Category Archives: Electronic

Maroon 5 – Overexposed

Maroon 5
Overexposed
June 20, 2012
A&M OctoneUMG
068/100
Maroon 5 - Overexposed
1. One More Night // 2. Payphone (feat. Wiz Khalifa) // 3. Daylight // 4. Lucky Strike // 5. The Man Who Never Lied // 6. Love Some Body // 7. Lady Killer // 8. Fortune Teller // 9. Sad // 10. Tickets // 11. Doin Dirt // 12. Beautiful Goodbye

Bonus tracks
13. Wipe Your Eyes // 14. Wasted Year // 15. Kiss // 16. Moves Like Jagger (feat. Christina Aguilera) // 17. Payphone [Supreme Cuts Remix] (feat. Wiz Khalifa) // 18. Payphone [Cutmore Remix] (feat. Wiz Khalifa) // 19. Payphone [Sound of Arrows Remix] (feat. Wiz Khalifa)

What constitutes a sellout? Did Maroon 5 trade in credibility for cold hard cash? A lot of other reviewers, as well as fans certainly think that Overexposed is a perfect example of a sellout and yes, they did.

To this reviewer this is not a question that’s easy to answer. One could go either way arguing, really. While Maroon 5 has always been about catchy radio-ready songs and never seemed to give a fuck about high culture credibility (which was good for them because they never got any accordingly) one could usually argue in their defence that in spite of their lack of innovative music-making they at the very least were a skilled traditional soul-influenced rock band, bringing many times some oft needed warm organic sounds to EDM and hip-hop dominated charts.

But with their ballsily titled fourth/fifth studio album of original material Overexposed they throw this shred of cred out the window so that Adam can finally be the electro disco diva he always envisioned himself to be, and which the success of their über-catchy, Christina Aguilera-featuring novelty hit Moves Like Jagger, which is present both on their last album Hands All Over and here as a bonus-track, finally allows him to be. (Well, in terms of success anyway. Makes Me Wonder and If I Never See Your Face Again already hinted at this artistic direction, but they never became as huge hits as Jagger did.)

This would be just fine if this were marketed as Levine’s solo-debut album, but since it is dubbed an M5 album it really makes one wonder how much imput the other four had. Overexposed for the most part doesn’t sound like four-to-five humans playing instruments, with one of them singing.
Also the list of producers recruited for Overexposed, and especially its opening salvo (Max Martin, Shellback, Benny Blanco) seem to have purposely been selected to push M5 in an EDM direction, one that requires but a person with a laptop with fl studio on it and a keyboard and a vocalist to make music, not a five piece band. The rock-influences (they had been a full rock band on their ’97 debut) have now fully and completely disappeared, which they had gradually been doing bit by bit, album by album anyway. This is EDM influenced R&B pop.

The resulting album is quite the quilty pleasure. From the Rihanna-esque Max Martin produced pop-reggae of One More Night, through the Wiz Khalifa-featuring android-Coldplay of Payphone. These songs would work equally well in the club as they would on M.O.R. radio.
And since M5 never really rocked hard you’d have to pay attention to actually notice them landing in their usual more acoustic, less robotic groove on Daylight, and find a way to succesfully blend both styles on the exuberant Lucky Strike, which manages to approach Jagger in is sheer mindless fun and catchyness.

The Man Who Never Lied manages to slyly incorporate the rhythm of this generation, dubstep in a glossy pop song and again blends electronic with the human in a manner that should get some heads to nod and some foots to tap.
Love Somebody is glossy new wave/ disco pop that’s tailor made for the discotheque and as such is works fine.

Lady Killer distinctly sounds like the Maroon 5 of olde with it’s very human, mildly funky groove and lyrics about heartbreak on the dancefloor and what not, and for longtime fans it should come as a breath of fresh air.

Love Somebody is glossy new wave/ disco pop that’s tailor made for the discotheque and as such is pretty functional.
Fortune Teller and Tickets are pretty decent, pretty straightforward GaGa ripoffs, What’s that? What are you complaining about? Bounce, bitch, bounce!
Sad is the first actual ballad on here and consists of nothing but Adam’s singing and a piano accompaniment. It sounds like the sort of vocal display that the Voice-participants would perform to impress the jury.
Doin’ Dirt is some stroboscope-shining disco for the ecstasy generation and constitutes the last call to the dancefloor, before Beautiful Goodbye‘s slow tempo initiates the slow dance that should draw you and the person you want to take home and bed together and finally break the ice.

