The Big Kahuna
The title track The Big Kahuna is a bouncy, jazzy, rhythmically
attractive piece (harmonica and strings working well together), although
the simplistic melody line does little to enhance it. And its these blues
and jazz rhythmic elements that are the mainstay of the entire score. This
would be all very well if the selections werent so hit and miss, but
where the catchy bass-lines of Cheeseballs and Shrimp and
Industrial Lubricants are enjoyable, unfortunately the more up
tempo tracks like Measured by Dogs and the rock and roll of
Happy Jesus and El Kahuna Grande are far less agreeable.
Luckily, to offset all of this swinging high jinx there are a number of more
thoughtful pieces including Philed with Fuller and
Salterello, which add some much needed depth to the score. But
the real standout track is without question Gods in the Closet
with its acoustic guitars backed by strings in a very affecting, rather
beautifully melodic theme. This comes as a complete surprise and its
really good enough to have built the entire score around.
Two original tunes also feature; a solid rendition of the Mancini/Mercer
composition Charade (from the film of the same name) performed
by Si Zentner and the lively Binga Banga Bongo played by Terry
Snyder and the All Stars. Theres also the song Hey Pachucho!
performed by Royal Crown Revue for those in the mood.
As Christopher Young is one of my favourite of what I will loosely call the
younger composers (as in not Jerry Goldsmith or John Williams!),
I expect a lot from him, but this new score is rather a mixed bag. The emphasis
is mainly on a blend of swinging, lounge music and soft rock, so if thats
your kind of thing then you probably wont be disappointed. But for
myself I prefer this composer in full orchestral dramatic flow.
Certainly not the best of Mr. Young, but worth a listen if only for the charming
Gods in the Closet.