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Arrested Development by David Schwartz (Review)

posted Nov 11, 2013, 4:56 PM by Kaya Savas   [ updated Nov 12, 2013, 7:15 AM ]

When it comes to sitcom scoring there isn’t really a better example than what David Schwartz does for Arrested Development. Comedy is by far the hardest genre for a composer to nail down, but Schwartz was able to make it look like the easiest. With a combination of quirky melodies and songs, the soundtrack of the show took its own shape and followed its own rules. It defined its own stage then went to town. This wonderfully assembled album represents all the glory of Arrested Development’s musical side.

From the "boingy" theme and the plucky soundscape of it all I think quirk was the goal of this music. There is a quirkiness to it all, but nothing about it is silly. In fact there is a great amount of charm to the music. Now, the songs definitely are but they’re done with such a great approach that you would think they were done with a serious face. That in turn makes the whole thing hilarious. The ukelele inspired central soundscape for the score makes the tone light and airy enough for comedy while giving the show its identity. Sitcoms do require a unique approach for scoring, and that of course is short cues mainly used as transition. So you will encounter short tracks and quick bursts of melody, but the album is presented in such a great way that you will enjoy the flow. Overall, this is a great musical romp through the sonic world of Arrested Development.

David Schwartz has done something you rarely see in TV comedy, and that is give a half hour sitcom a musical voice. Most sitcoms are defined by their title song, but Arrested Development is definitely one that lives beyond those confines. It feels as if the main title theme here was born from the massive soundscape Schwartz created versus the other way around. All in all this is a wonderful trip through the sonic world Schwartz created for this beloved series.