Reviews - Edward Scissorhands

Review by Bluntinstrument

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: * * * * / * * * *

Review 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 it—something many film composers don't do anymore.
Rating: * * * * / * * * *

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