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    HELLBOY II is now on iTunes!

    Danny Elfman - Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)


    Well, hell yeah! Nice high quality, too!


    I’ve listened to the whole thing about 3 times now. Really sub-par effort. Like MIB II, only with all the juicy MIB theme parts taken out.


    I, too, found it lacking. I think he used up his good thematic ideas on ‘Wanted.’ Will give it a couple more listens for details.


    I would have thought that Del Toro’s visual style would have elicited a much more engaging score from Elfman, since he’s driven by visuals. My only fear is that when an Elfman score is lackluster it’s usually because the movie is just as bad…

    As for thematic elements in Hellboy II — there weren’t many. The title theme shows up in only a couple places in the score. Most of the score seems disconnected from thematic elements — most of it is mindless action music ala Planet of the Apes and MIB II.


    Folks how can anyone be disappointed by the sheer size of some of these cues? There’s a great sense of expanse, a majestic quality from “A Dilemma” right on through to the finale. And this album is loaded with pure Elfmanisms. Keep at it, keep listening and the HB2 picture will slowly materialize for you. I’m loving the score and I’m about 4 times through now.


    Ryan, I agree, and I was totally wrong. This score does need more than a single listen to pass judgment, but there’s a crap-ton that I missed the first time ’round. While I think the themes still aren’t very notable in comparison to his other scores this year, he does a lot with them and they’re everywhere! This is definitely one that needs to grow on the listener, much like Hulk did for me, but I’m starting to “get it.” I can’t wait to hear it in the film’s context.


    Ryan, I too have to agree, this score is amazing. Yeah, it may not be as thematic as we all hoped, but there is more old school Elfman-isms that I haven’t heard in such a long time. It’s almost good he doesn’t have a solid theme so he can be free to run wild and not sound too repetitive; and this gives the score a huge range. Not to mention, there are some tracks that are just GORGEOUS. Please people, keep listening. I’m a huge fan of this score so far. This has been a GREAT Elfman year.



    Just because it contains “Elfmanisms” doesn’t make it a good score. A clear, concise thematic representation is what’s needed to make an imprint on the viewer and the listener. This is a wash of Elfman noise!

    I’ve always had a problem with Elfman scores that use a very small melodic range — the main motif in Frighteners as well as Red Dragon. The theme for Hellboy II is a lot more like Red Dragon — the violin ostinati with the brass/basses playing the half note melody. That kind of thematic structure isn’t very interesting and is difficult for the listener to dissect, especially when you hear it in the film. Also, the theme tends to avoid changing keys and seems stuck in one key. The melody doesn’t lend itself to change keys very often, therefore losing much of Elfman’s jagged-yet-beautiful chord progressions.

    Overall I think it’s merely adequate, like Red Dragon — pretty dry and dense, without many immediately accessible hooks that would lead to dissection of the themes. The only interesting thing here so far is the use of Theremin and the metal percussion used.


    I thought Red Dragon was a brilliant score.


    Apparently it’s not one of the very few that InternationalGenius likes.

    Mr. Dantz

    Don’t diss Red Dragon ’round here, man. You’ll wish you hadn’t.

    And when did music become a science?


    A clear, concise thematic representation is what’s needed to make an imprint on the viewer and the listener.

    I would say that Dead Presidents disagrees with you. That theme is just a rhythmic figure, and it’s extremely effective.


    I whole-heartedly disagree.

    “A clear concise thematic representation” sounds like a business report not a work of art. Boring.
    I like my art challenging and requiring a little participation and active attention on my part. I like it when things aren’t just laid out, where your understanding of the work evolves over time, not just during the two hours you spend sitting in the theater or browsing through the disc.

    This is why Elfman remains one of the few modern film composers who can still get me excited.

    Interesting side-note I was noticing about WANTED –

    Elfman has been quoting Shostakovich’s DSCH motif for some time now… (Shostakovich’s use of this is most prominently displayed in his String Quartet no. 8)

    The first time I clearly noticed it in an Elfman work was during the opening bars of the Prelude to Dolores Claiborne (the music over the logos, not contained on the album proper), and then it appears again during ‘Blue Strings’ from Serenada…. And, now it has finally made it’s way into forming the basis of one of his major themes from Wanted – very appropriate, considering the Russian nature of the film.

    Just wanted to share that, as I thought it was very crafty of Elfman to work that in there.

    Here’s a link that talks about the DSCH motif >



    Why’s everybody making such a big deal about Hellboy 2? Doesn’t everybody know that the album for the Dark Knight is coming out soon?

    ….just kiddin’


    Wow…. What a surprise. I got the cd today, and I wasn’t very excited, since a lot of people were very disappointed by the score… And once again, I realize that it’s stupid to rely on other people’s tastes and critics.

    The album is simply AMAZING. Who said there’s no theme?!!?? There are at least two beautiful and specific themes. It’s as if Elfman had decided to create a score that would reflect all the styles he’s done in the past decades. I hear a lot of NIGHTBREED in it, as well as a magical theme that reminds me of EDWARD SCISSORHANDS. The percussions are similar to Planet Of The Apes, and some parts like “A troll market” sound like Mars Attacks.

