May 12, 2012

Filthy Music Review - Dark Shadows Original Score

Dark Shadows: Original Score

Review by Jude Felton

I don’t review as many film scores as I would like, but I do listen to a lot of them. Not soundtracks, but scores, give me some Fabio Frizzi, Ennio Morricone or Hans Zimmer over a thrown together bunch of metal songs any day of the week. A good score will enhance the viewing experience, and in essence become another character in the movie, and soundtracks just can’t do that. Ok, so the occasion one can, but they are few and far between.

One of the most distinctive composers of modern times is without a doubt Danny Elfman, and he is also one of the most prolific. Of the many movies he has scored it has always been his collaborations have been with director Tim Burton, and invariably Johnny Depp. They seem to feed off each other and as a result Elfman has delivered some truly memorable scores.
The latest is of course this which I am reviewing now; Dark Shadows. The film itself is a modern day adaptation of the cult vampire soap opera of the same name, a show I will admit to not having watching. However, I am a fan of Burton and more to the point Elfman, so I was intrigued to see what he would deliver this time out. Of course, he delivers the goods.

From the opening strains of the epic Dark Shadows: Prologue, Elfman has composed a score that fits the era of the movie, that being the early 1970’s, whilst also keeping a modern feel to the music. I personally would not say that it is the most distinctive score I have heard from Elfman; it doesn’t have that one tune that sticks in the mind, even when he is riffing on the original show’s theme. That being said, it is a consistently solid album, full of atmosphere and one that does vividly bring to life images of Depp in full on Barnabas Collins regalia.

Personal favorites from the 21 tracks would be Final Confrontation and The End, which is followed by More the End and We Will End You. Even the score manages to infuse some of the humor found in so many of Burton’s movies.

This might not be Elfman’s best score; it is however just under an hour of good music. It has been with me in the car for a couple of weeks now, and I don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon. 

Dark Shadows: Original Score by Danny Elfman is available now and is released by WaterTower Music.

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