Composer Danny Elfman never ceases to please and also amaze me. He has created some of the most memorable and iconic sounding film scores over a period of some twenty years or so. Although Elfman has an undeniable style and sound all of his own, he never it seems likes to rest on his laurels or utilize that style to the extent of it becoming boring or tired, he somehow seems to re-invent his style and although we are aware that this is Danny Elfman we also hear new and refreshing nuances and an energy and vitality that is ever present within each and ever work he produces for the world of motion pictures. The composer has in recent months been at his busiest and dare I say it has also been at his most creative and innovative. One of his recent assignments is HITCHCOCK, I suppose it would have been something of an easy task for the composer to fill the score for this movie with Hermannesque sounding passages or arrangements of themes and compositions from the films of the Master of the macabre, He has however I am pleased to say to a certain extent resisted this, I say to a certain extent because there are within the score some obvious nods of acknowledgement to the great Hollywood composer Bernard Herrmann, but these are interwoven into the frame work of Elfman,s soundtrack and are not direct or deliberate arrangements of any of the composers music for Hitchcock movies, instead the style of Hermann is emphasised by Elfman and these interludes are complimented by the ever present quirky but also original sound that is created by Elfman which is a sound that has become familiar to cinema goers and soundtrack collectors all over the globe. HITCHCOCK is a score that is in many ways poignant and emotive and also at times has a melancholic sound about it, at other times it is full of comedic life and mischief, plus there are sombre and darker sounding moments which seem to hold the work together and act as an underlying foundation to Elfman’s score. All of these elements are brought together and like a big patchwork quilt are woven together by the composer to create a sound that is rich and pleasing, original and haunting and entertaining in every sense of the word. Elfman as I have already said has had a busy 2011/12, and has written the soundtracks for some of the past 12 months more interesting movies, FRANKENWEENIE for example which is a darkly grotesque but at the same time comedic and melancholy sounding score, that harkens back to the days of the old black and white Universal horror classics.
He was also responsible for scoring the return of Will Smith in the ever popular Men in Black series MIB 3 and of course there are the scores for SILVER LININGS and DARK SHADOWS all of which have had the unmistakable musical fingerprint of Elfman placed upon them but each of them contain their own identity and originality. Personally for me HITCHCOCK is the favourite Elfman out of all the titles I have mentioned, simply because it is so well written and I would recommend this to any collector of film music and certainly ask for collectors not yet converted to Elf-ism, to savour it and maybe after doing so they too will also become followers of this composer, to say that this score is an example of the composer coming of age would I think be wrong or even an understatement, because Danny Elfman has certainly earned his film music wings, this is a score that is sophisticated and meticulously crafted and one that I am certain will raise awareness even more of the talent of this composer.