Danny Elfman has always been the go-to guy for deliciously dorky new wave and heavily orchestrated cartoon spook; who knew, though, that Tim Burton’s favorite redhead was capable of writing a slithering, Cult-like rock anthem that’s just as curvaceous and sexy as Wanted star, Angelina Jolie? I speak of The Little Things, the song that opens the Wanted soundtrack. That damn thing is giving me some serious wood right now (and I ain’t talkin’ ‘bout knotty pine). The Elf Man takes lead vox; it’s nice to hear that his Oingo Boingo pipes remain in fine working order. I would not knock Danny if he put out a brand new solo rock album tomorrow. In fact, based on the motorcycle-revvin’, table-poundin’ guitar sneer that is The Little Things, I’d buy the holy living shit out of Danny Elfman Gets His Rock Off.
I don’t mean to sound like a jittery teenage girl fawning over Jason Priestley or Jonathan Brandis or whoever the hell jittery teenage girls fawn over, but Jesus H. Charlesworth, The Little Things. This tune reaffirms my faith in humanity. I just wanna saunter up to it in a dark, dank bar and be all like, “Hey, what’s up? My name is James, but everyone around here calls me JG2. Pardon me if I’m being forward, but I want you on my iPod like yesterday. You think that over while you sip this Tom Collins I just bought you. Yeah.” Of course, I would be wearing one of those Nicholas Cage European cut leather jackets while doing this, accompanied by a pair of impossibly tight jeans and cowboy boots the size of Montana. My hair, obviously, would be in a pompadour high enough to make Elvis blush. That’s how you gotta look when you hit on songs in bars.
Guitar chugging, amplifier feedback, and similar rock din infect other areas of the Wanted soundtrack, but for the most part, this is your typical collection of 21st Century action movie orchestration. It’s really nothing to write home about. Critics have been complaining about the Elf Man’s lackluster efforts since the first or second Spider-Man, but you know what? I think that’s a little unfair. Where was Danny supposed to go after churning out so many iconic pieces so early in his career? The guy did friggin’ Back To School, Midnight Run, Tales From The Crypt, and the theme from The Simpsons, all before anyone really knew who the hell he was. His was clearly going to be a journey downhill following all that.
Yet Danny Elfman is not crapping out Britney Spears-style. Wanted isn’t terrible or amateur or even boring – it’s just alright. In Elfmanland, mediocrity is a serious crime, but all Danny ball-stomping should cease in the wake of the afore-spunked over Little Things. The old dog can still churn out the occasional nugget of musical gold. Don’t write him off yet. I bet Elfy’s got one or two full-fledged classic scores left in him. I eagerly await Dan-O’s comeback, which will crush all the haters like so much paper cup. Until then, I’m going to be strutting around the city, listening to The Little Things on endless repeat and secretly praying our musical Nightmare Before Christmas savior ghostwrites the next twelve Danzig records.
for The Little Things, for the rest of the soundtrack.