This album features Danny Elfman’s score along with a half-dozen period pop songs that were featured in Gus Van Sant’s excellent biopic, Milk. Elfman has written music for dozens of films but he is probably best known for his work on fantasy movies such as Batman, Beetlejuice, and Darkman. Here, with the help of five orchestrators, he crafts effective music for this inspiring story. “Main Title,” with its string glissandi and pulsing tones, has a psych feel, while the multi-part “Politics Is Theater” suggests the constantly shifting sands of the political arena. Soundtracks often include musical snippets, and Milk’s are quite fetching: the wordless vocal workout on “Dog Poo,” the break-of-dawn trumpet statement on “Vote Passes,” and the subtle acoustic guitar on “Weepy Donuts” stand out. With its glistening strings, “Give ‘Em Hope” has a sense of emergence, underscoring Milk’s importance in the history of the struggle for gay rights. The pop material includes tracks by three San Francisco-based artists: Sly & The Family Stone, the disco legend Sylvester, and the Sopwith Camel.
Sly & The Family Stone
Rock the Boat
You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)
The Sopwith Camel
Prelude No. 7 In E-Flat (The Well Tempered Clavier - Book 2 BWV 876)