Various Artists: Happy Feet Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

This is bad, so I’ve been in a bit of a hurry to get this reviewed, posted, and off of my iPod.  I don’t want to listen to it anymore.

I bought this for free in a neighbor’s garage.  I don’t think I paid too much, but it’s close.  I got it for free, because my angelic toddler son was being incredibly well behaved and charming to everybody in the garage as Daddy got absorbed in looking through every CD he could find in the loosely-organized space.  The guy thought maybe my boy would appreciate it.  I think he made a better guess with the Country Lullabies CD I can’t seem to find now featuring “Walk The Line,” “Stand By Your Man,” and others in lullaby form.  This is more appropriate for ten-year-olds, not one-year-olds.

The album starts off surprisingly strong with a great song by Prince relegated to like status because of the silly character voices throughout.  (Side note: Didn’t Robin Williams used to be funny?  Has he always been so annoying?)  Gia Farrell’s “Hit Me Up” kicks and actually does get kept, while Pink’s “Tell Me Something Good” is a standard, but good blues rock thing and almost gets kept itself.  Who knew Pink could do that?

And then it goes into an awful version of Queen’s “Somebody To Love” by Brittany Murphy and from there it’s either stuff like that where Murphy, Nicole Kidman, Robin Williams, and other voices from the soundtrack take a lead on a cover song, or you get throwaway, bordering-on-good songs from bigger names like Brand New Heavies, Patti LaBelle, and The Beach Boys.   A couple of these are likeable and/or notable for being well-constructed mash-ups.  Most are not.  “I Wish” by Patti LaBelle, Yolanda Adams, and Fantasia Barrino is particularly notable as horrible.  It shouldn’t exist.

And I think that covers it.  Be gone with you, CD that besmirches the good name of CDs.

“Hit Me Up” (Gia Farrell)
“The Song Of The Heart” (Prince), “Tell Me Something Good” (Pink), “The Joker/Everything I Own” (Jason Mraz & Chrissie Hynde), “Golden Slumbers/The End” (k.d. lang)

Song Notes:

  1. Prince: The Song Of The Heart – Pretty sweet.  If he can throw off something this good for an animated penguin soundtrack, how come so much of his stuff is so throwaway?  Eh, it’s hard to fault a prolific guy who’s got so much awesomeness in his oeuvre for even a 30-40% clunker rate.  And, to be clear, this isn’t great, but it’s got a really nice beat.
  2. Gia Farrell: Hit Me Up – Kickin’ beats.
  3. Pink: Tell Me Something Good – Pink can groove this well?  Who does she remind me of here?  She’s doing like a Bonnie Raitt thing, but there’s one specific singer  she really seems to be referencing.  It might be a guy.  You know who’d be good on American Idol?  Pink.
  4. Brittany Murphy: Somebody To Love – Didn’t know she sang.  I don’t see any reason you’d want to hear this one instead of Queen’s version.  Very badly missed note near end.
  5. Patti LaBelle, Yolanda Adams & Fantasia Barrino: I Wish – Sucks.  I cannot believe how crappy this is.
  6. Brand New Heavies Feat. Jamalski: Jump N’ Move – No.  Almost tolerable.
  7. The Beach Boys: Do It Again – Sounds just like The Beach Boys.  Is the Beach Boys.
  8. Jason Mraz & Chrissie Hynde: The Joker/Everything I Own – The way “Everything I Own” is mashed in to the chorus of “The Joker” is kind of cool.  The straight part sucks, but I’m giving it a like just for the mash up part.
  9. My Way (A Mi Manera): Robin Williams – Ugh.  The instrumental part is awesome, a Latin-flavored “My Way,” but Williams is annoying as all hell, of course.
  10. Nicole Kidman & Hugh Jackman: Kiss/Heartbreak Hotel – Another mashup.  I like Nicole Kidman, but I hate this.  She ain’t much of a singer.  The chug-a-chug of the “Heartbreak Hotel” part is cool, as is the Grease-like duet aspect (“summer love”?) of the song.
  11. Brittany Murphy: Boogie Wonderland – Ah good god.  Super annoying.  Not bad once it finally gets going almost 2:00 in.  The orchestration, spesh the horns, is pretty sweet.  But it’s not enough.
  12. k.d. lang: Golden Slumbers/The End – Beatles cover, obvs. Initially pretty likeable, but I think that’s mostly due to positive connotations that come with recognition of song.  I hate how obvious it is the kind of silly nonsense that’s happening in the movie at this point.  These movies are clearly conditioning our children to be a gleeful, spoon-fed audience in the future.  Not sure about that transition to “The End.”  Or this version of “The End” for that matter.  More morose than the original version even.  This takes all the exhausted-falling-asleep sense out of it and just makes it too sad.
  13. John Powell: The Story Of Mumble Happy Feet – Not nearly as annoying as so much of the other stuff on here, but just standard movie score stuff.  Not bad per se, but not something I’m drawn to.  Ditch is harsh, but even though it’s almost, it’s not quite a like.  A “meh,” if you will.

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