Unlike the Shrek films from which Puss in Boots is derived, Henry Jackman’s score is a robust, all-orchestral soundtrack based around a Latin-fusion style instead of the more favoured pastiche of interpolating contemporary songs and topical musical references.
Integrated into the score are a pair of non-film songs by Latin guitar band Rodrigo y Gabriela (of which the lengthy “Diablo Rojo” is an explosive delicacy), plus plenty of Latin rhythms and guitar textures that Jackman’s layered into his rambunctious writing style.
Generally grounded in fairly classical Hollywood composition, Puss in Boots is reliant on strong themes which Jackman spins into heroic, desperate, and combative guises, and a playful use of the orchestra’s dynamics, frequently alternating between lush romantic strings, tongue-in-cheek brassy bravado, and great big surges of sound for dramatic punctuation in action cues such as “Wagon Chase.”
Running just over an hour, Sony’s CD offers an excellent range of cues, and fans of Jackman’s Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) will recognize Jackman’s patented deftness in gliding through various moods with seamless ease. A romantic undercurrent gives the score added warmth, and the epic instrumental scope guarantees repeated plays.
© 2011 Mark R. Hasan