Film scores

Soundtrack review: Sausage party (Christopher Lennertz – 2016)

“Sausage party” is a 2016 American 3D adult computer animated comedy film directed by Greg Tiernan (in his feature debut) and Conrad Vernon and written by Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. It stars an ensemble voice cast that includes Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Michael Cera, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Paul Rudd, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Edward Norton and Salma Hayek. In a supermarket named “Shopwell’s”, various groceries all dream of one thing: to be chosen by a customer and taken to their home. But soon enough, they learn the horrible truth about what happens to food when put into human hands. A hot dog sausage named Frank, and his friends, vow to warn his friends at Shopwell’s of their terrifying future, and in the process, wages war with the human race. The score was written by Christopher Lennertz and it seems like any comedy these days is in his or Theodore Shapiro’s hands so we are safe.

Still I often feel the need to post a bit of a disclaimer before I review a comedic score since I am not a big fan of the genre. Luckily the composer opens with a nice and dark Star Wars like cue and continues with something epic and just as fun. I feel as if I’m listening to an exciting adventure score in the first moments of “Sausage party”. I am starting to get used to comedy scores surprising me this year; I was mentioning earlier Theodore Shapiro and he too delivered some scores that showed a lot of trust in the script as they were anything but comedic.

I am listening to “The crash” and I smile almost involuntarily but not because it’s amusing but because it’s pure adrenaline joy. You aren’t in the mood for action? Here’s a heartbreaking violin motif in “Douche loses it”. Let the emotions flow also with sweet guitar and piano cues like “Our heroes” which once again makes me feel of scores like “The mummy returns”. There’s also some tribal vibe in this with a woodwind section. The more I listen to this score the more I am pleasantly surprised.  Maybe your genre of choice is western? Come enjoy “He’s coming” then. Christopher Lennertz mimicked the adventures the characters will go through and their imaginary sensations and put them into notes.

“Sausage party” is not your typical silly comedy score. The composer takes the story and music seriously and delivers a score that has something for everyone, from epic to emotional to dreamy, from guitar to violin. For me Christopher Lennertz has been on a hot streak lately and he’s keeping it alive with this one. I enjoyed it from start to finish.

Cue rating: 83 / 100
Total minutes of excellence: 10 / 41
Album excellence: 24%

Highlights:
Chosen
The Crash
Douche Loses It
Big speech

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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