The feeling is moot among his admirers that Edward Scissorhands
is the essential Elfman score to purchase and experience. In his fourth
collaboration with director Tim Burton, the composer creates a soundworld
that is instantly recognisable, themes that never lose their simple power
no matter how often they are used, and an intensity in closing sequences
that turns Burton's fairytale fable about a Frankenstein boy with scissors
for hands into a glimpse of the extraordinary. After the surprise success
of Batman, it was Edward Scissorhands that showed in no
uncertain terms that Elfman was no one-trick pony. Adding celeste and
harp to the traditional orchestra lends it a Tchaikovskian balletic delicacy,
and the high-voice chorus is a master-stroke that cemented the composer's
affinity with the sound. More than any other score, this wears its heart
on its sleeve: the romantic long-breathed themes, their torurous harmonic
journey, the dissonant gripping climax chase music, even the shameless
pink soundtrack CD sleeve. The CD has quite a generous duration of score,
but never outstays its welcome, mainly because the themes are a joy, and
slow is matched with fast, sad strings with a cheeky gypsy fiddle. Despite
the jaw-droppingly unlikely premise, the film itself reaches emotional
heights and plumbs melancholic depths that Burton has never since acheived,
and, along with fine acting, not least from Johnny Depp in the eponimous
role, the whole worked as a high point in their collective early careers.
But then Burton, Depp and Elfman have always been attracted by the unlikely.
An iconic film. The perfect score. An essential album.
Heck, even the obligatory song is fitting.
Rating: * * * * / * * * *
by the Groovy Yak
Edward Scissorhands is undoubtedly Danny's most beautiful
score. It has a twinkly, fairy-tale style that is hard to forget. The
choral work in this score works extremely well. There are two themes that
control this score. They are both sentimental and emotional. The first
theme is the hauntingly pretty main theme that depicts Edward and the
second is the love theme between Edward and Winona Rider's character.
(Her name escapes me at this moment.) The rest of the score is full of
Danny's favorite instruments: bongos, vibes, and oboe. The score never
gets very excited or bombastic until the finale. The finale should give
even the most rigid person goosebumps as Danny reprises his themes with
the orchestra and choir at full power. Besides the choral sections of
the score, there are some fun moments. Danny paints a picture of suburbia
with a quirky, Tim Burton-esque style. However, when the movie starts
to pull away from the fairy tale aspects and changes to a more violent,
Hollywood style ending, the music changes as well. It moves from light
and magical to dark and violent. This is Danny's favorite score and we
can definitely tell. He puts all of his heart into itsomething many
film composers don't do anymore.
Rating: * * * * / * * * *