(For those sticking around for the after-party, in the bonus track section you will find Moves Like Jagger as a fitting encore, as well as a rockabilly cover of Prince’s Kiss that is actually pretty innovative, but doesn’t fit on Overexposed, a song that blends early naughties Justin Timberlake and some big band horns called Wasted Year and finally three asinine remixes of Payphone in a row that all sound exactly the same as the original version.)

Now, back to the question posed in the beginning of the review. What constitutes a sellout? Did M5 sell their soul (no pun intended) just to sell records the way many other reviewers claim?

Here at DITC the jury is still out, actually. On the one hand, as was said earlier; M5 was never about very substantial music, not even during their “grunge” days, and Overexposed doesn’t sound forced. It is entirely possible Adam and co. enjoyed fucking around with some new sounds (even if everyone else was fucking with those exact same sounds at the exact same time, Adam is well known to not be a very picky guy) On the other hand, it is entirely possible that the record label liked the extra revenue Jagger brought about and told the guys to deliver another dozen of those.

Who cares with results this catchy? Overexposed is a party, a very slight party, but one worth attending anyway. And whoever’s idea it was making an electro-dance record, it wasn’t a completely horrible one. Especially considering what a relative clunker Hands All Over was. And even though I still think this more as a producers-driven Adam Levine solo album on which his band-buddies only get to play along on a couple of tracks. But that doesn’t mean in any way there’s not a wealth of catchy ass-shakers on here, because there is (more than on Hands All Over but less than on IWBSBL). Hopefully the guys will swiftly return to what got them a fanbase and made them, you know, a band with their own sound, and it remains to be seen whether anyone will listen to this in ten years (except Jagger, which is one for the ages) but for now this is a very catchy, well put-together album for the summer. And that is certainly worth something.

Best tracks
One More Night
Payphone
Lucky Strike
Lady Killer
Tickets
Doin Dirt
(Wasted Year
Kiss
Moves Like Jagger)

Recommendations
Pick this up, you should go for the deluxe edition. Even if it contains it’s fair share of meh tracks, there’s even more pop music that’s catchier than ebola.


Maroon 5 – Call And Response: The Remix Album

Maroon 5
Call And Response: The Remix Album
December 9, 2008
A&M OctoneUMG
045/100
Maroon 5 - Call and Respond The Remix Album
1. If I Never See Your Fage Again [Swizz Beatz Remix] (feat. Cross) // 2. Wake Up Call [Mark Ronson Remix] (feat. Mary J. Blige)  // 3. Sunday Morning [Questlove Remix] // 4. Makes Me Wonder [Just Blaze Remix] // 5. This Love [C. “Tricky” Stewart Remix] // 6. She Will Be Loved [Pharrell Williams Remix] // 7. Shiver [DJ Quik Remix] // 8. Wake Up Call [David Banner Remix] (feat. David Banner) // 9. Harder To Beathe [The Cool Kids Remix] (feat. the Cool Kids) // 10. Little of Your Time [Bloodshy And Avant Remix] // 11. Little Of Your Time [Of Montreal Remix] // 12. Goodnight Goodnight [Deerhoof Remix] // 13. Not Falling Apart [Tiësto Remix] // 14. Better That We Break [Ali Shaheed Mohammed & Doc Remix] // 15. Secret [DJ Premier Remix] // 16. Woman [Sam Fararr Remix] // 17. This Love [Cut Copy Galactic Beach House Remix] // 18. If I Never See Your Face Again [Paul Oakenfold Remix] (feat. Rihanna)

Remix albums of conventional pop acts tend to age horribly and usually don’t sound very good to begin with.
Usually when greedy record executive commision one an artist’s back catalog is stripped of some or most of its instrumentals and thrown over beats that incorporates whatever EDM or hip-hop style is en vogue at the time of the album’s release. If the remixer of a particular track is a hip-hop producer usually a rapper gets called in to do one or two thowaway verses, and because there’s typically none of the artists that created the original songs around for quality controll and because appearing on the remix of the latest pop tart’s latest single, which you don’t necessarily fancy, an act with a fanbase that doesn’t necessarily fancy you, is an ungrateful chore usually said rappers can’t be blamed for not bringing their A-game to the table. And the same usually goes for the high priced EDM DJs that are called in to create club bangers.

