Intrada corner

Soundtrack review: Coneheads (David Newman – 1993)

Coneheads_soundtrack

I remember “Coneheads” and how much fun I had watching it twenty something years ago. The Dan Aykroyd comedy about a couple of cone headed aliens trying to assimilate life on Earth was one of the movies of my childhood. It was popular at the bootleg video renting places. I can’t say anything about the score because back then I wasn’t into that but also because I usually have a hard time remembering or connecting with comedy scores. I used to be pretty dismissive of them until a couple of years ago when my musical tastes developed better. It’s time to revisit this score written by one of the most representative composers of the 90s, David Newman.

And how can you not love that quirky and funny opening theme? I feel as if I’m at the circus watching all sorts of shenanigans when I listen to that wonderful cue. This is a very rewarding orchestral theme and I can’t wait to hear what comes next. A good opening to a score always puts me in a good mood.

David Newman took this opportunity to play with alien sounds and motifs. You can’t miss that flying saucer sound I always associate with sci-fi comedies. I am enjoying this score way more than I thought I would. The sound also echoes back to some silly computer games I used to play and even if 20 years ago I didn’t notice the music, I surely recapture the feelings I had watching this movie.

The mood you are in when you listen to “Coneheads” is very important for your enjoyment of the score. The military march and the ethereal sounds in “Seedling & Eli” could sound silly if you weren’t opened to them. But the more I listen to the score the more I realize how infectious the music is. It could cheer you up anyway and here I am, reviewing it on a dark and stormy day and seeing rainbows in my head.

My favorite cue from “Coneheads” is the delightful and tender “Bed talk”. This is the stuff sweet dreams are made of and if you only have time to sample just one piece of this score, do not miss this little nugget of magic. These four minutes tell me a story and resonated very well inside me. I feel melancholic, I feel happy and I get dreamy when I listen to it. I’m in a different time and space just floating in an eternal bliss.

“Coneheads” is the kind of score you might miss if it wasn’t right there in front of you, so a special release like this one from Intrada is most welcomed. The joy and honesty of the music make it quite the gem and even if I will only return to a couple of cues in the future, David Newman’s composition woke up echoes of my childhood and stung me with nostalgia. I can’t ask for more from a score I wouldn’t even have listened to a couple of years ago.

Cue rating: 89 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 17 / 35

Album excellence: 45%

Highlights:

Opening Credits

Seedling & Eli

Bed Talk

The Big Phone

Master Speech

Return to Earth

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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