When out perusing the aisles for some fresh wax, it’s not likely you’ll think: “You know what I need? 107 comedic songs from an Emmy-award winning US cartoon.” But life rarely does make sense, and when none other than Sub Pop are releasing the side-splitting musical exploits of cult smash Bob’s Burgers, such thoughts may indeed pop into your coconut. Sometimes overshadowed by its bigger and crasser contemporaries, the show manages to pull off the rare feat that made The Simpsons untouchable in its golden age. This is namely balancing animated slapstick, family drama, and surrealism all while subtlety including a host of pop culture references for the unashamedly nerdy out there.
Amassing a mammoth collecting of tunes and gags from the series’ first 107 episodes; the ‘music album’ is too damn fun for its own good. It proves hard to examine something when its sole purpose is to entertain, but hell, we’ll have a go.
What first strikes you are the manner in which the shows team has created pitch perfect parodies of nearly any genre you wish to mention. Tori Amos fans out there won’t be able hold back a snigger at ‘Tabitha Johansson’s environmental ‘Oil Slick’, a highly sexualised piano number complete with trill vocals. The western soundtrack gets ‘Banjo’, a whole year before Tarantino did similar in cinemas, while ‘Boyz 4 Now’ and their inane tween lyrics mercilessly rip boy bands of yesteryear.
Bona fide stars also get in on the action, Cyndi Lauper happily spoofing her own ‘The Goonies ‘r’ Good Enough’ with ‘Taffy Butt’, a tale of treasure… and behinds. Further proving musicians affinity with the show is the inclusion of ‘Bob’s Buskers’, five cover versions performed by real heavyweights like The Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt, St. Vincent and The National. Still, it’s the main cast that really shine, all more than game to tackle crap self-improvement videos, ‘The Price Of Persuasia’, a Die Hard musical and an ode to Bloody Marys.
At such a length, and with such a mishmash of insanity, the whole collection can become a tiring listen. However, as with any TV or film tie-in, it’s better to go for the all or nothing approach for fear of upsetting the super fan. Much like the show itself this is a wonderfully crafted set (check out the deluxe ‘condiment’ vinyl), which is at times both smart, sweet and very, very, stupid. Let's pray there’ll be a volume two down the line.
Words: Sam Walker-Smart
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