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    « Laboring To Finish This Post... | Main | A Tale of Two Cities »

    Review: Hoodwinked Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Various Artists

    HoodwinkedOST.jpgWhen did I know how seriously I'd started to take this whole "kids and family music" thing? When I spent $25 for an out-of-print kids' music CD -- to be specific, the Hoodwinked Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Now normally I'd just chalk it up to the semi-obsessional nature of being a niche expert, but I'm used to hearing -- and reviewing -- albums that with print runs of just 1,000 copies. What in the name of the Pulp Fiction soundtrack is going on, then, when a soundtrack of a movie produced by the Weinstein Company goes out of print six months after its release?

    Especially when it's as good as this one.

    There are three songs on here which are in my top ten kids' songs of the year, two of them in my top ten songs of the year, period. And they're all completely different. "Great Big World," which I've raved about before, has a fantastic '60s-esque sound with a Phil Spector "Wall of Sound" production and crystal clear vocals from Anne Hathaway. "Bounce" is an old school rap whose lyrics sound pretty nonsensical (if albeit pleasing to the ear) until you see the movie, after which they make sense (the song rolls over the closing credits). And "Red is Blue" is a stunning ballad which works both within the movie, representing character Red's interior monologue, and outside of it. Listening to the song in the movie, I thought, they have Ben Folds down cold. And then in the closing credits, I noticed that Ben Folds sang the freakin' song! Though he didn't write it, he did add the piano hook -- it's definitely the best Ben Folds soundtrack song of 2006.

    The rest of the songs cover most of the past 30 years sonically -- "Critters Have Feeling" could've been on the Cars' Heartbeat City, "The Real G" has a Limp Bizkit rock-rap sound (in a good way), "Glow" has a bit of an Elton John feel, and "Eva Deanna" is a very fine Pixies rip-off. Most of the credit for the awesomeness of the soundtrack has to go to co-director and songwriter Todd Edwards, who wrote 9 songs here. The rock tracks here have a very Pretty Woman soundtrack feel, where you know that some of the songs' interest will fade over time, but it's still a fine collection of songs.

    Now the question remains, is this a good album to recommend for listening with kids? Well, yes and no. Yes, because there are so many good songs here. No, because I'm not sure the kids will necessarily connect to the songs (aside from the "hey, I remember that song in the movie!" effect, which may be enough). In addition, while there's nothing wrong with the score, its placement scattered throughout the disk may be more distracting than enlightening.

    I'd peg the age-appropriateness of the album at ages 5 through 10. You can see music videos for three of the songs (including the catchy "Critters Have Feelings") at the movie's website. I'd also note that the album also includes song notes from Edwards and complete lyrics. So all you people searching the website for the lyrics, just buy the album! (And if you need to know where to get the CD at a reasonable (i.e., not $50) price, drop me a line.)

    You don't need to have enjoyed the movie -- or even to have seen the movie -- to enjoy the Hoowinked soundtrack (though it'll add a little bit to your enjoyment). I definitely recommend this album, but it's not so much for your kids as it is for yourself. Your kids are likely to get tired of it long before you do.

    Reader Comments (13)

    So where can I get the CD at a reasonable price?
    October 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTom Loop
    My daughter and I love the music, but I can not find it anywhere. Help?
    October 9, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAlex Langston
    Sorry, when I checked this week, my source ( reported the album as being out-of-stock. I don't have any place to refer you to (other than eBay and other sites willing to sell you copies for $35+).

    Hopefully the disk will get rereleased at some point in the future.
    October 11, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterStefan
    i love the movie i love the song great big world i can't find THE LYRICS...HELP?
    November 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterclaire bristle
    Thanks for the great review. Let me answer the lingering mystery as to why the soundtrack does not exist anymore: sad to say, it is due to contract disputes between the movie's investor and the record company. As the director, I can tell you that it was completely out of the hands of the filmmakers... and it absolutely KILLS us that no one can easily buy this product now. It is a fantastic disc and booklet that Ryko did a great job on and we're very proud of it. I have faith that it will resurface someday.
    December 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCory Edwards
    Todd Edwards also has a band called Blick Van Glory you can find on myspace. There are a couple great new songs there you can check out, as well as a very entertaining video!
    December 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCameron
    we love the music in the hoodwinked movie. can't find the soundtrack anywhere. help!
    January 16, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterleslie mosesso
    Just read ur review and I'm devestated!How could the best soundtrack of the year only have a run of 1000 copies? I'm from england and have tried everywhere!I'm itching for these songs!
    January 25, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Gore
    My 16 month old daughter loves the music. Any tips on where to find.?

    February 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterChaz Kesner
    Any chance of getting this cd anywhere other than from the scalpers on ebay at over 65$ a copy?I need a few songs off this cd for a kids ice skating show I am doing. They love the music from the movie and I cant find it anywhere.I know its wrong, but I would even pay for a burned copy. The kids are really looking forward to finding this music. We have looked all over the web and do so almost nightly.thanks-Dee
    March 8, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterdee
    My kids love the movie! Just curious where to find a copy? Thanks!
    April 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJoey Traywick
    My wife and I love this movie and have had an impossible time trying to find this soundtrack. Can you help us? Thank You!
    May 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony
    I am looking for this soundtrack too. Any insight into a cheaper alt to ebay would be great. Thnx -Amy
    August 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAMY

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