Seuss has not been well served by Hollywood in the past. You know that and I know that so I'm not going to go into it; with the exception of the music.
Seuss books have a very odd tone to catch. They are inherently strange and wacky yet the characters don't realize that. To them this is life and as such there is inherent drama as well. That is not an easy tone to catch. James Horner veered uncomfortably between Titanic-type schmaltz and unsuccessful craziness for the Grinch. David Newman wrote some nice sentimental music for the Cat in the Hat but that got buried by crazy, over the top "catch the action" cartoony scoring.
Both of those films were live action, yet it is a cartoon that yields the best Seuss Music since the Classic Grinch holiday special(also a cartoon..hmmm).
John Powell has always been one of my favorites and I was excited to hear he was on this project (even though Jim Carrey was also involved).
I knew his music would be good. I didn't know it would be PERFECT!
He got it. He got the tone. He succeeded. Am I Surprised? Actually no, but I am Ecstatic!
The best cues on this album are hard to point out beacuse the entire album is a best cue, but here goes; The Mountain Chase(A wonderful nod to Ennio Morricone's "Ecstasy of Gold" from the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly),Into Whoville/Breakfast with the Mayor(A Good example of being both wacky and yet real), the enitre finale which covers tracks 26 through 31, the Horton suite, and last but certainly not least, Clover Field Search.
When I was little, this particular scene made me cry(in a good way) and when I heard this track all those feelings came flooding back and I was in tears yet again(Yes, I'm 28, Male, and not ashamed of crying). After hearing that cue the rest of the album could have stunk and I still would have given it a 5 star rating (thankfully the rest was just as good).
It is still early in the year and there are other scores and films coming out, but unless something really blows me out of the water I have to name this as the best album of the year! You Rock, Mr. Powell!