As much as I want to like West-Coast hip-hop legend DJ Quik, East-Coast hip-hop legend DJ Premier, A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Mohammed, music legend in general Pharrell Williams, hipster rappers the Cool Kids and southern stalwart David Banner taking on M5 tracks (being that I’m both a huge M5 fan and a huge hip-hop head and given that these are usually each very reliable producers) all they go to show is that yes Maroon 5 is very much a band and taking Adam’s vocal tracks out of their original band-surroundings completely takes away the appeal.
It also doesn’t help that especially the Pharrell and Premier tracks sound like some studio tool was given the task to unimaginatively create instrumentals that sounds like the work of the people they’re credited to on the back of this album.
Oh well, at least the Swizzy contribution sucks as much as I thought it would, which doesn’t make up for anything, but is reassuring nontheless. Who the hell is this Cross guy anyway, and who did he have to fellate to appear on a major label release by a succesful pop act?

The Oakenfold and Tiësto contributions at the very least should serve their purpose of getting some girls people to dance at the club, but it’s debatable whether any non-diskjockey would need to own these tracks, and whether those who would aren’t better off picking them up on EDM compilations where they appear alongside similarly minded stomping concoctions.

Then there’s pop heavyweights Bloodshy & Avant and C. Tricky Stewart’s contributions, which simply take away the organic feeling of the originals, replace it with crappy midi-music and call it a night. I hope Adam and co. just had these remixes lying around from varying single-releases and decided to compile them rather then commission them specifically for this album, because that would be a waste of time and.. well not really resources, the best thing Bloodshy & Avant ever did was Britney Spears’ Toxic.
The alternative rock band Of Montréal’s remix of Little Of Your Time sounds like someone fucking around with sound effects, keyboards, distorted guitars and fruityloops in such a horrible manner that these people should be dragged onto the streets and egged by a mob of angry villagers.
The Deerhoof Remix of Goodnight Goodnight, while not very good in and by itself, sounds like the Rolling Stones and the Beatles collaborating with Michael Jackson-good in comparison.

Now for the good. Mark Ronson brings the very best track with his remix of Wake Up Call which pairs Levine’s vocals with those of Mary J. Blige to good results. (Unlike all the previous pairings, bar Tiësto and Paul, this pairing, actually makes sense on paper.)
Just Blaze reimagines Make Me Wonder as a Elton John meets Justin Timberlake-ish ballad, which while not topping the uptempo disco original version does show some good imagination, and doesn’t sound like shit, which is awesome in the context of this album.
And the Cut Copy Galactic Beach house version of This Love has a nice percolating New Order-ish groove you can dance to, even if Adam’s vocal contribution is so edited-down that M5 might as well could have been credited as providing the source material for this track’s creators to have sampled, but certainly not as featured, let alone this song’s main artists. That doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s about as good as this album gets, but should be mentioned anyway.

With eighteen different remix outfits creating these eighteen remixes this album doesn’t even suck consistently, each track gets to regurgitate semen in its very own unique way. Also, they should’ve included the Kanye West remix of This Love because that would be track that fans might actually want to own, and perhaps Levine’s duet with mr. West Heard ‘Em Say, because it is essentially an alternate version to IWSBL‘s Nothing Lasts Forever (even if it is the original version.)

In short, this album is mostly a mixed bag of several flavours of uninspired, misguidedly created bullshit, made mostly from perfectly good original tracks. Everything sucks, except the below five tracks. Although in all fairness you could probably live a good, fulfilling  life without having ever heard those either.

Avoid at al costs.

Best tracks
Wake Up Call [Mark Ronson Remix]
Makes Me Wonder [Just Blaze Remix]
Not Falling Apart [Tiësto Remix]
If I Never See Your Face Again [Paul Oakenfold Remix]
This Love [Cut Copy Galactic Beach House Remix]

Recommendations
What the fuck do you think?


Daft Punk – Homework

Daft Punk
Homework
20 January 1997
Virgin Records
UMG
090/100

Daft Punk - Homework

1. Daftendirekt // 2. Wdpk 83.7 fm // 3. Revolution 909 // 4. Da Funk // 5. Phoenix // 6. Fresh // 7. Around The World // 8. Rollin’& Scratching // 9. Teachers // 10. High Fidelity // 11. Rock’n Roll // 12. Oh Yeah // 13. Burnin’ // 14. Indo Silver Club // 15. Alive // 16. Funk Ad

Daft Punk is a team up of two DJs who became popular in the early nineties. They were influenced by Funk, early electronic music, Techno and eighties Pop à la Roxy Music. Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter a.k.a. Daft Punk were part of a new generation of so-called Dance artists like Basement Jaxx, Moby and Armand van Helden just to name a few. Continuing the list: Junkie XL, Air, The Chemical Brothers and you understand how fertile that period was for electronic music.

