Score Composed and Conducted by:
LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Regular U.S. release.
The song "Our Town" won a Grammy Award and was nominated for an Academy Award.
The album was also nominated for a Grammy Award.
Buy it... if you enjoy the collection of classic, modern, and
original rock songs heard in the film.
Avoid it... if you're looking for a fresh new style from composer
Randy Newman in the underscore (or a Newman vocal performance).
: (Randy Newman) Despite claims from Pixar that
the studio is capable of producing one fresh feature film per year, fans
of the Monsters Inc.
and Finding Nemo
style of digital
animation have been patiently waiting for the much anticipated
for two years. The premise of a host of animated, talking
cars without humans wasn't actually invented by Pixar or Disney, but
dates back to the highly popular introduction of claymation-style cars
in Chevron commercials in the mid-1990's. In Cars
, dozens of
vehicles ranging in size and age reside in a world largely absent of
pesky humans, lamenting lost glory, racing each other, and attempting to
find their purpose in life. Its story and incidental dialogue are
littered with hidden meanings and references to other Pixar films,
continuing a recent Disney tradition of playing commercialized tongue in
cheek jokes for their audiences. Vocal talents range from well known
actors to race car drivers, actors turned race car driver to several top
flight stand-up comedians. Early screenings of the film have been
largely positive, with Pixar impressing audiences this time around with
its ability to realistically portray reflections off the surfaces of its
washed and waxed characters. The film has a decently long running length
of an hour and a half, leaving room for a significant musical underscore
and the usual collection of pop songs. The songs in this case are
predictable, combining America's love of cars with that of classic rock
n' roll. Included into the picture are several 50's and 60's classic
rock references for the older car characters, with some cover work
bringing this music up to modern standards. The modern rock songs are
all relatively soft and listenable; four original songs include those by
Sheryl Crow, Brad Paisley, and the unstoppable Randy Newman. Newman's
song, "Our Town," is not performed by the composer himself, but is a
rather somber piano and acoustic guitar piece for the voice of James
Taylor. The underscore, however, is pure Randy Newman in style and
The album for Cars
contains half an hour of
songs and only about 20 minutes of score, but with a project as
predictable for Newman as this, 20 minutes is really all that's needed.
Orchestrally vibrant, Newman's score will be largely familiar to
listeners of his other animated film scores, deviating in only a few
places for individual cars' personalities. The ensemble is on the
lighter side, aided by the bounce of its own enthusiasm, though certain
more robust cues suffer from a lack of rumbling depth. Occasional drum
pad or synthetic bass enhancement can be heard in cues such as the
climactic "Piston Cup," but for the most part, Cars
lightweight derivative of the Western styles of Maverick
others. Had Cars
let loose with the same ambient muscularity of
the stagecoach chase in Maverick
, it would have been a far more
engaging listening experience on album. As it stands, a cue like
"Pre-Race Pageantry" borders on being a flighty parody of John Williams'
"Flag Parade" cue from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
. Newman does
avoid the outright parody styles of John Debney's recent blockbuster
animation music, though detractors of Randy Newman could say accurately
is yet another parody of himself. There are a few
moments of fresh life in Cars
that should be mentioned, however,
and their inclusion assist the score in rising above its tendency to
bore. Slight character-specific instrumentation, as in the Dukes of
-inspired "Bessie" cue with slide guitar and ultra-lazy
rhythms to the more ambitious acoustic guitar rhythms in "McQueen and
Sally" pump life into the scene. The most interesting cue by far is the
"Opening Race," which interrupts Newman's usual playful orchestral
overture with a rocking pair of electric guitars and band percussion.
Unfortunately, this adaptation of style from the film's songs is
curiously absent from the rest of the score, despite the fact that such
an orchestral and rock blend could have served the film quite well. On
the whole, however, the score's themes and orchestration are highly
derivative of Newman's other fluffy animation works, sparking as much
excitement as a mid-90's Toyota Camry. *** @Amazon.com: CD or
For Randy Newman reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.1
(in 20 reviews)|
and the average viewer rating is 3.1
(in 21,902 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.
Matt - March 3, 2008, at 12:15 p.m.
1 comment (1990 views)|
N.R.Q. - July 4, 2006, at 12:23 p.m.
1 comment (2649 views)|
|Songs in the Movie Expand >>|
Jennifer P - June 2, 2006, at 1:05 p.m.
2 comments (5476 views)|
Newest: June 13, 2006, at 8:13 p.m. by
Total Time: 52:16
1. Real Gone - performed by Sheryl Crow (3:21)|
2. Route 66 - performed by Chuck Berry (2:51)
3. Life is a Highway - performed by Rascal Flatts (4:36)
4. Behind the Clouds - performed by Brad Paisley (4:09)
5. Our Town - performed by James Taylor (4:07)
6. Sh-Boom - performed by The Chords (2:25)
7. Route 66 - performed by John Mayer (3:24)
8. Find Yourself - performed by Brad Paisley (4:11)
9. Opening Race (2:04)
10. McQueen's Lost (2:28)
11. My Heart Would Know - performed by Hank Williams (2:26)
12. Bessie (0:58)
13. Dirt is Different (1:27)
14. New Road (1:17)
15. Tractor Tipping (1:21)
16. McQueen and Sally (2:00)
17. Goodbye (2:42)
18. Pre-Race Pageantry (1:30)
19. The Piston Cup (1:52)
20. The Big Race (3:07)
The insert includes no extra information about the score or film.