George S. Clinton's score for George Armitage's 2004 version of the Elmore Leonard caper The Big Bounce plays like a mix of cartoon music à la Carl Stalling's work for Warner Bros., '50s exotica, and slack key guitar music that reflects the film's Hawaiian setting. As these influences imply, most of Clinton's music is amusing but a little over the top, with the over-amped feel of many comedy scores. Fortunately, most of the cues are short -- with only a couple breaking the two-minute mark -- and they tend to punctuate the film's action instead of expanding on it. The score's heavy use of saxophones, which pop up on tracks from the manic "Glass Jaw" to the dreamy "Moonlight," gives the music a strangely dated quality that recalls both the '50s and the '80s, although the movie isn't set in either of those eras. As befitting a crime comedy, many of the score's cues have a sneaky sound, with pizzicato strings, pianos, and xylophones giving tracks like "The Bitches," "Upstairs/Downstairs," "Up to Something," and "The Con" a tiptoe-like stealth. As the score progresses it becomes more creative; cues such as "Diving," "The Truth," "A Kiss for Luck," and "Which Bitch?" display more diversity and more originality. While its many compositions give the album a disjointed feel that makes The Big Bounce not especially good listening outside of the film's context, it's still a competently made score.
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares
|The Big Bounce, film score|