibson guitar crunch, replaced by a weak-knuckled collection of particularly ineffectual indie pop cuts by the likes of Passion Pit, Neon Trees, and Rogue Wave. Since many of the tracks here are by bands that lean toward mixing atmospheric synthesizer pop with some post-U2 guitar uplift, it leaves the general impression of being acceptable, if rather indistinct background music for a film. Wolfmother lead man Andrew Stockdale makes the biggest noise here with his bluesy solo turn on "Keep Moving." That said, nothing much is as anthemic and fist-pumping as any one of the AC/DC cuts from Iron Man 2. In fact, some cuts, like 3OH!3's "Bad Guy," primarily grab your attention for how utterly inane they are. Any album that opens with a high concept song about war from the middling radio pablum outfit Imagine Dragons -- certainly the Spin Doctors of their time -- and ends with a turgid dance-rock cover of Sly Fox's "Let's Go All the Way," by the Wondergirls featuring Robbie Williams, pretty much deserves to end up on the scrap pile of soundtracks.

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