In 1996 their album Homework was released in Europe. In the U.S.A release followed in 1997. It was an immense success that put them on the map of the music world we know today. Their sound of Funk and Disco infected House and Techno still seduces unsuspecting people to shuffle their feet. I grew up in the nineties and Daft Punk’s work was part of the mainstream music channels like TMF and MTV (before reality TV took over what still calls itself Music TeleVision).

One presses play and Daftendirekt begins. A low voice makes its presence and after 35 seconds the beat starts. “Da funk back to the time, come on” is repeated and slowly the track unveils its full mix. Wdpk 83.7 fm is basically the radio promo that officially starts the album.

Revolution 909 starts with a thumping beat and sirens that introduces an infectious House tune. The samples have a retro sound to it. After 3:10 a short Techno interlude mixes up the sound after which the Disco infused House continues. Da Funk is a personal favourite track of mine on this album. The break-beat intro is so effective in luring one into the raw electronic groove. Big beats and break-beats are in a rare harmony that aren’t often heard. The electronic soloing in the middle of the track really gives this track a unique vibe.

Phoenix starts with dry beats, high hats follow and step by step the sounds make their introduction. Daft Punk want to lure you into their sound and successfully so, I am practically dancing on my chair. Fresh like water on a beach. Electric keys, beats and groove introduce me to Fresh. Again the layers of sounds just lure you in. This is more of a chill-out House track to which you can still dance or just read a book. The fade out, water on a beach…

Around The World changed many things. The video of for this track changed the world of music forever. The sound of this track was a groovy revelation in its time. This track gets people exited to boogie like MJ’s Blame It On The Boogie can do it. What’s left to add? 7 full minutes of pure electronic funky ecstasy. Rollin’& Scratchin’ is different. A repetitive dry beat becomes louder and louder while the samples slowly come together. If this track had screaming vocals and wailing guitars it would be Industrial, it is brutal yet listenable. Instead it is noisy Techno. It has a strange appeal one has to be in the mood for.

Teachers, the title tells you enough. Daft Punk mentions the names of those who inspired them. Over a break beat with a vocal sample so one can take notes before you start searching.
High Fidelity, back to beats and samples. A sample is looped and cut over one beat in various beats throughout the entire track. This results in a funky House track that remains remarkably fun to listen to.

Beats and hand claps introduce Rock’n Roll. Slowly an electronic noise repeats itself more and more. If Hard Rock would be turned into electronic music this somewhat matches my imagined outcome. A strange electronic sound wails like a lead guitar over the beats. Just like Rollin’& Scratching this track is brutal yet listenable. Oh Yeah follows as groove and a slow beat with a vocal samples slow down the pace. This track is a short transition to the last part of the album. But as a separate track it still stands on its own.

Slow beats, a strange noise and an old sample start Burnin’. This track is cool for its subtle effect while you are lured into another House groove. Daft Punk really know how to immerse the listener into the music. Even the most reluctant party goer cannot resist the urge to just dance. Indo Silver Club’s intro starts softly. After that the funky House groove takes you away. This is one of those tracks that immediately hits or misses. It sounds shy of bland but its hook can catch anyone off guard. I happen to have a weak spot for this track.

Alive starts and futuristic bombastic sounds enter make their entrance. The sounds come in one by one and at 2:08 the futuristic eighties Disco groove just takes the listener to another place entirely. This music could easily be a soundtrack for a chase in a Sci-Fi film from the eighties. This track is simply epic. Funk Ad closes the album. The outro for the album is a slow groove that slowly fades out with the sound of Da Funk…

Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter produced this album to have a particular sound. When listening through headphones, AKG K500s I initially thought the album sounded slightly loud. Not brick walled just more emphasized lows and highs for a more exiting sound. On this album it works. Just be careful with the listening volume. A part from that you can hear the craftsmanship both DJs put in this album. But there’s one think I would like to know from you, if you can spare a moment: why the name Daft Punk?

