Elfman's Men in Black II score is a fun, wacky , jazzy and just plain cool score, imo. I think it's even better than the first (which was awesome too) score by Elfman also. Nothing I can really say about the film, but that it could've been way better. The movie felt rushed. But Elfman's score sure didn't. While MIIB felt like a rehash. Elfman tried different things and evolved old themes from the original. The score is definitely better than the film itself.
I remember having a blast listening to this back in '02'. And after listening to it again (after a while) I still do. Elfman really got to cut loose for this.
The first track "Worm Lounge #1" (Worms in black), which plays as source music at the worms' lounge. You can hear it in the background though not all of it. But that's what the albums for. This piece of music is five in a 1/2 minutes of crazy ,wacky , jazzy variations on the MIB theme. That almost sound like something that belongs in a karaoke party. It fits perfect with the worms' personality and lifestyle. I love how the female vocalist goes "oooooohh I'm sorry " repeatedly throughout the album. This might give people a headache. And make people skip to the next track. Especially for Elfman haters. Who can't stand that side of him. But for me. Wow. What a way to kick off the album. I didn't expect that when I first heard it.
Track #3 "Titles" which plays during the opening credits (of course) with this very small golden ship blowing up planets as it's heading toward Earth. Which begs the question why not just blow up Earth if you can blow up all those other planets ? Oh yeah the movie would be over before it started? Plus TPTB wanted a title sequence that they thought was cool and the audience would go for.
Anyways, I remember getting chills off the music as it build up to the MIB theme. I still do. I think it's even better than the first film's main titles (music wise that is). Even the bits of music that played during the Earth scenes with the dog, Serleena's tiny golden ship, Serleena and the thug, etc.. Interesting how Elfman scored those scenes. Not only he was scoring what's happening on screen but at the same time keeping the plot/story moving with the music.
Track #7 " Heart Thump" is a very sweet and touching track. I remember being very impressed with this piece when I first heard it and still am. It's probably one of my favorite love themes from him and he's written many great ones. But something about this one. I don't know... I guess it makes me think of the scene that it's written for in the film. It really captures what J and Laura were discussing at the Pie diner or whatever. If you've seen the movie you know what I mean. Too bad it's only used twice in the film b/c J's and Laura's romance is very underdeveloped. It's amazing how Elfman was able to come up with that for such a poorly developed love interest. I guess Elfman went for what the filmmakers were going for but failed to acheive. The love theme does have a purpose in the film and does get taken further later. I'll get to that shortly. But first this YT video was the best I could find of this track. The video plays longer than it should, The music actually ends at 1:48 seconds not 2:42 seconds. In case you were interested.
Track #15 "The Light" plays during the final battle where Laura finds out she's the light. This is probably my favorite track on the album. I love how emotional the music was during that scene. It put a lot of heart in a movie as silly as this. I love the use of the love theme. Elfman really makes good use of it in this track. He scores it as unrequitted (sp?) love. Almost as if J and Laura weren't meant to be. This cue was very well written. No microedits were done (like some of the other tracks) to this cue. The track kept getting better and better (to me) as it was reaching it's conclusion. It became tender, then dark, then wacky, then emotional, then heroic, then sad and then cool again when the MIB theme plays and wraps the cue up. This YT video plays two tracks track #14 The Chase and this track. To get to the track I was discussing (Track #15 The Light in case you were interested) it starts at 3:23 seconds.
There are other tracks that were well written too and worth a listen. I just wanted to post specific ones that might be of interest to some. The album has 18 tracks by Elfman and two songs one performed by Frank The Pug doing his version of "I Will Survive" and the inevitable Willl Smith song (Black Suits Comin' Nod Ya Head).
I believe this score has been forgotten even among Elfman fans. Which is a shame, b/c the score is a lot of fun. The movie it's attached to doesn't help it I guess. This score might not be some's cup of tea b/c of how quirky and wacky it is. I still like it.
I can't wait for his score for MIIIB, which he confirmed a while back he would be scoring. I just hope he'll be able to score it b/c he has a lot on his plate next year (The Hunger Games, Dark Shadows, and Frankenweenie). I would love to see him finally score a trilogy.