Reviews - Anywhere But Here

Review by the Groovy Yak

There are so many people out there who identify Danny Elfman as the master of "dark and creepy movie melodies." If only those people could hear Anywhere But Here. They'd see Elfman as a brilliant composer capable of writing for any type of film. Anywhere But Here is definitely not the type of film you'd associate with Elfman.
Anywhere But Here is completely about the relationship between a mother and daughter. It's directed by Wayne Wang. (who directed another tear-inducing "chick-flick," The Joy Luck Club) Susan Sarandon plays a mother who really loves her daughter (Natalie Portman) and takes her away to California to start a new life.
Elfman's score has a lot of the elements that made Good Will Hunting the warm and tender score that it is. You'll find solo piano, acoustic guitar, and flute to name a few. The most important element of Anywhere But Here, though, is the female voice. Elfman does a wonderful job of using the female voice throughout the score. The beauty of it floats in and out of different passages, accompanied by piano, guitar, or strings. However, it's when Elfman adds in a drumset with the guitars, that we get to hear a very beautiful wordless pop-rock vocal performance. (The voice, I believe, is Poe)
And, well, that pretty much sums up the score portion of the album...The album features only one track of Danny's score. The rest of the album features a very wide range of popular female artists- from K.D. Lang, Lisa Loeb, and Sarah McLachlan, to Carly Simon, Poe, and LeAnn Rimes. It's not really for us Y-chromosome people...but if you're a female and you like many of today's female solo artists, this album has your name on it. (It also should be noted that Danny wrote the song Strange Wind, performed by Poe. It's a great soft rock song- containing thematic material from the score.)
Rating: * * (due to very little Elfman exposure.)


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