Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Friday, October 10, 2008


Music by Patrick Doyle
Varese Sarabande VSD-6926 (EU)
23 Tracks 61:35 mins

This new animation, based it would seem on the Frankenstein story, tells of a hunchbacked assistant to an evil scientist, who has designs on becoming a scientist in his own right. Character voices are provides by the likes of John Cusack, John Cleese, Steve Buscemi, Eddie Izzard, Myleene Klass and even chatshow host Jay Leno. The music is courtesy of Patrick Doyle and is performed by the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra and Choir.
When I first gave the disc a spin, I was immediately concerned that it might be another case of "the curse of the temp track" as, after the opening, fairytale-like piano solo "Eva," the title track is very Elfmanesque and straight out of Edward Scissorhands territory, a kind of determined march-like theme, with choral embellishments. The more subdued and whimsical "Scamper & Brain" follows, ending with a brief variation on the main theme. A fiddle-lead tango breaks free of "Schadenfraude," followed by the carefree waltz-like "Heidi." Some menace is provided by "Except the King," though it does have a somewhat authoratitive theme running through it. Choral awe opens "Evil Burn," giving way to a flowing action theme, which in turn gives way to some pretty sinister scoring to conclude. "Brain Wash" is dark and quirky, with a menacing ending; whilst "Oven Bun" is largely a low-key, sneaky affair. "Acting Me and Me" is delightfully old fashioned and almost reminiscent of the kind of music associated with the silent movies era, complete with tinkling piano. "Cliff Chase" continues this feel, before developing into a horns-lead rhythmic action piece. More of the silent movie style returns in "Plucky Eva," with tender romance in "Opening Night Presents" following on pian, flute and violin. Completely at odds with what's gone before comes the Caribbean-flavoured "Hot Tub Rub." "Falling For Director" opens passionately on piano and strings, but the track turns much darker as it continues. After a big, impressive opening, "Evil Science Fair," continues quite excitedly, then turns suddenly exotic with choir returning powerfully at its conclusion. "Secret Passage" moves along swiftly to begin with, but turns somewhat awe-filled to end. The following "Through The Clouds" soars, as the title suggests, enhanced by soprano Ann de Renais' wordless vocals. There's a reprise of the "Evil Science Fair" opening, giving way to purposeful action in "Let's Get Evil;" followed by the lengthy action set-piece "Evil Annie" which, as the title suggests, quotes extensively the famous "Tomorrow" from the Annie stage show. All ends happily with the joyous "Malaria Community Theatre;" the album concluding, as it opened with solo piano, this time performing what has become the love theme.
To conclude, whilst there seems to be a definite Elfman influence on the score, particularly in the early tracks, which is perhaps unsurprising given the nature and style of the film, there is enough of Doyle's own style present to enjoy on its own terms, and the resulting album is always entertaining.


Post a Comment

<< Home