Best Tracks
Da Funk
Phoenix
Around The World
Rock’n Roll
Indo Silver Club
Alive

Recommendations
This album, gives one the feeling of listening to a freshly copied bootleg of a Daft Punk gig. There is no filler to speak of, everything works and when one stops thinking the music takes over. Also, in its own way this album marked a new era of electronic music a.k.a. Dance. Even today this album still sounds fresh and different. Highly recommended…

My regards,

Rura88


Datarock – Red

Datarock
Red
2009
Young Aspiring Professionals/ Nettwerk Music Group/ EMI
070/100

Datarock - Red

1.The Blog // 2.Give It Up // 3.True Stories // 4.Dance! // 5.Molly // 6.Do It Your Way // 7.In The Red // 8.Fear Of Death // 9.Amarillion // 10.The Pretender // 11.Back In The Seventies // 12.Not Me // 13.New Days Dawn

Fast forward to 2009. The second album by the Norwegian band Datarock is released. Is there a difference compared to the first album? Yes and no and yes my opinion will include comments about music.

The Blog grabs you by the technological throat by treating the evolution and the importance of the internet and world wide web in a fuzzy almost industrial approach to the music combined with samples and distortion. Either way the opener sucks you into the album right away. Give It Up continues the fast pace yet is lighter on lyrical content with its Romeo & Juliet plot on a typical eighties Pop track à la Michael Jackson/Quincy Jones. True Stories slows down the pace with a modest bass groove and playful percussion while referring to the many eighties influences of Datarock (Talking Heads among others). After which Dance! picks up the pace again with a disco groove that forces you to move while the vocalist keeps planting the word “Dance” in your head. I guess you understand by now.

Molly is a more moody song about childhood love with a typical eighties sound combining synthesizers and guitar with screeching vocals for. I quite like the song actually. Do It Your Way and In The Red follow and I would categorize both tracks almost as filler. Thing is the rushed and distorted Do It Your Way combined with the relaxing “In The Red” which simply sounds clean and gives away the Doors left their mark on this band and I like hearing that. In The Red is completely instrumental and therefore very welcome for varieties sake at least. The synthesizer sounds take me back to the early eighties.

Fear Of Death is lovely song about death and love with a bit of fuzzy guitar and synthesizer melodies. The understated drumming keeps impressing me. The gem of the album, the ultimate ode to the eighties called “Amarillion” follows. What can I add, this song makes me smile and yes it is one big wink to the seventies and eighties with unexpected references over a very smooth and groovy instrumental, nothing sounds overdone. Allow me to wallow in the pleasure, this song brings me back and words are severely insufficient. The Pretender increases the pace again over a catchy disco groove with hilarious lyrics about all of us with a repetitious yet catchy lyrics. Back In The Seventies says it all with a turn to a Ska groove turning into an organ driven Disco track. The harp sample alone. Right after 2.20 the synthesizer solo takes this song to unprecedented highs. Not Me follows with a heavy synthesizer groove and jumpy beats with a shouty refrain accompanied by a jarring guitar unlike anywhere else on this album. The ‘fuzz’ is back while the guitar gets the lead role. From fuzz to tranquil grooving the last song gives you something to slowly ponder about while you chill out over a more soulful track about endings and new beginnings. New Days Dawn is the stand-out closer.

I guess it is clear I like this album. In some ways it resembles their first effort. The opening and closing tracks share typical similarities while the eclectic influences keep the variation in the listening experience. “Red” is more driven by danceable rhythms though.

Best Tracks
True Stories, Dance, Amarillion, Back In The Seventies

Recommendations
My recommendation stays the same. If you don’t have that weak spot for the seventies and eighties this album might not be your cup of tea, sorry. For now “Amarillion” is on repeat.

My regards,

Rura88

P.S. Bonkers, sorry for the delay.


