It has been a while since Alan Silvestri
graced the screens with a score for an animated movie and it has been well worth the wait. First and fore most The Croods is a road movie and it could have easily fallen into the troupe of isolated incidental music. Surprisingly however Silvestri grounds the movie into two distinct themes: The Croods Family Theme and the discovery/love theme. The two themes are so closely related in musical structure that they often run together in their performances. The (Prologue) opens up with a tender version of the discovery theme on flute before moving on the playful tribal percussion underlying The Croods theme. Following the opening sequence is the cue (Smash and Grab), which features the USC Marching Band and a rather fun variation of the Fleetwood Mac song Tusk. This ultimately sets the fun tone for the first half of the album which does have the two themes but they are presented minimally between sequences of nothing more than 'Mickey Mousing'. In the wrong hands it would be a bad thing but I personally enjoy the symphonic chaos Silvestri creates particularly in (Fire and Corn) and (Turkey Fish Follies). Yet for all the cartoon zaniness that the first half of the album produces the later half seems more stable between moments with both of the two themes getting their biggest renditions in (Star Canopy)and(Epilogue). These later versions come complete with guitars, percussion and choral versions. In true Silvestri fashion the later half of the album has some impressive action music which serves to balance out the cartoon like first half. Cues like (Piranhakeets), (Cave Painting), and (Big Idea) demonstrate the power of Silvestri's writing the best. The album is rounded out with two cues so similar to each other that they are essentially one big 8 minute suite of the Croods Theme, (Cave Painting Theme) and (The Croods Family Theme). Both played so serenely that it is a pleasure to send off the album on. In the end though some listeners may be turned off by the amount of Mickey Mousing in the first half but I think that Silvestri handled it really well and the latter album is a blast. It is such a great return to form for Silvestri that even for all its faults it is still a pretty great score.
Read other recent reviews by Chris R.: Wreck-It Ralph
, Cloud Atlas