From the opening notes of the first track (“Spy Mom”) it’s clear that there’s not much nuance here. But you knew that from watching the trailer right? Launching the fourth entry in his profitable Spy Kids franchise, maverick director Robert Rodriguez seems out just to have a good time. Imagine the most obvious “spy” music you can – lots of bass, electric guitar and some pseudo-Lalo Schifrin hints of danger – and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what co-composers Robert Rodriguez (the aforementioned director) and Carl Thiel (longtime rock producer) have put together for this album. Frenetic and occasionally circus-like rhythms flow throughout (with titles like “Jet Luge Chase” and “Hammer Hands”) making this collection of music feel more like a collection of music from an animated Batman film. This album is an amalgamation of influences: there are elements of kid’s movie scoring (playful, fast-paced rhythms), Saturday morning cartoon scoring (ringing “danger” notes like those in “Danger D’amo”), parody action movie scoring (broad, over-the-top, but light-hearted action bits). This combination leaves the listener a bit lost. It’s clear that this music took some work to create, though Rodriguez does admit to a shoestring budget and quick turnaround time. The lack of time and budget is definitely evident throughout the 44 minutes of music. To be blunt, this music sounds like it was a lot more fun to make than it is to listen to. But hey, it’s a kid’s movie, no one’s expecting Hans Zimmer to make an appearance. For what it’s worth this is a playful, slightly entertaining, slightly annoying collection of kid’s movie composition. Don’t look for depth in the score album for a movie that marketed itself with “smell-o-vision.”

Overall Rating: C-

To purchase the score to Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, visit Amazon

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