Ooo! More music!
CD: Men in Black 3 (2012)
Review Rating:   Very Good
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Sony Classical
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May 29, 2012

Tracks / Album Length:

22 tracks / (53:44)


Composer: Danny Elfman

Special Notes:

12-page colour booklet.

Comments :    

When a composer returns to a franchise and is supposed to write a score that’s fresh yet cohesive for its core characters, it’s a tough balancing act that may work fine in the finished film, but for the soundtrack album, the fear among fans is a merely serviceable & functional score – basically a regurgitation of familiar themes that build on nothing.

MIB3 seemed to disappear from cinemas because of audience indifference to a project that never should’ve been made in the first place (particularly since MIB 2 was an overtly blah sequel), yet for Danny Elfman, he seemed to decide the best way to tackle the familiar is to have a bit more fun and indulge in more raucous action cues with just slight adjustments to the MIB sound.

Fairly new is a screeching electric guitar and lots of harmonically warped string glissandi, but Elfman channels his inner Bernard Herrmann to great effect – not emoting or mimicking Herrmann’s chords and subtle electronics, but deepening the existing orchestral rock sound into something more epic. Action cues are more robust, cool scenes have jazzy woodwinds, and the electric bass is very thick. Another plus is a fairly engaging narrative that moves from intro theme statements to variations that are tender, absurd, and frenetic, so there’s enough diversity to keep the album’s running time pretty solid; any extra cues would’ve made things a bit more repetitive, so Sony’s CD offers a clean presentation of a score that’s nostalgic for Elfman’s own genre sounds as well as his own signature use of churning rhythms, ‘Oooing’ chorals, and rapid-fire brass.

Elfman doesn’t add anything radical to the MIB domain, but his third outing is pleasantly surprisingly, and fun.


© 2012 Mark R. Hasan

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