The Croods

Alan Silvestri

" The Croods resurrects the good old Alan Silvestri in parts "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

The Croods was the family to walk with this summer, resulting until this very moment in a strong box office run that (so far) made 500 million and more. Showing that Pixar is getting more and more competition of Dreamworks Animation. For the music good old Alan Silvestri was hired, fresh off a massive successive 2012 (with The Avengers and Flight). And despite fans mentioning the glory days of Alan Silvestri are over, those fans realize equally that there will be a memorable theme to hold on to. And it pleases me enormously that The Croods have in fact got 2 to hold on to.

The main family theme is hinted briefly and playfully when we open "Prologue" in typical Silvestri fashion. Atypical after that is "Smah and Grab", at least atypical for this day and age. It is in fact a re working of Fleetwood Mac's 1979 song "Tusk". What a refreshing experience to go back in time and get the feeling Silvestri was still testing out the creative processes of how to actually compose for Television. Expect lots of drums and brassy fanfares in almost pure CHiPs funkiness (apart from the cheesiness of course). Wow, what an original track for this day and age.

Sadly that originality doesn't get a continuation in the first half of the score. In fact The Croods sounds almost like you expected it. Lots of Mickey Mouse music unleashing the typical moments of brief Alan Silvestri magic in a less interesting design. "Bear Owl Escape", the suspenseful "Eep and the Warthog" or the brief action explosions of "Exploring New Dangers", all these tracks have moments of brief theme statements, or occasional creative highlights, but they support the action and comedy a bit too unmelodious for my taste. And add the typical boisterous but chaotic action packed "Piranhakeets" to that list as well.

The score changes considerably during the middle, when we start noticing the cave theme really powerfully. The fun 1912 overture and The Mummy Returns eruption aside in "Fire and Corn", the guitar led cave theme changes the tone immediately in the catchy and delightful "Going Guys Way". This theme returns briefly in "Story Time" and with a magical choral delight in "Star Canopy". But the entire second part is now much more melodic and entertaining. Like The Abyss feeling in "Family Maze", the fanfare'riffic "We'll Die If We Stay Here" and its excellent little brother "Big Idea", or the massive theme statements in "Cave Painting", the brilliant "Epilogue" or the delightful "The Croods Family Theme" (aka the main theme), they are all winners in the Silvestri long list of career highlights.

In full The Croods can't sustain its interest from start to finish. Because there are tracks you rather wished elsewhere than on this CD. But in parts, The Croods is a return to form. And especially a revelation in a year that proves again how poorly the future looks if we think away the 10 greatest composers alive. Because hearing a work of an up and coming composer and hearing what a veteran still has in store for us, it's obvious my money's on the veteran. In parts, and most definitely in the second part The Croods becomes a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Rich with concert performances, orchestral fanfares and choral eruptions in what is essentially a typical (at least for him) Alan Silvestri experience, with that exception it's so much better than most of today's composers output. Take it from me, there's at least 35 minutes here that outclasses most of today's blockbuster music this year.

Favorite Moment - Epilogue (3.03 - 4.20)
There are many fine moments in the second part, but nothing beats theme statements that set the room on fire

Track Listing

1. Shine Your Way: Owl City (3.25)
2. Prologue (2.08)
3. Smash and Grab (4.09) Excellent track
4. Bear Owl Escape (2.45)
5. Eep and the Warthog (3.52)
6. Teaching Fire to Tiger Girl (1.55)
7. Exploring New Dangers (3.33)
8. Piranhakeets (2.24)
9. Fire and Corn (2.06)
10. Turkey Fish Follies (4.17)
11. Going Guys Way (3.15)
12. Story Time (3.55)
13. Family Maze (3.21)
14. Star Canopy (2.07) Excellent track
15. Grug Flips His Lid (1.44)
16. Planet Collapse (1.44)
17. We'll Die If We Stay Here (5.28)
18. Cave Painting (1.12)
19. Big Idea (2.34) Excellent track
20. Epilogue (4.25) Excellent track
21. Cave Painting Theme (2.52)
22. The Crood's Family Theme (5.54) Excellent track
23. Cantina Croods (1.12)

Total Length: 70.35
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 19 votes - average 4.03/5)

Released by

Relativity Music Group RMG1046-1 (regular release 2013)

Conducted by

Alan Silvestri

Orchestrations by

Victor Pesavento & John Ashton Thomas