Elton John’s Gnomeo & Juliet Soundtrack4.02.11 # Soundtrack # 8 Comments
The Gnomeo and Juliet soundtrack. See, the thing about Shakespeare is he was pretty good with language, metre, cadence, all that stuff, and with narrative structure and thematic content and tragedy, but what he was not so good with was imbuing inanimate objects with human personalities, with hilarious results. Enter ‘Starz Animation’, some 3D garden gnomes, James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, a cameo from Ozzy Osbourne, and before you know it you’ve got a family friendly comedy romance adventure with significant market potential. And gnomes. Animated garden gnomes. Falling in love with their gnome-enemies, across the gnome-divide.
And, of course, Elton John. Who else? In fact with nine Elton John songs from a total of fourteen tracks, the Gnomeo and Juliet soundtrack feels like an oddly short Elton John anthology. And actually, that’s not bad at all. In fact it serves up a surprising reminder that Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting is a cracking Stones-esque honky-tonk stomp, whilst Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, seen in the context of a family animation soundtrack and therefore existing in a realm of unbridled slushiness, comes across as an enjoyably well-crafted piece of good natured slush-pop. And there’s Your Song, Rocket Man and Tiny Dancer, which all have a rare anthemic joyousness.
Then there’s a handful of orchestral pieces from James Newton Howard, which are of absolutely no consequence at all, and an appearance by Nelly Furtado alongside John in a reworking of Crocodile Rock, which matters even less. Ignoring these silly additions to the John-a-thon, the Gnomeo and Juliet soundtrack is surprisingly palettable, coming across like a mix tape made by someone who loves Elton John more than life itself but who got distracted by something shiny halfway through making the tape. Possibly some shiny oversized glasses. Also, the version of ‘Hello Hello’ on the album release does not feature Lady Gaga (although she does sing on the version used in the film), presumably because someone at ‘Starz Animation’ realised at the last second what an enormous prick she is. That or some kind of legal issue, it’s hard to call. Either way, the absence of one of the most useless people on the planet from any musical release can only be a positive.
Of course, if you like Elton John then you already own most of these songs except for the sections of Crocodile Rock which feature Nelly Furtado, and if you buy the album just for that then there’s a fair chance that your institutionalisation is imminent, in which case you won’t get long to listen to the CD anyway. If you don’t like Elton John then you’re not going to be particularly pleased with the album, although, I don’t know, commercially supporting albums which purport to contain material by Lady Gaga and which then decide against the idea at the last second might not be a bad idea. Although I’m a hardliner, so I’d also advocate wearing outfits entirely comprised of Lady Gaga’s flesh. Whilst headbanging to Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting.
Gnomeo And Juliet Soundtrack (Songs) – Track List
1. Hello Hello (Album Version) – Elton John
2. Crocodile Rock – Elton John
3. Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting) – Elton John
4. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – Elton John
5. Love Builds a Garden – Elton John
6. Your Song – Elton John
7. Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going To Be A Long, Long Time) – Elton John
8. Tiny Dancer – Elton John
9. Bennie And The Jets – Elton John
10. Gnomeo and Juliet – James Newton Howard
11. Dandelions – James Newton Howard
12. Bennie And The Bunnies – James Newton Howard
13. Terrafirminator – James Newton Howard
14. The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room – Thurl Ravenscroft
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