Soundtrack Review: SHREK FOREVER AFTER

Allison Loring

by: Allison Loring
June 7th, 2010

Rating: 3/5

What does a tricky, magical, recently dethroned fairy tale character do once he is no longer king? DJ his own radio show, of course!

Broadcasting from RMPL, the SHREK FOREVER AFTER soundtrack starts off with Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn) launching into a car salesman style introduction of his radio show. This idea sets up the soundtrack as an element of its own, separate from just playing a supporting role to the film. Having the album as a radio show hosted by Rumpel, doing a schticky bit in between each song, is inventive and goes along with the joke within a joke that has become a SHREK staple.

We get some personal antidotes, supporting characters in the studio, and some of our favorite characters from Far Far Away calling in with requests or as contest winners. However, since some of these radio segments are recorded as an extension of the tracks themselves, it could make wanting to listen to just the music without the jokes difficult. (Unless you happen to have a music editing program laying around and feel like re-cutting the soundtrack for future listening.)

The album is a combination of new songs, older songs, and new versions of well-known tunes creating a good mix of songs you will recognize and new ones to check out. Just like any good radio show, you get a handful of songs you know and love plus some new ones you may not have heard before.

The Scissor Sisters provide a brand new track, “Isn’t it Strange," kicking off the collection while also hinting at the fact that this time around, the world of Shrek may have taken a strange turn. Landon Pigg (WHIP IT) and Lucy Schwartz give us the one “slow” song on the album with their folksy “Darling I Do." Antonio Banderas’ Puss In Boots even gets a track with his version of “One Love."

Along with these new tracks, the album includes some classic songs from artists such as the Carpenter’s with “Top Of The World” and Lionel Richie’s “Hello." Plus the Beastie Boy’s “Sure Shot," adding a bit of hip-hop among the pop and rock tracks.

Mike Simpson, composer and producer for films like FIGHT CLUB and artists such as Beck, provides the only instrumental tracks on the album with “Rumpel’s Party Palace” and “Shake Your Groove Thing." “Rumpel’s Party Palace” plays like what the Mad Hatter’s tea party would sound like when infused with electronica, while the flutes driving the popular “Shake Your Groove Thing” bring a sense of whimsy and fun to the well-known tune.

Made popular in the first film by Smash Mouth, Weezer gives us their take on one of my favorite songs, “I’m A Believer," with a slightly more rock and roll version than Smash Mouth’s pop infused cover. Always catchy, and even though it gets stuck in my head for a few hours every time I hear it, I liked Weezer’s more full-bodied band rounding out the chorus.

I thought structuring the soundtrack like a radio show was really fun and different. Plus, it makes the album interesting on its own by creating a new story itself rather than just mirroring the story in the film. It’s an amusing listen, but because many of the tracks are Rumpelstiltskin’s radio bits, the actual musical content is a bit sparse. I could see this being a good album to play with kids in the car with no need to worry about the content, while still entertaining the adults and Shrek fans alike.

This soundtrack is available through DGC/Interscope Records.

1. “It’s The Rumpelstiltskin Show!” – Shrek Forever After
2. “Isn’t It Strange” – Scissor Sisters
3. “Tough Love For Baba” – Shrek Forever After
4. “One Love” – Antonio Banderas (Plus Sunshine And Rainbows)
5. “Top Of The World” – The Carpenters
6. “Cupcake Party” – Shrek Forever After
7. “Rumpel’s Party Palace” – Mike Simpson
8. “Pinocchio Gets His Wish” – Shrek Forever After
9. “Click Click” – Light FM Featuring Lloyd Hemmings (Pl
10. “Darling I Do” – Landon Pigg And Lucy Schwartz
11. “Shake Your Groove Thing” – Mike Simpson
12. “Hello” – Lionel Richie
13. “Birthday Bash” – Shrek Forever After
14. “Sure Shot” – Beastie Boys
15. “Hook’s Garrrrden” – Shrek Forever After
16. “Right Back Where We Started From” – Maxine Nightingale
17. “Wheezer Wig” – Shrek Forever After
18. “I’m A Believer” – Weezer
19. “Home To Fifi” – Shrek Forever After

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