Three Heart Racing Scores for 2013

2013 has been the year of racing movies! One about a 1970's English man, the other about a dust-cropper Plane, and the another about....a snail.....with superpowers. Normally, rock music is associated with the racing genre, but not so much in the case of these three.
The evolution of racing scores started in some respects with George Brun's score for Disney's; The Love Bug. The music was more of a quirky, off kilter, goofy tune (One has to wonder what caused the style of racing scores to change?).
Several other notable racing scores include; Death Race, by Paul Haslinger which was an abrasive rock laden album, Speed Racer by Michael Giacchino which was a frenetic, brass laden score, as well as, Fast & Furious by Bryan Tyler which was a brass AND heavy rock laden score. The albums mentioned above are all OK scores but they aren't all that original. The three 2013 entries surpass them all. Here are my snippet reviews of those releases.

Planes - Mark Mancina
(I have already reviewed this gem of a score, composed by Mark Mancina, and it can be read, here.)
Rating: *****

Rush - Hans Zimmer
Lost but Won by Hans Zimmer on Grooveshark
Rush is a unique score. The main theme is heard on a solo stringed instrument (Cello, I think?) with abrasive synth for the background. The theme is then transformed into a glorious triumphant brass statement (Heard in the cues, 1976 and Lost, But Won). The rest of the score is contemporary rock-esq music and pounding synth percussion beats with a few 1970's style cues for the purpose of the film's setting. Despite that, the score stands out, not because of the music themes, but because it doesn't sound like a Hans Zimmer score. It actually is more of a different style and unlike any Zimmer score that I have heard in a long time. I would definitely list this as a break-out score for Zimmer fans to listen to. Is it his best? No, probably not, but it's great to hear an original score come from Zimmer for a change!


Best Cue(s)
  • 1976
  • Lost, But Not Won
  • My Best Enemy
Rating: ***1/2
Turbo - Henry Jackman
Indianapolis by Henry Jackman on Grooveshark I have got to wonder what the filmmakers were thinking. "Let's make a racing movie....about one of the slowest creatures on earth! How exciting would that be?!"
OK, so the movie IS about a snail that has the superpower of speed....AND gets to compete in the Indy-500 racing against humans. I'll give them one thing......it's creative........I guess.
The score, composed by Henry Jackman is a hybrid orchestral score with a small mix of dubstep.
It's great music albiet, rather short. Unfortunately, being a Dreamworks album, the score is mixed with a bunch of really lame pop/rock/dubstep/rap songs that are quite un-listenable. (I think I just made that word up?) 
What little score cues that are left in the album are a blast to listen to. Jackman created a contemporary and rather bold brass/percussion statement for the racing material, and has a soft solo piano/string theme for the more emotional content. The dubstep isn't overboard, but is done tastefully and is nicely blended with the orchestral content. The final cue may be a bit abrasive and hard to listen to, but transforms into a fabulous finale of Turbo's racing theme.

Best Cue(s)
  • Meet the Competition 
  • Indianapolis
Rating: ****

With the three racing scores represented here, originality seems to be the key factor. They are all unique in their own way and (almost) never fail to inspire and entertain the listener. The scores are thrilling and all together, heart racing which, in that case, may seem a little unoriginal. However, that's a cliche that will never get old!

1 Comment:

  1. Alicia Willis said...
    Sounds interesting. I only know about the crop-duster one! :)

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