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Section Header
Silver Linings Playbook
Composed, Arranged, and Produced by:
Danny Elfman

Sony Classical

Release Date:
November 19th, 2012

Also See:
Taking Woodstock
Real Steel

Audio Clips:
1. Silver Lining Titles (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

2. Running Off (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

7. Silver Lining Wild-Track (0:28):
WMA (188K)  MP3 (239K)
Real Audio (168K)

9. Happy Ending (0:31):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

Regular U.S. release, initially available as a download-only product.


Silver Linings Playbook
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Our Price: $8.99

Sales Rank: 81860

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Buy it... on the score-only album if you wish to hear the best material Danny Elfman wrote for this picture, the song compilation product inexplicably including the least redemptive portions of the score.

Avoid it... unless you are an Elfman completist and can justify an unsubstantial, 20-minute album with your established soft spot for his heartfelt, contemporary romance style for small, light pop ensembles.

Silver Linings Playbook: (Danny Elfman) While domestic violence and debilitating neuroses aren't exactly the most common ingredients for a successful romantic comedy movie, David O. Russell managed to wrap them into a highly acclaimed package for 2012's rather unusual Silver Linings Playbook. A pair of mentally unstable but affable, contemporary protagonists played by Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence share joblessness, personal tragedy, and a frightening range of prescription drugs, their lives in shambles but requiring the support of each other to help right their paths. While the plot isn't radically fresh in terms of its overarching "happily ever after" conclusion, the meandering avenues of neurological madness that the plot takes in guiding audiences to that ending, aided by likeable supporting performances helmed by Robert De Niro, are the subject of the movie's awards-season buzz. Surprisingly, despite the good press and the involvement of the ever-popular concepts of American football, gambling, and dance competitions, Silver Linings Playbook failed to generate substantial earnings at the box office, struggling initially to recoup its relatively meager $21 million budget. As one would expect, a fair amount of resources for the production were concentrated on the soundtrack, one expectedly dominated by song placements that translated into the predictable compilation album for adoring fans of the movie. Given the quantity of songs licensed for Silver Linings Playbook, the job of the original score is, as usual, to languish as a bridge device that struggles to achieve its own identity. While multitudes of second-tier composers have made a career of such rather mundane work, drafted into duty for this assignment was none other than Danny Elfman. Although the composer was extremely busy in 2012 (completing six scores and pulling out of one high profile movie), a quick diversion for Silver Linings Playbook is the kind of thing that appeals to Elfman's sensibilities and could be handled by the composer with ease. The same could be said about the concurrent Hitchcock, though the two short, playful scores differ in that Silver Linings Playbook relies upon Elfman's experience with small ensemble, contemporary sounds while Hitchcock falls back on his familiar orchestral comedy routines. In the case of the former, a score like 2009's somewhat obscure Taking Woodstock should serve as a basic model for what to expect from Elfman, though even he succumbs to standardized, saccharine, light pop romance material by the end of Silver Linings Playbook.

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One reason to be thankful for Elfman's take on Silver Linings Playbook is his refusal to give much thought to the serious undertones of the psychology of the story. Instead, he plays it with heart and tongue-in-cheek at most times, occasionally filling time with anonymous pop-like ramblings. His ensemble is small but effective, utilizing light rock band elements and adjoining piano and acoustic guitars as the primary instrumental identity. Rare accompaniment by glassy percussive effects assists a few cues. The composer's own neurotic tendencies are represented by a small choir of dreamy 1960's-like vocals that perform wordlessly in extremely corny tones throughout. Standard electric bass and electric guitar elements, especially when combined with piano (as in "Walking Home"), are briefly reminiscent of Real Steel. Aside from the obnoxious retro vocals (which more than likely feature Elfman himself in a major capacity), the instrumentation is extremely innocuous, consistently affording ambient space with pleasant tones after the opening cue. That one track, "Silver Lining Titles," is a standalone piece in the score, exploring rowdy thematic lines not significantly heard elsewhere in Silver Linings Playbook. The major detraction of this score as a whole, and one that reduces its coherence on the score-only album, is the bizarre irrelevance of "Silver Lining Titles" compared to the remainder of the work. This David Holmes-like cue of emphasized, piano-led pizzazz explores ideas that are both cool and worthy of continued manipulation (despite the troubling vocals), perhaps as a representation of the mash-up happening in the main characters' brains. As the romance initiates in "Running Off," Elfman transitions quickly to the theme that will dominate the rest of the score. As heard at the end of that cue, this identity cleverly pairs rising and falling two-note progressions that appropriately answer each other in resolution, but only when together. It's a neat, subtle choice, and after a few of these performances, the progressions eventually favor the rising half and meander on in upbeat directions thereafter. By "Happy Ending," the full fledged romance theme picks up steam and closes the score with softly satisfying zeal. The score-only album ends with a parody track featuring the vocalists singing about the stars of the movie, the kind of thing a composer might slip to the director just to see if he's paying attention. That album, unfortunately, is too insubstantial to really recommend because of its 20-minute running time and repetitive nature after the first track. More (if not all) of this material should have been appended to the song compilation product to create one complete representation of the film's soundtrack. The style of the vocals and wayward opening track may deter some Elfman collectors as well, despite the easy-going and pleasant personality of the rest of the short work. Price Hunt: CD or Download

    Music as Written for the Film: ***
    Music as Heard on Album: **
    Overall: **

Bias Check:For Danny Elfman reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.2 (in 65 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.24 (in 118,990 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 3.02 Stars
Smart Average: 2.93 Stars*
***** 36 
**** 17 
*** 26 
** 30 
* 28 
  (View results for all titles)
    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
              to counterbalance fringe voting.
   Review at Movie Wave
  Southall -- 12/29/12 (3:35 a.m.)
Read All | Add New Post | Search | Help  

 Track Listings: Total Time: 20:27

• 1. Silver Lining Titles (3:11)
• 2. Running Off (2:01)
• 3. Simple (1:55)
• 4. With A Beat (2:17)
• 5. Tiny Guitars (1:01)
• 6. Walking Home (1:04)
• 7. Silver Lining Wild-Track (2:57)
• 8. The Book (0:41)
• 9. Happy Ending (3:52)
• 10. Goof Track (1:28)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert includes no extra information about the score or film.

  All artwork and sound clips from Silver Linings Playbook are Copyright © 2012, Sony Classical. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 12/3/12 (and not updated significantly since). Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2012-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.