Michael Giacchino,
The Incredibles
(Walt Disney, 2004)

I spent many evenings years ago watching British murder shows on TV -- you know, those foggy, grey nights with ballroom dancing and nylon-clad legs in high heels running in the dark. At first listen, the reason the movements on this CD brought me back to those days was a bit of a mystery in itself.

I had absolutely no urge to watch the movie, but quickly did I learn this CD is a remarkable production that easily stands on its own away from the big or small screen. The music is strong, classic and enduring.

It's a very close relative of the idea of putting classical music to Bugs Bunny cartoons. It's an unexpected blending of two worlds. But, such orchestral majesty for an animated movie? I wonder if the movie lives up to the brilliance of the soundtrack. If the movie is anywhere near as entertaining as the music, I'm sold.

Creative, sharp, firing-on-all-cylinders music brings you into the classical dreamworld that exists inside our psyche while we perch on the edge of dramatic emotions. Exhilarating, gorgeous, worldly, not to mention masterful. Can I say any more?

The recording features of this CD add to its overall charm and the liner notes reveal why and share the inspired production process: "In a few short years a fresh, economic style that played with all that's cool about jazz became the defining sound of the 1960s, often in popular genres like caper comedies and espionage thrillers." So, it was a deliberate attempt at recreating that period.

And I can't say it any better than this quote from the notes, "The Incredibles calls for music that soars with the exhilaration of saving the planet, hisses at the bad guy's sinister schemes, and constantly cries 'cool' about how it feels to be a superhero."

To top it all off, to get that big band feeling, The Incredibles was recorded with analog equipment, not digital. Nothing was tracked; the entire orchestra was together in the room playing at the same time -- just like they did it 40 years ago.

"Hugs and explosions." "Real emotions." A few more quotes from the liner pages that I agree with. I think this CD is a step above the normal lot and you'll be swept away after just one listen.

by Virginia MacIsaac
29 April 2006

Buy it from Amazon.com.