David Newman

The Cat in the Hat [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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David Newman's score for the live-action version of The Cat in the Hat sounds appropriately cartoonish, with plenty of tiptoeing pizzicato strings, tooting brass, and herky-jerky melodies. Newman also creates a fair amount of range in his score, from the slightly askew "Main Title -- The Kids" to the full-on antics of "Two Things/Couch Jumping/Leaky Crate," which conjures up images of playful destruction. Even on the most crazed cues, such as "Surfer Cat -- The Phunometer," "Oven Explodes -- Clean Up This Mess," and the self-explanatory "Things Wreck the House," Newman manages to keep the music closer to whimsical fun than shrill hyperactivity. Unfortunately, the same can't be said of the tracks with vocals: Smash Mouth's cover of "Getting Better" manages to sound pumped-up and flat at the same time, while Mike Myers' "Fun Fun Fun" is anything but. Still, it's nice to see that some care was put into the music of such a visually overstimulating film; fans of playful instrumental music may find listening to The Cat in the Hat more pleasant than watching the movie for which it was written.

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