Cobra Kai (Season 1)

Zach Robinson and Leo Birenberg

" Cobra Kai shows no mercy from the start "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

Cobrai Kai, the continuation of what seemed to be a long lost forgotten franchise of the 80's. The Karate Kid movies were fairly popular in that time, mostly through its iconic first part and a fairly accessible second part, only to be pushed in oblivion through a weak 3rd and 4th movie. However it had a wonderful role for the late Pat Morita (mostly enhanced in the first film) and a wonderful batch of music coming from underdog king of then Bill Conti. So who knew The Karate Kid magic would punch gold on Netflix. Renewed for a 5th season, Cobra Kai does everything right. It doesn't forget the old generation, and it doesn't disappoint the new. Every classic vibe is felt through Ralph Macchio and William Zabka (who is the true star of this series), every new-felt energy is felt through the amazing young cast that does more than just kicking a punch. And unknown duo composers Zach Robinson and Leo Birenberg just started pouring their own magic to it, whilst never forgetting the classic melodies of Bill Conti. Yes Cobra Kai gets better by the seasons, and the same can be said about the music.

This first season is just a warm up session, knowing what's coming in season 2 and 3. But we must begin somewhere. Every movie / series / game needs a hook, a theme you can relate with. Cobra Kai might miss a few opportunities that could easily represent the most prominent characters, but it does have an uber cool heroic theme that will reveal itself time and time again throughout the seasons. Briefly heard at the begin of "The All-Valley Tournament", cooly disguised in the uber cool "Slither" and sounding more determent then ever in "Balance" and "Time Out". It is a hook that gains weight the more you hear it.

But we can not dismiss what follows between it, luring you back to the good old 80's is the pop oriented score. Electric guitars and keyboards, uber charged through a shouting male chorus which occasionally fires things up, it gives Cobra Kai the nostalgic and above all cool sound it's looking for. "Awake the Snake", "Strike First", "Johnny's Story", to name but just a few.

But the biggest treat is still when nostalgia finds that good old Karate Kid magic. It's heard when the composers are channeling their inner Bill Conti. Alongside the many scenes they "steal from the pictures", so to are they copying the real music of the films. But sometimes they need to re create it themselves, and then simple gestures like soothing Asian music in "Miyagi Memories" or "Bonsai Lessons" are so easy to appreciate. The real deal is "Miyagi-Do" and "The Wrong Path" (which is cool because it houses the Conti theme, the main theme and a much underused serenity theme representing mostly Daniel Larusso).

Cobra Kai "Season 1" in general is foremost a warm up session. It represents all the things that will grow in the latter seasons, but it sets the tone for what is a fantastic series from the start. Whether 80's sounding, whether rocking or whether soothing, the composers somehow find a perfect balance between what's old and what's new. Giving each generation a sound they can relate with. And don't get me started on how LOUD it's mixed in the series. Just the way it needs to be, music that has a story to tell alongside the actors and plot. This first season is not the best, but it does kick things into motion, something that gets expanded in the seasons to come.

Track Listing

1. Awake the Snake (2.07)
2. Ace Degenerate (1.25)
3. Miyagi Memories (1.34)
4. Strike First (1.06)
5. Father and Son (0.38)
6. 50th Anniversary (1.01)
7. The All-Valley Tournament (3.34) Excellent track
8. A Badass Name for a Dojo (0.37)
9. Miyagi-Do * (1.52)
10. Slither (1.53) Excellent track
11. Cobra Guy (0.49)
12. Balance (1.03)
13. Speak Up, Lip (0.57)
14. Stone vs. Diaz (1.40)
15. Johnny's Story (2.28)
16. You Earned It (0.51)
17. Quiver (1.08)
18. Venomous (1.15)
19. Bonsai Lessons (1.50)
20. Ophidiophobia (2.16)
21. The Wrong Path * (1.58)
22. Final Match (1.48)
23. The Cobra and the Mongoose (1.19)
24. Time Out (1.35) Excellent track
25. No Mercy (1.14)
26. Miyagi’s Tomb * (2.42)
27. The New Champion (1.37)
28. King Cobra (1.37)

29. Snake Charmer (0.47)
30. Rough Day (1.57)
31. Sensei Sam (1.31)
32. Fought With Honor (1.03)
33. Bathroom Attack (0.54)
34. Defanged (1.05)
35. Wangless Dork (1.00)
36. Firebird Gone (1.38)
37. LaRusso Auto Group (0.42)

* interpolates portions of Bill Conti’s score from The Karate Kid film series

Total Length: 54.46
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Released by

La-La Land Records LLLCD 1461 (regular release 2018)