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SONIC DEATH MONKEY Soundtrack Reviews - Sweeney Todd

Tastes like monkey
by Michael Collins

Sweeney Todd gets the Sonic Death Monkey attention this week and I've got lots of questions.

Right up front Iím not a Sondheim fan. Itís all that sung dialogue. It just drives me nuts. Thereís that thing where I get a feeling that the singers are just making up the melody as they go along. There are lots of people who love him, so that means I donít need to love him. Yíall can do the love thing for him instead of me.

But I am a director Tim Burton fan. I like all that scary dark old school Victorian imagery. Fright make-up, fright wig, fright striped socks. I also like the use of black, black and er, black. Itís all good Ė and black. Itís a gothís best nightmare.

So it was with a little trepidation to see how all this would turn out. With this clash of titans Ė one from Planet iLike and one from Planet iDonítLike Ė how would it all turn out? What would Burton do to Sondheim?

What will Deppís singing be like? Will a combination of Keith Richards and Michael Jackson be insane enough for a demon barber? It just might be.

How will Depp and Carter deal with Conkney-accented singing? The benchmark for this type of singing is My Fair Lady. This musical included some enduring classics: Get Me to the Church on Time, as sung by Stanley Holloway and, Wouldnít It Be Loverly, as ďperformedĒ by Audrey Hepburn, but actually sung by Marni Nixon. How could Sweeney Todd measure up against that? Well it canít obviously.

The cockney singing is fine without being spectacular. It was a bit like Once More with Feeling. Most of the singing was ok. Then you heard the voices of Emma Caulfield and Amber Benson and they made everyone else sound decidedly ordinary. Sweeney Todd holds up against My Fair Lady in a similar way.

A high point in the soundtrack Ė indeed the high point of the soundtrack is A Little Priest Ė the funniest thing Iíve ever heard in a musical. It is also the most macabre thing Iíve heard on any soundtrack. Strange for me to think that a sung dialogue would be a highlight for me, yet due to the hilarious Cannibalism: The Musical nature of this song, I was willing to make an exception. After all, the way to a manís heart is through his stomach. A Little Priest, twists that saying and now itís more a case of a manís heart on the way to some other manís stomach. Ha!

Apart from the above exception which you can buy on iTunes or whatever is your favourite MP3 site, really I would recommend either watching the movie and see the visual treat that is watching a Tim Burton film, or if youíre in the mood just for music then I would go for My Fair Lady.


link directly to this feature at http://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=2399
originally posted: 02/21/08 19:02:27
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