MIB3: Music by Danny Elfman (a J!-ENT World Groove Album Review)
June 16, 2012 by Dennis Amith
A”MIB 3: Music by Danny Elfman” is 54 minutes of energetic music, taking some the old and making something new. Recommended.
Image is courtesy of © 2012 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
TITLE: MIB3: Music by Danny Elfman
LABEL: Sony Classics
RELEASE DATE: May 22, 2012
- Men in Black 3 – Main Titles 5:54
- Spiky Bulba 2:18
- The Set-Up 3:36
- Headquarters 2:00
- Regret 3:03
- Wrong 1:02
- Not Funny 1:48
- Big Trouble 1:15
- Out on a Limb 2:00
- Time Jump 1:14
- Bad Fortune 1:14
- Forget Me Not 1:28
- Into the Past 1:38
- Griffin Steps Up 1:42
- True Story 0:41
- The Prize-Monocycles 3:56
- Boris Meets Boris 1:27
- Under the Bridge 5:52
- The Mission Begins 5:28
- Mission Accomplished 3:08
- A Close One 1:34
- Men in Black 3 – Main Title Revisited 1:33
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.
Award winning composer Danny Elfman is best known for his film collaboration with Tim Burton, from the early beginnings of writing the score for “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” (“Batman” films, “Edward Scissorhands”, “Sleepy Hollow”, “Big Fish”, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “Corpse Bride”, “Alice in Wonderland”, and most recently with “Dark Shadows”) and later on with films such as , he has scored many hit films and collaborated with many other filmmakers as well as creating the score for TV shows including “The Simpsons” and “Desperate Housewives”.
Outside of Elfman’s collaborations with Burton, many are familiar with his compositions on “Spider-Man 2″, “Terminator Salvation”, “Notorious”, “Real Steel”, “Charlotte’s Web” to name a few.
And in 2012, after the music composed for “Dark Shadows”, Elfman returns with another soundtrack for the third “Men in Black” film titled “MIB3: Music by Danny Elfman”.
“Men in Black 3″ is directed by Barry Sonnefeld with Steven Spielberg as the executive producer. The sci-fi comedy film stars Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin. And since its release in May 2012, the film has earned over $510 million in the box office.
Suffice to say, the film has been a major success, but in terms of its music, director Barry Sonnnefeld felt Elfman brought another dimension to the film.
Sonnenfeld said about Elfman in regards to his score for MIB3, “His score for Men in Black was everything I hoped it would be. He made MIB feel big and muscular. His score for MIB3 is even more. Danny has creatively taken the familiar and made it new and unique. He uses the perfect themes from teh first movie, and make them new, hip, energetic and emotional.”
The third soundtrack takes elements from the music he created in the first two films but now, with so much experience in creating music for film, there is also a maturity in his music. With that being said, it also becomes a caveat for those expecting something new musically.
And this is where things get a bit muddled in terms of continuing film series. It’s a given that elements of a previous film will make it into the sequel or prequel, we have seen John Williams do that many times through his career,
May it be “Star Wars”, “Indiana Jones”, “Jurassic Park”, the music is a tremendous part of the film, music that people remember and want to hear over and over again. As for the “Men in Black” films, I’m not sure if I remember Elfman’s music as much as I’ve remembered Will Smith’s “Men in Black”.
While Elfman’s main theme and closing themes are remembered, “Men in Black” is a film that had soundtracks which promoted the artists involved. Will Smith, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Alicia Keys, Destiny’s Child, etc.
This changed with the second film’s soundtrack which mostly promoted Danny Elfman’s music and now with the third film, another soundtrack featuring all Danny Elfman’s music and no, Pitbull fans, “Back in Time” is not included in this soundtrack.
But when it comes to Danny Elfman’s music, there are soundtracks that he has created, similar to John Williams music, that you can’t forget. With “Men in Black 3″, there is no doubt that the music that fans of the film will remember are the “Main Titles”.
But once you get beyond that, the music for “MIB3″ is quite enjoyable and pleasant. Yes, you get the blend of orchestral and synthesized music
From tracks such as “Main Titles”, “Spiky Bulba”, “Not Funny, “Big Trouble”, “Griffin Steps Up”, “The Prize-Monocycles” and “The Mission Begins” which features the Danny Elfman type of music that people are familiar with (especially in Tim Burton films).
But you also have tracks such as “Headquarters” which beautifully balances the orchestra and Elfman’s mastery on synth, but also a touch of electric guitar and even a touch of Latin percussion (which I am glad both are not overused).
But it’s tracks such as “Griffin Steps Up” that I most admire. Each of the tracks retain the Elfman magic but what it all comes down to is one’s appreciate of the music for the film. There is no worries of too much synth, nor are there pop/rock tracks that take people out of the music. If anything, “MIB 3: Music by Danny Elfman” is 54 minutes of energetic music, taking some the old and making something new.
While “Men in Black 3″, in my opinion, may not be the best in Danny Elfman’s tremendous musical oeuvre, it’s still a wonderful soundtrack which fans of the film will truly enjoy.
“MIB3: Music by Danny Elfman” is recommended.
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