    It’s one of these scores you can’t get tired of because it NEVER repeats itself.

    I think that the people who didn’t like it simply didn’t understand it because it’s very rich, and there’s a lot to listen to. It keeps getting better and better with every listen, and I really love the ethnic music that finishes the album.

    These last four months have been very interesting, Elfman-ly speaking. Three albums, and three masterpieces!!! I feel way better now, because I muss admit I really didn’t like Meet The Robinsons (even the full score version) and I really couldn’t stand Kingdom….!


    boingomusic Wrote:

    > > These last four months have been very interesting,
    > Elfman-ly speaking. Three albums, and three
    > masterpieces!!! I feel way better now, because I
    > muss admit I really didn’t like Meet The Robinsons
    > (even the full score version) and I really
    > couldn’t stand Kingdom….!

    I somewhat agree about Meet The Robinsons because that score felt kinda like been there done that and I can’t help noticing the Copse Bride theme in the score. Almost sounded like it was copied and pasted in the score in some parts. Of this decade maybe even ever is the only time I’ve been disappointed by an Elfman score as much as I hate to admit it. But MTR does grow me on repeated listenings. The Kingdom I have to disagree with. I think the score was a bold move for Elfman. I think he chose to do that project because of all the fantasy kids movies he’s been scoring at the time and wanted to go with a different genre. Theres no other way to score The Kingdom but the direction Elfman went with, IMO. The Kingdom is one of those scores where I get hungry for more and more. It’s a very underrated score. I think a lot of people hate it because of how synth heavy it is. But I love it when Elfman challenges himself and make ballsy moves like that.


    Well, I totally understand how you feel about The Kingdom, and I admint I don’t really like electronic-based scores… So that’s maybe why I didn’t like it. I never said it was bad, and it really suited perfectly the movie, so I guess it’s a good score, but I just don’t like it… But as you said, it’s nice to see Danny try new styles….

    Anyway, it’s not the first time Elfman goes for more modern scores…. If we look back, there’s WISDOM, that was all electronics (another score that people usually don’t like much), and there was Midnight Run (not electronic, but with a band)… Of course, a lot of people (like me) loved Midnight Run even if it wasn’t orchestral, because it had that Oingo Boingo sound, plus the whole thing was variations on the Boingo “Try To Believe” song.

    I’m really happy to see that some people loved The Kingdom. Don’t get me wrong, i admire the maestro’s work, and it’s nice to hear a modern orchestral-electronic score that DOESN’T sound like a MediaVentures product, but I’m very happy to see that Danny got back to a style we had not heard for a long time now…

    Elfman’s last works really show how talented this composer is… Kingdom, Standard Operating Procedure, Wanted, Hellboy II : four different approaches! And I don’t even mention the fact that he got back to writing and singing a rock song!!!

    Wow, what a year…

    Danny Burton

    So, what happened with those rumors that Del Toro was unhappy with the score?

    Was that thread deleted??


    Couldn’t be confirmed so I deleted it, so let’s leave it at that before it becomes chatter.


    I’ll criticize Elfman when it’s due and it’s definitely due here, dude(s). It seems like you guys are members of a cult where Elfman can do no wrong. Snap out of it! Being a fan is one thing, but blind devotion and mindless adherence is retarded.

    Red Dragon was much more cohesive than Hellboy II. You should listen to it and not just take my word for it.

    Just because I say it has to be clear and concise doesn’t mean it has to be dull or watered down. Dead Presidents certainly contained a unifying motif in the percussion. So does practically every other Elfman score. Hellboy II’s thematic ideas are nebulous and meandering — the opposite of concise and defined. Every time I listen through the score I catch a little whiff of something and ask, “Is this what he wants me to pay attention to?” but then he moves on to play with a new little motif. Over and over I think, “Okay, this is what he wants me to hear and follow…” but he lets it go and an instant later comes up with something else. There’s so much material here that the important points he wishes to stress become lost…and in the process I lose my interest in listening.

    I applaud you demanding more of your film scores — depth, creativity, construction, planning, and execution all should be in top form and it’s lacking in the majority of film scores today.

    For Hellboy II the creativity is there. The complexity is there. The skilled construction is there. Somewhere along the line, the focus was lost and as a result the score meanders from bit to bit without a unifying identity. This isn’t a symphony and it isn’t a concert work — it’s a film score, meant to tell the audience what they’re supposed to feel so it helps the film communicate with the audience. After listening to Hellboy II I don’t know what to feel.

    Mr. Dantz

    Actually, I was only half joking. I’m not in love with everything Elfman’s done, either. But I have to disagree with Red Dragon. I wasn’t fond of it at first, but after a while I really fell in love with it.

    I haven’t heard Hellboy yet, so I can’t comment on that.


    InternationalGenius Wrote:

    > This isn’t a
    > symphony and it isn’t a concert work — it’s a
    > film score, meant to tell the audience what
    > they’re supposed to feel so it helps the film
    > communicate with the audience. After listening to
    > Hellboy II I don’t know what to feel.

    And you’re basing your judgment on listening to it out of the film and therefore out of context. No wonder you’re confused.


    Dude, why do you have to be such a jerk?


    Goodbye :)

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