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Full 'The Dark Knight Rises' Soundtrack Now Streaming — And We've Broken It Down

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Jul 10, 2012 | 5:37am EDT

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Much like the movies themselves, Hans Zimmer's scores for Christopher Nolan's Batman films have pushed the envelope of blockbuster standards. Grand, dynamic, and surprisingly minimalist, the tracks that fill Batman Begins and The Dark Knight range from comic book beat-'em-up thrill rides, to emotionally devastating dirges, to white noise symphonies (only the clout of Nolan could get away with the Joker's theme "Why So Serious?"). Now, we have a first listen of Zimmer's score for The Dark Knight Rises and its equally impressive.

Yes, that's the full score for the movie, courtesy of Empire. Over the course of the 15-track soundtrack, Zimmer throws back to his previous work while continuing to innovate. Looking through the cues, there's also a lot to learn about the possible journey Batman embarks on in the picture. ALTWhat happens to Mr. Bruce Wayne from beginning to end of The Dark Knight Rises? Here's an exploration of the tracks, one by one, in hopes of arriving at a great understanding. Or at least one appreciative of this fantastic score:

Warning: potential spoilers within

1. "A Storm Coming / 2. On Thin Ice"

According to The Dark Knight Rises' official synopsis, Bruce Wayne has been out of the Batman game for eight years. Zimmer's reintroduction of the character feels sullen and, well, cold (sorry: "On Thin Ice" is most likely not a Mr. Freeze reference). That might be the headspace we find Wayne in when the movie first begins. How does a man who dedicated his life to fighting crime, but is now thought of as the murderer of Harvey Dent and a menace to society, feel after nearly a decade of taking a backseat? Probably not good.

3. "Gotham's Reckoning"

Bane's theme? Loud trumpets signal like battle cries, while pounding drums hinting at the chant that Zimmer whipped up (Deh-Shay, Deh-Shay, Bah-Sah-Rah!) with the help of thousands of Internet voices. Menacing and forbidding, the track kicks into high gear when the vocals come in. We'll probably hear this cue a few times over the course of the film, but expect it to set the tone for The Dark Knight Rises in the opening moments — an attack from a parachuting Bane hinted at in the trailers.

4. "Mind If I Cut In?"

In many of The Dark Knight Rises trailers, we've seen Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) whispering a few sweet nothings — and by sweet nothings, I mean terrifyingly broad hints at the destruction of Gotham City — into the ear of Bruce Wayne. Zimmer's delicate tap of piano keys in this cue could easily fit Kyle's cat burglarizing lifestyle and ability to creep in to any situation undetected. Even a dance.

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[Photo Credit: Warner Bros.]

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