|1.||"SpongeBob SquarePants Theme" - Avril Lavigne|
|2.||"SpongeBob & Patrick Confront the Psychic Wall of Energy" - The Flaming Lips|
|3.||"Just a Kid" - Wilco|
|4.||"The Goofy Goober Song" - Mike Simpson with SpongeBob, Patrick & Goofy Goober|
|5.||"Prince Paul's Bubble Party" - The Waikikis, Prince Paul & Wordsworth|
|6.||"Bikini Bottom" - Electrocute|
|7.||"The Best Day Ever" - SpongeBob|
|8.||"They'll Soon Discover" - The Shins|
|9.||"Ocean Man" - Ween|
|10.||"Under My Rock" - Patrick|
|11.||"Now That We're Men" - SpongeBob, Patrick & The Monsters|
|12.||"Goofy Goober Rock" - Tom Rothrock with Jim Wise|
|13.||"You Better Swim" - Motorhead|
|14.||"The Jellyfish Song by The Jellyfish Band" - Plus-Tech Squeezebox featuring SpongeBob|
|15.||"SpongeBob SquarePants Theme (Movie Version)" - The Pirates|
|Track lengths not available for this album. If you have track length/time information for this album, please e-mail it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add it to the database.|
|by Justus Pendleton
November 26, 2004
Nickelodeon's "SpongeBob SquarePants" is the most-watched kids' television show in history and has turned into a $2 billion-a-year cash cow. Most weeks it is beaten only by ESPN's NFL coverage for the top spot among cable programs, regularly pulling in upwards of 3 million viewers according to Nielsen Media Research. No one was surprised when Nickelodeon decided to cash in on this success with a 90-minute feature. Some of those good rating are due to the cult following of Bikini Bottom's residents among adults and college students. Which explains the presence of groups like The Flaming Lips, Wilco, The Shins, and Ween on the soundtrack for The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie hardly groups your 8-year old niece and nephew are likely to be fans of.
Things start out in familiar territory with a peppy Gap-rock reprise of the TV show's theme song courtesy of Avril Lavigne, the only artist on the album most children are likely to be fans of. If you're a fan of the show, whatever appreciation you might have had for this song is crushed both by its brevity - at 46 seconds short even by modern pop standards - and by having heard its more familiar TV variation hundreds of times. One can't help but wonder how contract negotiations for a 46 second cover song work. Unfortunately this sets the album out on a wrong, watered-down foot from which it never entirely recovers.
Part of the problem is that the album tries to appeal to two very different groups: alt.rock hipster young adults, and kids. The result is an uneven blend shifting between Wilco and sing-alongs by SpongeBob and Patrick. Few adults will find much beyond limited novelty value in the repetitive "Goofy Goober Song" - whose lyrics seem to consist solely of "I'm a goofy goober, you're a goofy goober, we're all goofy goobers", no doubt as popular among kids as it is hated by their parents - or SpongeBob's "It's The Best Day Ever", which is as relentlessly upbeat as the name implies. "Now That We're Men", set to a parade march, has as its most "memorable" moment a more-than-a-little disturbing "time for slappy" between Patrick and SpongeBob.
The original offerings by The Flaming Lips, Wilco, The Shins, and Motorhead are passable - decent to good, but nothing great - and suffer from a kind of watering-down and pandering: The Wilco song being backed by Jeff Tweedy's eight-year old son and his band is but one example of this. Which is a shame because the bands, The Flaming Lips in particular, are a perfect complement to the SpongeBob's slacker/stoner world. Two songs in particular deserve special mention, but for opposite reasons. Ween's "Ocean Man" is the best song on the track, possibly because it was previously released on their disc The Mollusk and thus avoids the trap the others fall into of being so SpongeBob specific in its lyrics. Motorhead, in turn, offers us-by far-the longest song on the disc ("You Better Swim", 5:14) which is little more than a cover of George Thorogood's classic "Bad to the Bone" but with marine lyrics. It is almost, but not quite, bad in a good way. The choice of a classic rock song for homage in a children's movie seems a bit strange and doesn't mesh well with the other tunes which are geared toward children or slacker young adults.
The most interesting pieces are the ones that capture the fierce insanity and blithe obliviousness of the TV show. Prince Paul offers us a slow rap (I could never decide whether he was just mailing it on or languid) over a Hawaiian luau (credited to The Waikikis) with an audio collage of dolphins chirping and SpongeBob explaining how to blow a bubble in the background. Electrocute's "Bikini Bottom" starts out as a relatively straightforward sounding beach song (albeit with more of a synth than Beach Boys' beat) before heading to left field: the beach song is replaced by 100% electronica rap with a before returning to beach beats but with French lyrics. They are interesting but I'm not certain how well they'd stand up to repeated listening.
The whole thing closes with the predictable, but still good, big movie orchestra reprise of the TV show's theme. Well, there's only so much you can do with "Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?"
As mentioned above, this disc seems to target two different groups and it seems unlikely that either are going to be wholly satisfied with the disc. Ween's "Ocean Man" is probably over most kids' heads and I can't imagine many adults could handle more than three or four listenings of "The Goofy Goober Song". All of the songs are quite short: only six of the fifteen are over three minutes in length. This is double-bladed, however; the bad songs are mercifully brief but the good ones are disastrously short. It's not a bad disc but the appeal will likely lay primarily with fans of the show - the only other SpongeBob music disc released thus far is a 2001 disc that is little more than CD single with under 10 minutes of music on it - and fans of the groups who want copies of original songs unlikely to be released anywhere else.
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