4 / 5 Stars
Nepotism can result in wonderful things. Witness Titus, Julie Taymor's major motion picture directing debut. While opinions on the film itself vary greatly, it is widely agreed that the score penned by her husband, Elliot Goldenthal, is quite a piece of work. A sort of retrospective of his career to date with some twisted swing music thrown in for good measure; it's quite a delightif not the most coherent of albums.
The album's hook, like the film's, is a spectacular one. "Victorious Titus" gives us a full adult choir along with heavy percussion and winds to accompany a strangely choreographed march onscreen. Here again, I fall into the habit of making note of the first and last score tracks as individuals, and all the rest as a collective. The "collective" is eclectic and diverse, ranging from wild swing music (most notably in track 4, after a trippy sax duet) to heavy metal rock (with some creepy voice samples, sounding as though they're taken from Goldenthal himself). The "Revenge Wheel" cue is short but sweet, with some wonderful brass sonorities and furious strings.
The icing on the cake, though, is the "Finale," which seems to take all that was good about Goldenthal's coda to Michael Collins and expand on itimproving upon it. I never figured I'd hear a cue of his that topped Collins, but this one at least equals it.
All in all, either because of the film or in spite of it, Elliot Goldenthal has found inspiration enough to create a score worth waiting for (after his year-long hiatus). We can only look forward to future collaborations from this immensely talented husband-and-wife team.