Picked up the Speed Racer soundtrack today, and it only took one playthrough for me to instantly fall in love with it. It's a hell of a lot of fun, as Wanderer states - and absolutely masterful in execution and tone. Giacchino continues to tear it up with his skillful knack at fusing bombast orchestra with highly varied yet appropriately self-contained styles. Here, surf rock elements, band percussion, and electronica bits couple with the original cartoon's campy sound, giving the score its own distinguished identity. It's true, the bulk of the score as presented on album is largely action-based, but there are some notable shifts in tonality throughout, from playful, heartfelt, upbeat, and downright majestic, making for a consistently engaging listen. The inclusion of a full choir allows for some particularly epic pieces, while wailing female solos in other key spots leave a genuinely tense and eerie feel.
The variations of the Speed Racer Theme, at least on the soundtrack release, are implemented so they don't entirely dominate the score, yet makes its presence known with every one of its cues. (Seriously, who can resist breaking out into the "Go Speed Racer, go!" lyrical mantra each and every time? ^_^) That is, of course, with the exception of the titular track "Speed Racer," which is a joyfully pure arrangement by Giacchino through and through. "32 Hours" features a particularly edgy variation of the theme, slyly blending the Vroom And Board theme into the mix.
My favorite pieces, though, include the ones that feature Rex's soaring thematic thread first heard in "World's Best Autopia," which is later reprised in "Reboot" and the finale track "Let Us Drink Milk." And Casa Cristo is just all kinds of amazing. I have GOT to hear that two and a half minutes that they cut from Cristo. (And the rest of the streamed complete score, for that matter.)
Well, looks like I'll have to see the movie now, despite my initial reluctance. This is one of those occasions in media where the music strongly dictates the desire to experience the content. Who knows, it could really be good. The visuals have the razzle-dazzle qualities to stimulate, at least.