Artful Dodger – It’s All About the Stragglers

The Artful Dodger
It’s All About the Stragglers
November 27, 2000
London Recordings/ UMG

060/100

1. Think About Me (feat. Michelle Escoffery) // 2. Re-Rewind (feat. Craig David) // 3. Outrageous (feat. Lyn Eden) // 4. Please Don’t Turn Me On (feat. Lifford) // 5. Twentyfourseven (feat. Melanie Blatt) // 6. Something (feat. Lifford) // 7. Movin’ Too Fast (feat. Romina Johnson) // 8. R U Ready (feat. MC Alistair) // 9. I Can’t Give Up (feat. Nadia) // 10. Woman Trouble (feat. Robbie Craig & Craig David) // 11. What You Gonna Do? (feat. Craig David) // 12. It Ain’t Enough (feat. MZ May & MC Alistair) // 13. We Should Get Together (feat. Nadia)

Pop music audiences are fickle, but no subgroup more so than mainstream electronic music listeners. An electronic music genre that hovers in the underground can survive for decades without losing their underground popularity and credibility (psychedelic trance and D&B for instance), but once the mainstream adopts it it usually burns out within five years or so. So for those curious about the fate of Dubstep in ten years or so; look no further than It’s All About the Stragglers, the only album released by the Artful Dodger, the flagship artists of the long dead and buried 2step garage genre.

2step garage is Drum & Bass’ smoothed-out cousin, that had quite some mainstream-niche popularity in the late-‘90s to early naughties. It’s music people who are today in their mid- to late twenties to mid thirties listened to at drugged-out parties ten years ago. It’s Dubstep 2000. UKG was born circa 1999 and it was more or less completely dead by 2003. Listening today you’ll be hard-pressed not to regard it as huge chunk of cheese. Question is: Does the cheese stink? (Side note: For the record. I already think of most dubstep as horrible, cheesy, cliché’d crap. And I don’t think the element of vintage will make the dubstep-experience better or worse for me.)

On of 2step’s characteristics is that it usually, though not always, lacks the 4/4 kick drum pattern found in most other forms of dance music, replacing it with more unusual rhythms by for instance placing snare sounds at unusual timings and accents. Also it’s hella more slick and melodic than it’s daddy; liquid Drum & Bass, oft lacing the beats with R&B vocals, making it accessible to the mainstream, or commercial and corny depending on your point of view. My point of view is that UKG is a electronic genre that is gentler, more melodic, more pleasant and yes more pop (What is that even?) than what is blasted in clubs and rave-parties these days. Without glorifying the music I’ll state that I’ll take this over dubstep, tekno, techno, teqneau and what not anytime.

Right. On with the review.

It’s All About the Stragglers is not so much a cohesive album as a collection of previously-released singles. But in 2012 it’s dated/ vintage feel is all the cohesion this reviewer needs, and then some. Most of these songs feature a typically atypical, jittery 2step rhythm, with some poppy bassline and glittery melody, and a competent athough faceless vocalist on top of it.

Within the 50 plus minute span of this shiny compact disc everything starts running together seamlessly, with only three real highlights. This goes not only for the songs but also for the hired vocalists. You try keeping soundalike no-names Michelle Escoffery, Nadia and Romina Johnson apart without looking at the credits. But keeping in mind that this is clubbing music, made for you to shake your ass to, not for close scrutiny by smartass critics, this is besides the point. Stragglers makes for quite entertaining retro dancefloor-fodder. As such you could actually play it in it’s entirety without coming across something off-puttingly bad. Which must’ve been super handy at the time of Stragglers’ release, since you needn’t change cd’s as often at house parties, to maintain the good times.

Today, however, we have iTunes and Spotify, in which you’re not required to change discs in order to switch to another album or artist. Therefor those who can’t be bothered to give half a fuck about yesteryear’s dance music fad can just listen to the songs from the “best tracks” section. The absolute star attraction off this album is the immortal floor filler Re-Rewind, which just so happens to be the debut appearance of a certain Craig David. (After garage died out Mark Hill, the only guy who remains from the original line-up of Artful Dodger, remained with David for couple more years, creating more conventional pop songs. David, by the way, sounds like faceless vocalist #1085 on Re-Rewind as well as on his other two appearances on Stragglers, just like ever other voice on here does. Funny how he became the breakout star. That’s probably only because Re-Rewind became the album’s biggest hit. I wonder if Lifford would’ve had a solo-career if he would’ve been on that song rather than Craig.)

Please Don’t Turn Me On is another high point, with it’s acoustic guitar riff and it’s tempo-changes, and Lifford’s imitations of emoting, while singing about being tempted to cheat and what not. The only other thing worth mentioning is that Melanie Blatt of female vocal quartet All Saints gets a track to herself in Twentyfourseven.

So that’s that. It’s All About the Stragglers is a time capsule, brilliant for 2000-themed parties and nostalgia in general. An unrivaled novelty item. Also it was the launchpad for Craig David’s career, which is… something. It’s not essential listening but it does contain a few terrific songs and it’s nice enough to look to listen to once in its entirety on spotify or grooveshark or something. The three songs in the best tracks section are required listening though.

