In a time when remakes dominate the market, and with one of them soaring to incredible heights, and musicals find themselves falling into the mix from either coming from or going into stage production, Sweeney Todd was no different, from literature, to film, Broadway, play production and back to film again. The most notable endeavor came from Stephen Sondheim with his Tony award-winning musical which the music found itself used in the film production from director Tim Burton and his trusted actor Johnny Depp. The soundtrack found on Nonesuch Records (Warner Brothers), 2007 released a few days before its nationwide release date and shortly after the premier in New York, came in a deluxe package with a 80-page bound booklet, filled lyrics and photographs, which found itself on US Billboard charts peaking at 16 out of 200, and third on the top soundtracks. However the question becomes how it stands the test of time, now almost 10-years later.
The soundtrack contains a blend of gothic undertones so very common in Burton’s films, and has Depp singing as entertaining conveying a dark tale of revenge, envy, and of course ruthless murder, and can stand alone not needing one to see the actual film, however some understanding of production wouldn’t hurt. Tim’s film might not satisfy everyone but the soundtrack does give some solid entertainment, especially since it avoids the common aspect of inserting dialogue sections from the film either in the tracks or between them as filler. Those familiar with the Broadway performance will notice the missing songs, and a multitude of changes in tempo, pitch and structure, all-encompassing a richer cinematic feel through the music.
Depp’s vocal aided by his background in music delivers a forceful tone with at times a whisper and almost hush in the vocals, leading the listener to the next track, while Helena Bonham Carter, a wonderful actress, struggles at times, however nothing that truly distracts the common listener. The most letdown track “The Worst Pies in London”, though in the film it does fit nicely likely due to the scenery and pacing of the actual scene.
This soundtrack still works, especially with the very nice packaging and giving a special eerie sensibility to the music, makes fun references to special innuendos that one (including myself) missed while watching the actual movie.
1 – Opening Title (3:30)
2 – No Place Like London (5:31)
3 – The Worst Pies in London (2:23)
4 – Poor Thing (3:09)
5 – My Friends (3:48)
6 – Green Finch and Linnet Bird (2:16)
7 – Alms! Alms! (1:16)
8 – Johanna (1:57)
9 – Pirelli’s Miracle Elixir (2:00)
10 – The Contest (3:39)
11 – Wait (2:38)
12 – Ladies in Their Sensitivities (1:23)
13 – Pretty Women (4:27)
14 – Epiphany (3:16)
15 – A Little Priest (5:15)
16 – Johanna (Reprise) (5:42)
17 – God, That’s Good! (2:46)
18 – By the Sea (2:19)
19 – Not While I’m Around (4:11)
20 – Final Scene (10:21)