A pleasant selection of Rupert Gregson-Williams’ lively orchestral score combined with about an EP’s worth of material both new and familiar from Ben Folds, the CD from Dreamworks’ Over The Hedge may just be 2006’s most underrated soundtrack.
The score tracks are unapologetically bold and colorful, but it’s not without subtleties. Instead of going for the usual Carl Stalling-esque tendencies (not that there’s anything wrong with Stalling) for scoring a movie aimed at kids, Rupert Gregson-Williams delivers a rather in-your-face dramatic underscore. It’s fun and full of action. It seems like movie and TV music has tried to get away from this sort of full-blooded orchestral treatment in recent years, in favor of electronics or techno or ethnic/exotic music. There’s room for all of those styles on the same music shelf, and I can honestly say that I just don’t hear enough music like this these days – my compliments to the maestro.
Ben Folds’ contributions are a little more varied; I find myself shrugging a bit at the watered-down remake of “Rockin’ The Suburbs” (though I’d say it’s still worth it for the William Shatner rant that takes the place of at least one whole verse), but “Family Of Me” and “Still” won’t disappoint Folds fans. The latter rambles on a bit, so naturally, it’s on the album in two forms. “Trapped In The Supermarket” is another track that one has to be in the right mood for; its lyrics are a bit repetitive, so its strongest appeal lies in Folds’ relentlessly good musicianship and vocals.
Rather than being yet another piece of tie-in merchandise for a massively-marketed kids’ movie, Over The Hedge makes for good listening material. I originally picked it up for the Ben Folds songs, but have wound up playing the whole thing quite a few times over the past several months – it’s all worth a listen.
- Family Of Me – Ben Folds (1:28)
- RJ Enters The Cave (4:37)
- The Family Awakes (2:33)
- Heist – Ben Folds (3:02)
- Lost In The Supermarket – Ben Folds (3:30)
- Let’s Call It Steve (3:40)
- Hammy Time (2:28)
- Still – Ben Folds (2:38)
- Play? (1:49)
- Rockin’ The Suburbs (Over The Hedge version) – Ben Folds & William Shatner (4:57)
- The Inside Heist (7:38)
- RJ Rescues His Family (4:18)
- Still (Reprise) – Ben Folds (6:07)
Released by: Epic
Release date: 2006
Total running time: 48:45