Cars 2 Soundtrack25.06.11 # Soundtrack # 2 Comments
The Cars 2 soundtrack. Are policemen getting younger? Is TV getting worse? Are kids getting stupider? Are movie soundtracks getting longer? Well, not longer per se – certainly not in the sense of the consumer getting more music for their increasingly hard-earned money (heaven forbid) – but rather bittily divided into ever greater numbers of individual tracks. One of last year’s best, Tron: Legacy powered through the 20-track barrier, and now the Cars 2 tie-in album arrives divided into an improbable 26 musical segments. And with five of those segments clocking in at less than 60 seconds, and a further five falling short of the 120 mark, it could be tempting to caricature the record as the cutesy answer to a Minutemen album.
Tempting but not really accurate, for the Cars 2 soundtrack isn’t as piecemeal as it might appear on first glance. Despite the epic track-listing (which surely has more to do with the unending effort to extract the maximum possible coinage from the listening public in the age of the digital download than it does with anything else), there is a cohesion to much of the album, with the compositions of Michael Giacchino functioning as a series of mini-suites, if that isn’t too Mars Volta a concept to wrap your noggin around.
Perhaps fittingly for a movie featuring racetracks and all that kit and caboodle, there is a sense of the closed loop about Cars 2. For instance, this is Giacchino’s fourth engagement on a Pixar production, with his first, on Brad Bird’s The Incredibles, having reputedly come about only after the director had been turned down by legendary late Bond composer, John Barry. And with Cars 2, the movie, having added an espionage element to all the automotive action (Michael Caine voices Skid McMissile, he of course having played another famed ’60s spy, Harry Palmer, for whom Barry crafted one of his best scores, on The Ipcress File), Giacchino duly fashions his own 007 homage here, with one Bondian riff in particular anchoring much of the score.
To be fair, it’s all decent enough, although it can be hard to decide if all the Barry-inspired brass and bombast fosters a sense of continuity, or results in something which is rather samey overall. It’s telling perhaps that the more offbeat numbers, such as Mater the Waiter, with its barn dance fiddle, serve as welcome interludes.
While most of the Cars 2 soundtrack is handed over to Giacchino, the front-end is loaded with pop hits. Y’know, for kids! Staying with the notion of circularity, Weezer kick things off with a musically faithful cover of the Cars’ You Might Think, a song originally penned and sung, of course, by their old producer, Ric Ocasek, aka the Tim Burton of rock ‘n’ roll. Next comes Collision of Worlds, a team-up between country dude Brad Paisley and Robbie Williams which resembles one of those Oasis-lite numbers the latter used to peddle in the late ’90s. Paisley also chips in with a solo effort, Nobody’s Fool, which does very little aside from making you wonder why all classic country music dudes sounded like whiskey-drenched cynics who’d seen gunfights, the inside of jail cells and things a man shouldn’t see, whereas all younger country music dudes (like, ooh, I don’t know, Brad Paisley) sound like they’re auditioning for a West End musical about good-natured rodeo riders.
Then there’s French bloke Bénabar, doing a kind of cafe mambo type-thing in which he sings “Vroom Vroom Vroom”, thus evoking those Thierry Henry Renault ads. Saaaay, did you see when Henry scored that one goal for Arsenal and celebrated by running down the tunnel and driving back out onto the pitch in a brand new Renault Clio? No? Pah! I ask you, what are they teaching kids in schools these days?
Cars 2 Soundtrack (Songs & Score) – Track List
1. You Might Think – Weezer
2. Collision of Worlds – Brad Paisley and Robbie Williams
3. Mon Coeur Fait Vroum (My Heart Goes Vroom) – Bénabar
4. Nobody’s Fool – Brad Paisley
5. Polyrhythm – Perfume
6. Turbo Transmission – Michael Giacchino
7. It’s Finn McMissile! – Michael Giacchino
8. Mater the Waiter – Michael Giacchino
9. Radiator Reunion – Michael Giacchino
10. Cranking Up the Heat – Michael Giacchino
11. Towkyo Takeout – Michael Giacchino
12. Tarmac the Magnificent – Michael Giacchino
13. Whose Engine is This? – Michael Giacchino
14. History’s Biggest Loser Cars – Michael Giacchino
15. Mater of Disguise – Michael Giacchino
16. Porto Corsa – Michael Giacchino
17. The Lemon Pledge – Michael Giacchino
18. Mater’s Getaway – Michael Giacchino
19. Mater Warns McQueen – Michael Giacchino
20. Going to the Backup Plan – Michael Giacchino
21. Mater’s the Bomb – Michael Giacchino
22. Blunder and Lightning – Michael Giacchino
23. The Other Shoot – Michael Giacchino
24. Axelrod Exposed – Michael Giacchino
25. The Radiator Springs Gran Prix – Michael Giacchino
26. The Turbomater – Michael Giacchino
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