Danny Elfman provides one of his most quintessentially Elfman-esque scores for one of Tim Burton's most quintessentially Burton-esque movies, Beetlejuice. The film's dark yet sardonically funny "Main Titles" is among Elfman's all-time best moments, bustling along with a dark joie de vivre (or is it joie de morte?) that defines the spooky fun of both this movie, and his collaboration with Burton. The score's stylized world also includes the ironically perky "Travel Music"; "Incantation," a tensely percussive cue that unfolds into exaggerated brass and ghostly vocals and organs; and the eerily pretty but still whimsical "Lydia Discovers." The tip-toeing pizzicato strings and pianos, and the theatrical brass, organs, harps, and percussion that appear on every track -- most definitively on tracks like "Enter...The Family / Sand Worm Planet" -- underline the film's live-action cartoonishness, with the music's hyperactive shifts, and the addition of Harry Belafonte's "Jump In Line" and "Banana Boat Song (Day-O)" just adding another layer of quirkiness to the whole thing. A perfect mix of silliness and spookiness, Beetlejuice remains one of Elfman's most consistent scores.
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares
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