Crazy Eyes

Composed By: Bobby Johnston

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            In Crazy Eyes, Lukas Haas is Zach, a recently divorced father who has decided to go back to the free lifestyle of a bachelor in Hollywood.  With a house in the Hills, phone numbers from dozens of beautiful women and a regular seat at the local bar run by his best friend Dan (Jake Busey), how can he lose?  Everything is fine until Zach meets Rebecca (Madeline Zima), whom he calls Crazy Eyes.  Fun-loving friends at first, Zach finds himself developing romantic feelings for Rebecca.  Things become even more complicated when Zach's family issues begin to encroach on his partying lifestyle.

            The Crazy Eyes Soundtrack features music created by composer and multi-instrumentalist Bobby Johnston and songs by various artists like Mr. Airplane Man, Stepfather, Lindsay Heath and Sister Spaceman.  New York-born composer Bobby Johnston is known for his unusual composing style in which he uses only organic and acoustic instruments mostly played by Johnston himself with accompaniment by featured soloists. He has composed music for quite a few independent films including King of the Ants, Edmund, Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election and Wristcutters: A Love Story.  

            Johnston's composing style suited Director Adam Sherman's vision for the film's score perfectly.  According to Johnston, "He talked about using a female singer to do scat-like, la-la vocals. He also knew he wanted to use finger snapping on Zach and Rebeccaís themes.  I knew right away that Lisa Papineau should sing the vocals. As soon as Adam heard her voice, he was convinced as wellAdam wanted some of the score to be influenced by traditional music from disparate sources, such as Russian folk, French, American blues along with prohibition-era jazz. I think this was important, because somehow it helped keep the score from editorializing on the heavy drinking and drug use in the film. We didnít want to glamorize it, but we also didnít wanted to pass judgment."

            The result was a quirky and quite fun score featuring jazz/blues undertones with solo appearances by Dan Clucas on trumpet, Brian Walsh on clarinet, David Markowitz on violin and mandolin, Jim Lang on accordion, Marc Doten on bass, John Krovoza on cello and Carlos Alvidrez and Sheffer Bruton on trombones.  This musical score is interspersed with independent rock and punk songs, the cleverest and most enjoyable being Marry Anette and Crawl Space by Lindsay Heath.  I loved the play on words in the title of Marry Anette.  As the lyrics move forward, we can see how the singer is manipulated, much like a puppet on strings.

            While the score is certainly enjoyable, the songs are a bit on the strange side.  Perhaps viewers of the film will find the Crazy Eyes Soundtrack to be a worthwhile purchase, but for me, this was one of those albums that was an interesting listen, but not worth dishing out my hard earned cash for.  I predict the Crazy Eyes Soundtrack will be one of those albums that collects more dust on the shelf than money from sales.


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