Review: Music of Candyman, The
3.5 / 5 Stars
Ever since 1990, Philip Glass fans have been longing, begging, pleading, lying, stealing -bootlegging! - anything to get a hold of Glass' unreleased score for Candyman. Unfortunately, this gem of the Glass opus has been unattainable by the composer's own wishes, and has only been heard outside the film on "private" CDs with less than stellar sound quality. Now, through an exclusive deal with Amazon.com, the music from Candyman and the sequel, Candyman 2: Farewell to the Flesh is finally available in a legitimate, listenable form.
Aside from the lack of one haunting cue on the bootleg (track 11 on my copy), this disc is a flawless presentation of one of Glass' most haunting and accessible scores. Scored for piano, organ, and voices, the score boasts a beautiful, graceful theme, first presented in a version for music box, and restated in various forms over the album. As with most Glass scores, swift development is not something to be expected. However, many of the themes are more thoroughly developed than most by Glass. The highlights of the score are the ten-minute "Return To Cabrini," which segues over time from a haunting female vocal melody to a downright gothic piano solo, and "It Was Always You, Helen," which is quite possibly my favorite piece of choral writing in Glass' repertoire.
Also included on the disc is the score from Candyman 2: Farewell to the Flesh. The theme is back, though the horror music is less interesting than the first score. However, "Annie's Theme" features an amazing female vocal soloist, and is once again a far more developed theme than Glass listeners are used to. It is played out quite nicely in the second score's highlight, "The Demise of Candyman".
When all is said and done, there is a very good reason for all of the whining about this score's lack of release. It is one of the finest scores in Glass' opus, and certainly one of the most unique "horror" scores of the '90s. It also makes delightful trick-or-treat music, so be sure have this playing on your stereo this week - it will give the kids a fright.