Music from Disney's California Adventure
Walt Disney Records (60044-7)
Release Date: 2001
|1.||On the Edge||3:11|
|4.||Steps In Time Finale||3:47|
|5.||Chase and Finale||5:38|
|7.||Beauty and the Bees (Beauty and the Beast)||2:19|
|8.||It's Tough to Be a Bug||0:48|
|9.||Seasons of the Vine Medley||4:32|
|10.||Just One Dream||4:07|
|11.||The Bakery Theme||3:28|
|13.||Eureka! - A California Parade||9:23|
|Total Album Time:||51:16|
|by James Barry
on May 10th, 2003
Never mind the under-whelming initial turnout, or the complaints of over-pricing; foresight at the Disney Corporation saw Disney's California Adventure being a huge boon for the company. Set aside all thoughts of the budget cutbacks that presently plague the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim - remember only that the company spared little expense in creating this park. From a musical standpoint, that means a lot of music - a lot of licensing, and quite a bit of original material. At any given time, a film music lover walking through the park will be met with scores ranging from The Accidental Tourist to Remember the Titans, and just about everything in between. Perhaps somewhat unfortunately, none of this music is on the Music from Disney's California Adventure disc. The music on this album is original music for the park, and of it's fifty-minutes, about twenty-five are listenable, with ten being extraordinary.
Firstly, take my word when I advise you to summarily ignore the first three tracks on the album. Ask any Cast Member at the resort, and they will be hard-pressed to tell you where (or why) you'd hear them. The fourth track is the finale from the insanely banal "Steps In Time" show. It's typical Disney park music - it's like the plague, in that it's dreadful, but very contagious. Of the Hollywood music, "Lights! Camera! Chaos!" is easily the best. Entirely synthesized, it's got a very percussive feel that sustains it through its entire duration.
On the lighter side of things, the music from "It's Tough To Be a Bug" (taken from Disneyworld in Florida) is a hoot, including bees humming the theme from "Beauty and the Beast." This material is arranged by the ever-versatile Bruce Broughton, whose chamber score to "Seasons of the Vine" is one of the album's two outstanding delights. It is lively, sometimes boisterous music that is possibly the best on the album at capturing the so-called "Spirit of California."
None of Broughton's work on the show "Golden Dreams" is featured on the disc, but the song "Just One Dream" is. It's a textbook power ballad; it's pleasant enough, but it's hardly unique. "The Bakery Theme," I suppose, will appeal to the contemporary jazz crowd; it doesn't do much for me.
Your enjoyment of the last two tracks on the album probably will have to do with your idea of the park. The California Screamin' music sounds alternately like demonic clowns and an over-polished surf rock band. The music for the Eureka parade is pleasant enough at first, but becomes grating at over nine minutes. It's also worth noting that the lyrics are absurd, to put it bluntly.
Of course, I'm saving the best for last. Since before the official opening of the park, Disney received numerous requests for Jerry Goldsmith's spectacular score for Soarin' Over California. Those who are convinced that he's in a creative downward spiral will find this a breath of fresh air. Reminiscent of the sweeping horn themes of scores like The Edge and Rudy, "Soarin'" features what is arguably Goldsmith's best and most well-rounded output in years, and a theme memorable enough to have you humming it after the first time out. Goldsmith fans are used to spending ludicrous amounts to round out their collection - this one's certainly worth tracking down for these five minutes.
In closing, the album is worth getting a hold of for Goldsmith and Broughton's contributions. Those of you who haven't got access to the park can order the disc through Intrada, or through the Disneyland Resort's merchandise delivery service (a telephone number is available at the Resort web site).
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