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Soundtrack review: Crazyhead (Stuart Hancock – 2017)

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Soundtrack review: Crazyhead (Stuart Hancock – 2017)

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“Crazyhead” is created by BAFTA-winning Howard Overman whose previous big hit Misfits detailed the lives of teenagers blessed (or cursed) with superpowers. The six episodes of Crazyhead chronicle another unorthodox coming-of-age story as our two heroines, Amy (Cara Theobold) and Raquel (Susan Wokoma) navigate their way through the choppy waters of their early twenties whilst simultaneously kicking the ass of some seriously gnarly demons. Stuart Hancock wrote the score.

I remember Misfits, it was a very different type of superhero show and I might check this one out as well. After a heavy metal opening with “Previously on..Crazyhead” that makes me think all recaps are frantic and insane the music tones down a few levels and goes to misty horror with “Face to face with a demon”. This is the kind of electronic horror theme that scares me for real as it’s sharp and aggressive. I can take the time to also enjoy the nostalgia factor given by the use of synths, before I run away. When the music is not electronic it fails to engage me as I am having a hard time enjoying cues like “Snuggles” or “Bowling alley bust up”. Once I get the taste of electronics I want more and even if “The rapey van” is more comedic than anything I still enjoy it. The music of “Crazyhead” is quite neurotic as it goes from quiet to rock frantic in seconds. I love an insert like “Sawyer steps in” as it gets my blood pumping. As things are so varied is easy for me to identify the moments I really love, from the rock madness to the ambient electronic pieces like “Performing an exorcism” and the purely retro synth “Ducks in a row”; I will never have enough of the 80s musical revival in film and TV music.

I am having mixed feelings about this score precisely because of the variety in moods and sounds; sometimes it feels like it’s all over the place as it gets whimsical, scary, ambient, loud, comedic at every turn of a corner and it doesn’t settle into one coherent mood. A score like this is risky because enjoying it for me depends a lot of my current state of mind, more so than in the case of other scores as I might not have patience for all its twists. As it stands I am all in for the loud and aggressive rock motifs and the retro nostalgic electronic ones. It’s part of the weirdness of the score that some very short cues don’t work for me while a seven minute long behemoth like “Desperately seeking Suzanne” just hits the sport with how dense and exciting it is.

Uneven as it is “Crazyhead” is still an enjoyable score I will recommend because for sure a lot of people will find something to enjoy and relate to in the music; they will find different things and they will argue about their favourite cues but Stuart Hancock put enough in this score to make it count. I will remember the retro electronic parts, how about you?

Cue rating: 86 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 26 / 63

Album excellence: 41%

Highlights:
Sawyer Steps In
Ducks in a Row
The Shard of Ice
Desperately Seeking Suzanne
Amy and Tyler Get Jiggy
A Few Drops of Blood
Driving into Danger
Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe
Next Time, on “Crazyhead”

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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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