Total Time: (54:45)
|Composition: Danny Elfman|
Orchestration: Steve Bartek
Conductor: Shirley Walker
Performance: Sinfonia of London
Batman is, for the most part, a dark comedy, quite typical of Tim Burton movies and what is generally typical of Elfman's composition. The score functions well as an almost grotesquely silly backdrop to the film. It is not purely wonderful, Elfman would have done better to write his own love theme for the film rather than use the melody from Prince's "Scandalous" from the useless song compilation, though Stephen Foster's "Beautiful Dreamer" works very well as a darkly comedic love theme for the Joker, and Elfman makes keen utilization of it.
Each track functions quite well for all intents and purposes, though a few such as "Childhood Remembered" and "Roasted Dude" don't have quite the same effect on CD as they do in the film. Many people have been obliged to claim "Descent into Mystery" as their favorite track, and I must admit that that goes for me to. This incredibly rousing variation on the main theme is inspired by Orff's "O Fortuna" from Carmina Burana and is probably the best single track that Elfman has ever composed, though "The Grand Finale" from Edward Scissorhands comes pretty close.
Batman is a fine example of film scoring, and I believe that just about any fan of film music will like it, even if that fan doesn't care much for Elfman's music like me. This was an introduction into film music for a lot of people and it spawned a sequel score that has had many mixed opinions. I have not heard the sequel score though, and therefore cannon make any judgements on it at this time. Fans of Elfman, the Batman character, or film music in general had best pick up this album right away.