A film about a man convinced of conspiracy at every turn who suddenly ends up in a real conspiracy must be a difficult premise to approach musically. It's occasionally quite a distrubing thriller, but it's also quite amusing. As a result, Carter Burwell's music is somewhat eclectic, but still makes for a hugely enjoyable album.
The Overture plays over an opening sequence that recalls Taxi Driver, only this time with Mel as the ranting paranoid driving the cab. After a modest opening, the Overture moves into a distinctly Henry Mancini piece of swing; percussion, bass riffs and the occaisonal bit of stabbing brass are effective and enjoyable. The mood is not entirely settled, but it is certainly considerably more relaxed than most of the rest of the score (although the swing motif re-appears on a couple of occasions, most notably in Conspiracy Theory and the finale, Riding). Burwell's penchant for more bizarre orchestral colour is evident in many other cues. She Wrecks Me features little electric guitar snippets, which are difficult to determine as sampled or not. The electric guitar features a few times, notably in some of the more suspenseful, pre-action cue moments. There are few standout cues, but plenty of invention to keep everything fresh and interesting.
One of the more curious aspects of the album is the listing of the orchestra. I haven't counted exactly, but I estimate that there are about 160 musicians listed on the inside of the booklet. There isn't a choir or anything obvious to bulk out the numbers, just large numbers of performers in each section of the orchestra (how many orchestras have you heard of with around 30 viola players?!) Perhaps it's some kind of joke, but if it isn't, I'm amazed that anyone could afford the reuse fee with that number of players. This certainly isn't a traditional epic orchestral score, yet even if it was, Miklos Rozsa never employed that many instrumentalists! A generally enjoyable score that manages to be offbeat, but particularly enjoyable.
02.She Wrecks Me
10.Turning Into A Jerry
11.Who Are You
12.Searching For The Music
14.Now You Tell Me