Dark Shadows: Original Score (a J!-ENT World Groove Album Review)
April 27, 2012 by Dennis Amith
Another wonderful music collaboration between composer Danny Elfman and filmmaker Tim Burton. A soundtrack that is dark, eery with its powerful strings and haunting melodies, for those who have enjoyed Elfman’s music, especially his darker style of music over the years, will surely enjoy “Dark Shadows: Original Score”.
Image is courtesy of © 2012 WaterTower Music, 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522. Motion Picture Artwork © 2012 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved. Motion Picture Photography © 2012 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. – - U.S., Canada, Bahamas & Bermuda © 2012 Village Roadshow Films (BVI) Limited – - All Other Territories
TITLE: Dark Shadows: Original Score
LABEL: WaterTower Music
RELEASE DATE: May 8, 2012
- Dark Shadows Prologue (Uncut)
- Vicki Enters Collinwood
- Deadly Handshake
- Shadows (Reprise)
- Is It Her?
- Barnabas Comes Home
- Vicki’s Nightmare
- Hypno Music
- Killing Dr. Hoffman
- Dumping the Body
- Roger Departs
- Burn Baby Burn/In-Tombed
- Lava Lamp
- The Angry Mob
- House of Blood
- Final Confrontation
- Widows’ Hill (Finale)
- The End? (Uncut)
- More the End?
- We Will End You!
While Danny Elfman will always be remembered as being the founder and lead vocalist/musician of the band “Oingo Boingo”, Elfman will also be known as one of the legendary composers of Hollywood.
Having developed a working relationship with filmmaker Tim Burton with writing the score for “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure”, the collaboration would further blossom the following year as Elfman would score the first major “Batman” film.
Since then, he has scored many hit films and collaborated with many other filmmakers as well as creating the score for TV shows including “The Simpsons”. But it’s the collaboration with Tim Burton, which we hear their unique collaboration take effect in a fantasy, adventure or dark, brooding musical formation. May it be “Edward Scissorhands”, “Sleepy Hollow”, “Big Fish”, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “Corpse Bride” or “Alice in Wonderland”, the working relationship between both men have worked in cinema and musical harmony.
And now both Danny Elfman and Tim Burton will work again for the upcoming film “Dark Shadows”, a fantasy comedy film based on the popular gothic soap opera which aired on television back in 1996 through 1971.
The film stars Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins (a 200-year-old vampire) and Michelle Pfeiffer as his cousin Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, the matriarch of the Collins family.
For those not familiar with the “Dark Shadows” storyline, back in 1752, the Collins family move from England to North America where the son, Barnabas is a wealthy playboy living in Collinsport, Maine and is the master of the Collinwood Manor. The witch, Angelique Bouchard is deeply in love with him but Barnabas breaks her heart.
In return for breaking her heart, she turns Barnabas into a vampire and buries him alive.
That is until he is discovered and freed fro his coffin in modern times and finds out that the people who live in his mansion are quite dysfunctional and carry with them, dark secrets of their own.
For the original score of “Dark Shadows”, the music is produced by Danny Elfman and orchestrations were done with Steve Bartek, Edgardo Simone and David Slonaker. The orchestra leader is Thomas Bowes and conductor is Rick Wentworth. The film also features the Metro Voices Choir and the Cardinal Vaughan School Choir.
The soundtrack features 21 tracks and opens with the longest track on the album, “Dark Shadows – Prologue” which captures the dark and ominous style with organs and beautiful strings as we hear the choir. In many ways, it’s just as powerful as his original work on “Batman” with the use of strings and choir to reinforce that darker style which Elfman is known for.
And the brooding, choir and strings combination continues in other tracks which sound quite haunting on tracks such as “Resurrection”, “Vicki Enters Collinwood” and “Deadly Handshake”.
But then you hear a change in style as the short “Shadows Reprise” benefits from a digital touch of synth with the strings. And “House of Blood” utilizes screeching wings with haunted melodies.
There are also several tracks that are under a minute long such as “Is It Her”, “Hypno Music”, “Dumping the Body”.
But while the soundtrack is focused on the strings and choir and most tracks are dark in presentation, there one track is not as dark which was “Lava Lamp” which utilizes a xylophone and a woodwind instrument.
But for the majority of the tracks, especially for the later tracks, the soundtrack features plenty of tracks that are strings-driven with haunting melodies and choir-driven harmonies.
Once again, for those who are familiar with Danny Elfman’s work, this gothic style tends to prevail throughout the entire album and unlike another gothic soundtrack such as “The Corpse Bride” which allowed for satire, the orchestrations for “Dark Shadow” are primarily ominous and dark but yet keeping consistent with the the theme of the film and the dark secrets that surround the characters.
Overall, “Dark Shadows: Original Score” shows us why Danny Elfman is often the right person to take on these more ominous soundtracks. He manages to incorporate an enchanting, dark and eery side to his music, but yet manages to be one of the most versatile composers in the world for cinema.
If you enjoy Danny Elfman’s darker style of music, you will enjoy “Dark Shadows: Original Score”.
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