Twister – music by Mark Mancina

TwisterIt took a while for this music and the movie from which it sprang to grow on me, but I now enjoy both of them immensely. I’ve heard a few complaints about the hodgepodge of styles utilized by Mark Mancina (who also scored Twister director Jan de Bont’s previous hit, Speed) in the space of a single score, but I find the resulting contrasts to be satisfyingly appropriate. The juxtaposition and combination of rock and contemporary classical elements fit the tone and pace of the movie, and the result – which in places bears more than a passing resemblance to Aaron Copland’s “Rodeo” – suits the Oklahoma venue of the tornado-chasing mini-epic. If anything detracts from the experience of listening to the music alone, it’s the scarcity of thematic material (which is more the movie’s problem than that of the score). Three basic themes fill out the score from Twister: a joyous, all-American-sounding motif for the “good guy” storm chasers led by Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton, a more urgent and stacatto sound for Cary Elwes’ competing crew of uniformed, professional chasers, and choral overtones ranging from heavenly to menacing for the various tornadoes encountered in the movie. That’s really it. There is no thematic development for individual characters, and perhaps I’m asking too much in hoping for such material. All in all, for the purpose it needed 4 out of 4to serve – underscoring a rather less than complex and not-entirely-accurate action-adventure flick – Mancina’s Twister treatment did the job and stands alone as well. It’s a good thing I didn’t hear this album until many months after my own twister experience, or the sound of the choral tornado motif might give me nightmares!

Order this CD

  1. Wheatfield (1:19)
  2. Where’s My Truck? (0:20)
  3. Futility (2:14)
  4. Downdraft (1:47)
  5. Drive In (2:37)
  6. The Big Suck (1:10)
  7. Going Green (2:48)
  8. Sculptures (3:03)
  9. Cow (5:38)
  10. Ditch (1:28)
  11. Wakita (5:02)
  12. Bob’s Road (2:10)
  13. We’re Almost There (2:58)
  14. Dorothy IV (1:48)
  15. Mobile Home (4:38)
  16. God’s Finger (1:46)
  17. William Tell Overture / Oklahoma Medley (1:06)
  18. End Title / Respect the Wind (performed by Van Halen) (9:17)

Released by: Atlantic Classics
Release date: 1996
Total running time: 51:09