Petra Goes To The Movies is meant to be an a cappella revitalization of some of the most classic movie themes of all times. These instrumental themes are nothing new for her—she’s been doing this since she was but a small child following in the footsteps of her father, who was a musician himself. Her previous solo effort, entitled Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out, was released back in 2005.

“Psycho Main Title,” originally composed by Bernard Hermann, is a surefire standout in the album, and resembles the original with remarkable accuracy. The “Superman Theme” is also instantly recognizable, as is “The Planet Krypton.” While there is no doubt that these are impressive reimagining’s of these classic theme songs, I am not entirely persuaded that anyone would prefer to listen to this version instead of the traditional one. From a musical and artistic standpoint, however, Ms. Haden’s effort should be lauded, as the creativity in her take on these songs is obvious.

At times, you will sit back and forget that the only instrument in the record is that of Haden’s voice (with the exception of three songs, which contain the guitar, bass, and piano). Her compositions are masterfully crafted, and all the different pitches and tones of her voice in unison make it sound like there is a chorus supporting her, when she has simply recorded all the background vocals herself.

Is this my style of music? No. I feel that these themes were paramount in their classic glory. Do I appreciate the work and effort Ms. Haden has put into trying to rejuvenate some of the most beloved movie themes of all time? Absolutely. The fact that she was able to re-create some of these tracks with just her voice truly speaks volumes about the incredible talent she possesses.

In A Word: Inventive

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