WALL·E soundtrack CD review

The soundtrack album to Pixar's summer hit makes its way through James' ears...

You know what really chafes my caboose about this movie? The way they spell the title with that period in there. WALL·E. Call me an idiot, but I’ve been using computer keyboards all my life and I can’t for the life of me figure out how the hell to type that. I spent a good hour and a half mashing the keys on my PC to no avail. Of course, that could be the problem – I’m a PC. I bet Macs have all kinds of wacky commands like that. At any rate, I just copied and pasted the title from the film’s IMDB listing. Thanks, Disney, for the most obnoxious movie title spelling since Face/Off.

Anyway, the soundtrack. I don’t know what it is about the Newman family, but Pixar loves utilizing their musical chops. When they aren’t jackin’ Randy for his sensible Seventies-style soft pop, they’re wrangling in his cousin, Thomas, for some serious white-knuckle scorin’. Tommy Boy lends a cautious and quirky sound to WALL·E, capturing perfectly what it feels like to be an impossibly cute and lonely robot trapped on a desolate planet with only a copy of Hello Dolly! to keep you company. As that last sentence infers, yes, I was once an impossibly cute and lonely robot trapped on a desolate planet with only a copy of Hello Dolly! to keep me company. WALL·E is actually my life story. I guess that makes for a conflict of interest regarding this review. Uh-oh Spaghetti-Ohs!

Sprinkled throughout the WALL·E soundtrack are, of course, songs from Hello Dolly!, which do a good job of breaking up the slight monotony of cartoon drama orchestration. Not to knock T. Newman, but an hour of this yazz might make you feel like you’re queuing for a ride in Tomorrowland. There’s got to be a WALL·E ride at Disney by now, right? I bet there’s at least one in the works. They’ll probably replace Cinderella’s Castle with a giant statue of Johnny Five Jr high-fiving Woody from Toy Story as the Incredibles and Ratatouille look on. I’m not jaded, I swear. It’s a kids’ theme park. Trust me, I was way more pissed about Kongfrontation! closing at neighboring Universal Studios.

Peter Gabriel makes an appearance towards the end of this disc, turning in the lackluster “Down To Earth”. I’ve never been the biggest Gabe fan, but I bet kids and their moms can find common ground on long car rides with Pete’s watered-down African tribal funk. It’s amazing how many 1980s superstars have skid into toddler territory towards the end of their careers. Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, They Might Be Giants – though, if you ask me, the Two Johns were always teetering on the verge of writing full-on Kindergarten jammy jamz. Well, yard monsters need entertainment, too. So have at it, Kool-Aid kids. Just don’t get yer greasy paws all over Dad’s original vinyl edition of Never Mind the Bollocks. That shit’s paying for your first semester of college.

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3 out of 5