Friday, January 15, 2010

Album Review: The Simpsons - The Simpsons Sing the Blues (1990, 4.5/5)

In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of The Simpsons, I decided to buy The Simpsons Sing the Blues album the first and presumably best soundtrack from the show. I'm a massive fan of the show, probably the most morally relatable cartoon ever created (with both South Park and Family Guy closely behind).

The album is so obnoxiously early '90s, I love it. The synths, funky keyboards and the canny yet slightly cheesy lyrics brilliantly demonstrated on the popular Michael Jackson-penned novelty single "Do the Bartman," voiced by Bart Simpson (Nancy Cartwright) which can be seen as the Soulja Boy "Crank That" of its time, also has some pretty cool lyrics too ("Fixin' test scores to get the best scores, droppin' banana peels all over the floor"). The song also became a first UK #1 for the show. Similar is "Deep Deep Trouble," a scattering '90s funk with brilliant lyrics.

I like thc classic rock sound on Chuck Berry's "School Days," fueled with gushes of electronic guitars and jolly poignant piano keys--portraying a very apt description of the bleakness school, again with some cool lyrics. That guitar-solo is awesome and the chanting of "hail, hail rock n roll." Blues musician B.B. King lends his guitaring skills on the bluesy "Born Under a Bad Sign," voice by Homer Simpson (Dan Castellaneta) fueled with strings, guitars and jazzy horns as Simpson desperately pleads: "If it wasn't for bad luck I wouldn't have any luck at all."

Next track, "Moaning Lisa," is my favorite song on the album because its accompanying episode Moaning Lisa is among my favorite episodes of The Simpsons, a heart-felt illustration of young-blues and depression through Lisa Simpson (Yeardley Smith) using the saxophone as an escapism. Following is Lisa's cover of Billie Holiday's "God Bless the Child," a soulful, bluesy bewildering ballad.

Last couple tracks aren't as great as the ones before but still good. Marge Simpson (Julie Kavner) and Homer indulge in a sweet love-fest on Randy Newmans's sultry "I Love to See You Smile." Marge also croaks on the next track "Springfield Soul Stew," which actually has a pretty cool composition, horns, keyboards, organs and stuttering piano keys. Mr. Burns (Christopher Collins) unleashes his anger on the synth-heavy "Look At All Those Idiots." And Bart and Lisa go at it on the classical broadway-styled "Sibling Rivalry."

The Simpsons Sing the Blues is a fantastic album, definately more than a novelty album--definately a must-have for any fan like myself. Such witty lyrics and brilliant beats. Between Family Guy's Live in Vegas soundtrack and South Park's Chef Aid, this would probably just trail after Family Guy. It's astonising that it's been twenty years, looking back at the earlier episodes seems so fresh although admittedly the show hasn't been as good since the late '90s.

Best: Moaning Lisa, Do the Bartman, School Days, Deep Deep Troubele, Born Under a Bad Sign


Paul said...

I really only know this album for Do The Bartman which i still sometimes occasionally break into for no reason. Weird! :P I prefer the songs they have done in the show - some of them are good enough for a broadway musical they are so adept and their parodies are spot on. One of my fave Simpsons episodes ever is the Mary Poppins parody and the songs are hilarious :)

J.Mensah said...

Ahhh! That episodes called Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala-D'oh-cious. I agree it's halarious! One of my favorites too.

Mel said...

OMG. I didn't even know this existed...Wow.

I'm not one to judge -- I had the soundtrack to the Animaniacs and wore that out. Haha.

J.Mensah said...

WOW! Animaniacs had a soundtrack? I use to love that show! lol Before there was Cow and Chicken and Dexter's Laboratory.