5 out of 5
Label: Waxwork Records
Produced by: (Jerry Goldsmith?)
Jerry Goldsmith’s scores, to me, tend to register in the same vein as those of John Williams: they’re recognizable, and rich, and generally align with a certain “type” of film. This is rather reductive for composers who’ve scored so many classics (of a diverse range of films), but I can’t help the association: Williams does the big blockbusters from the 80s and 90s; Goldsmith does the quirkier stuff – Poltergeists, Gremlins – while still operating in an operatic and professionally catchy mold. Fun, but not always the most surprising scores, I suppose.
But man, The ‘Burbs score just clicks. There’s just enough quirk married to Goldsmith’s flourishing tendencies to make it an exciting ride all the way through, varying between funny themes, nods to other classic tunes and motifs, and then an emotive backbone the ties it altogether into an experience and not just a collection of cues. Waxwork’s complete capture of the music (the full 33-track run) allows for experiencing the unique ebb and flow of moods Joe Dante’s movie goes through, reintroducing throughout a recognizable “discovery” theme that cleverly makes appearances between wonderful string arrangements and humorous (and/or weird) asides. The score never feels predictable, but it’s always cohesive.
My copy of this has some surface noise, for which I was going to mark this down, but I suspect that’s just mine (or my player), as other listeners haven’t reported the same. So setting that aside, Waxwork’s packaging is really beautiful on this one, with nice thematic art and colors.