Thursday, August 25, 2011

Muppets: The Green Album

First off, as you've probably noticed I don't tend to do a lot of music reviews.  I love music, but I'm just not a big music geek - I wish I were - I often find myself having to get my more music-hip friends make CDs for me just so that I can stay even remotely current with what's good.  However, when I heard about this CD a while back, and then had a chance to preview it last week, I just couldn't let the actual release go by without talking about it.
Full disclosure:  I fucking love the Muppets.  And it's the kind of love where if someone says that they don't like the Muppets, I just have to question if I have anything in common with them, if I could even remotely be friends with them.  On our first date where we stayed in my now wife suggested that we watch The Muppet Movie.  It wasn't hard to know that she was 'the one' :) 
So it goes without saying that growing up with these songs that they have a special place in my childhood - and there's an old rule where you don't mess with a nerds childhood.  That shit just ain't done.  But when it's done properly, it's delightful.  And that's what this album is - pure delight.  I don't buy and listen to enough new music to make any kind of accurate ruling, but for me - this is the album of the year.  A lot of it has to do with the source material and how strong it is - these songs have been covered over the years, and some, like Cake's version of Mahna Mahna are probably better, but this collection is inspired.  Allow me to geek out on some of the songs:

Muppet Show Theme: OK Go does this version - and to really appreciate it you need to see the music video - easily found on YouTube.  It's trippy, and it's a really nice way to lead you into this album.

Rainbow Connection:  One of my favorite songs.  It's a really lovely inspirational song, and Weezer actually grasps onto that and makes it go even further with the accompaniment of Hayley Williams.  This could be a wedding song.  Screw that - this should be someone's wedding song.

Movin' Right Along: Alkaline Trio gives this song the extra energy and it's awesome.

Our World:  Honestly, I'm not as familiar with this song as I am the others, but this version by My Morning Jacket is really really lovely. 

Wishing Song:  In a weird way this could become the new 'Adam's Song'.  Listen to it and you'll know what I mean...

I Hope That Something Better Comes Along:  This is easily one of my favorite (amongst a bunch of awesome songs).  Matt Nathanson's vocals really make this into a ballad for men who really don't want to settle for the wrong bitch (you'll appreciate that wonderful pun if you're familiar with the song).  And on top of this really great cover, I almost forgot just how clever the writing on this is.  It's really really awesome.

I'm Going to Go Back There Someday: So this is probably my favorite Muppets song ever.  Gonzo breaks my heart in The Muppet Movie when he sings it.  I absolutely hated the redo of the song for Muppets From Space, but this version from Rachel Yamagata is just spot on.  I think what I love so much about this song is how poignant it is, and it represents exactly what I love about the Muppets.  That they're goofy, but they have a heart, and they're smart, and they aren't trying to be anything amazing - they just are amazing.  I love this song.

So that's a pretty glowing review - and I would have been the first to trash this if it sucked.  I think my only regret is that there's no cover of Can You Picture That - there is no shortage of awesome bands that could have done a number with that.  If I thought about it enough I'm sure I'd think of others.  And if any of you are curious, there are over 800 Muppet songs that have been performed over their various television and film outings.  Click here to see the full list.

So that's all I've got.  Pick it up or buy it on iTunes.  If you're a Muppets fan it's a must have, and if you're not a Muppets fan... I feel badly for you.  What happened in your childhood to make you this way?!
Muppets: The Green Album  Muppets: The Green Album

No comments: