Sound — 10
The music is performed by an Orchestra, conducted by Paul Gemignani. The actual music is based on the stage musical of the same name, but has been adapted by Tim Burton and Robert Hurwitz. The composition of all of the songs and pieces on the album are all top-notch there's barely one noticeable glitch to pick-up on. If anything, the only criticism on the sound at all is that Johnny Depp (who plays Sweeney Todd in the movie) and Helena Bonham Carter (who fills the role of Mrs. Lovett) may not be to everyone's tastes as singers. Invariably, they are actors that can sing, not the other way round. However, they're 'rough-around-the-edges' approach to the songs give it that authentic 'London-in-the-19th century' feel. The songs are put into chronoligical order for story-telling sake, as you can follow the story of Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett as they go from simple plebs that are at the bottom-of-the-barrel, to thriving business (albeit to the cost of others). Never before would I have dreamed of listening to a musical soundtrack, but having done just that I am blown away by the sheer majesty of the songs from the movie.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics are macabrely funny at times, especially seeing as though these two people that we have grown to know over the course of the movie are justifying their killings, making it seem to us that London is "a hole in the world like a great black pit, and the vermin of the world inhabit it." What grabs me the most is the harmonising that frequently takes place between two people in songs, for example, Depp singing the melody and Lovett fulfilling her role as the listener and analyser. One of the most recurring themes in the play is Sweeney's 'motto and way of thinking', which he uses at times of great contemplation and reflection: "There's a hole in the world like a great black pit, and it's filled with people who are filled with shit, and the vermin of the world inhabit it." Songwriting it it's most dark and best.
Overall Impression — 10
As previously touched upon, it is so hard not to like and (even if just a little) sympathise with Mr. Todd and Mrs. Lovett. After all, they are seeking vengeance against those that have wronged them. Why shouldn't we support those that have been thrown down by aristocracy? Indeed, the songs on the CD enhance the emotions of the play's characters, succeeding in making them as multi-dimensional and, above all, believable as possible. My personal favourites of the CD are Pirelli's Miracle Elixir, which sees a young boy with a large voice trying to sell a fake concoction to the gullible Londoners around him, only to be put down by Sweeney Todd's dullened and sceptical mind. Epiphany and Little Priest are also likeminded numbers, as they tell of Sweeney Todd's mental breakdown and Mrs. Lovett's infatuation for her accomplice. The duet in Little Priest is quite arguably the greatest moment in the play, and thus, the soundtrack. Sadly, Sweeney Todd is a tragic hero that follows suit to those before him (like Othello and Macbeth for example). However, where others have failed, the Sweeney Todd musical has succeeded. Not only is the film perhaps one of the greatest of the decade, but for classical music lovers and thespian enthusiasts alike, this soundtrack to the movie is possibly one of the greatest orchestrations recorded.