(By the way, as of late 2step, as well as other forms of UK Garage are in some sort of revival. So after dubstep seemingly dies out forever, probably in a year or so, it’ll probably come back to life after ten years. Groan.)

Best tracks:
Re-Rewind, Please Don’t Turn Me On, Woman Trouble

Recommendations:
Either purchase the album second hand or buy the above three tracks off iTunes or Amazon.


Take That – Everything Changes

Take That

Everything Changes

BMG/ Sony Music Entertainment

10-11-1993

So manufactured male vocal quintet Take That (Since four of the five rarely, if ever, played any instruments they were never a band of any sorts, so the term boy band would be wrong although, if I’m being honest Gary Barlow is, in fact, a musician) got to record a second album. It’s puzzling really if you know what their debut sounded like. I do because I reviewed it (It utterly and completely sounded like crap.) But it was inevitable because said debut miraculously sold enough copies to warrant a follow-up. But let’s keep things brief. It is 1993. Robbie Williams, who would later become Europe’s biggest rock star, is still with the group. They release their worldwide smash hit of a sophomore album and become the most succesful british group since the Beatles.

That last factoid is just fucked up isn’t it?

1. Everything Changes

During the first few seconds Robbie pretends he is a serious R&B singer and straight talks to Take That’s gang rape victim his love interest in a “romantic” manner. On the Take That greatest hits album they edited this intriguing bit of prose out which is definitely for the better but it doth not a good song make. This title track was in fact a hit single but, like everything the man did while in Take That, a complete misfit to Robbie’s style. I mean it’s cute and catchy and all, but one can’t help but think he himself would never himself have elected to record this out of all the songs that are out to be sung.  So yeah. I’m not sure how Robbie managed to get the first lead twice on the first song of one of these albums by a boy band of which he wasn’t the lead singer. Maybe he hit Gary K.O. in the head with a pool ball in a sock right after the studio guy pressed “record” and then hogged the mic. Maybe that was why he eventually couldn’t be in the band anymore. The instrumental? This was written and produced by Absolute, who would later on do half of the Spice Girls’ debut. This sounds like electronic faux post-disco except for that it isn’t funky in any way, shape or form. The electronic bit means as much as that the producers were actively trying to make post-disco but couldn’t be bothered to use actual instruments. Well, except for a Kenny G-ish sax that is. Gotta love those…

2. Pray

Overly breathy and too bland to be cheesy in a entertaining way. That’s all I got, sorry.

3. Wasting My Time

I am trying to find out whom it is the boys, or rather Absolute, who produce this one too, are trying to imitate here. It could be Barry White, I suppose, but Gary vocally being the polar opposite of the late walrus of love (Barry can make your subwoofer put cracks in your wall if the volume is cranked up a bit too high by just speaking on record.) keeps that from becoming clear entirely. The nod to Barry is appreciated. I been bumping the pillow prince for a while now and still can’t get enough of his love (no homo). As for this. Meh. The songwriting and music are neither here nor there. Perhaps an actual soul singer could’ve pulled it off but Barlow’s adolescent yelp of a voice just can’t seem to do the trick.

4. Relight My Fire (feat. Lulu)

Well, there‘s that glorious early 90’s, diet cheese-music I was looking for when originally starting to listen to Everything Changes or Take That and Party for that matter. Allegedly this is a cover of a song by some cat named Dan Hartman but I never heard the original and can’t be bothered to look it up right now. This is what Jamiroquai would be doing… if Jamiroquai was a manufactured boygroup rather than a skilled band, was  singing covers of cheesy old shit rather than perform their own class A nu-disco capm and had a less soulful, less charismatic lead singer, and if this doesn’t make you tap your foot, or some shit like that, you are likely to be either a corpse or Stephen Hawking. Barlow seems to have been put on the planet to sing material like this, and the guest vocal by British, white soul kitch-diva Lulu only adds to the fun.

5. Love Ain’t Here Anymore

Well this wouldn’t be an 90’s pop album without a sugar-coated, uselessly bombastic ballad, now would it? This one here could make even the Backstreet Boys cringe with lines such as “Love ain’t here anymore, It went away to a town called yesterday”.

6. If This Is Love

Howard Donald get to do some leads. Whom did he have fellate in order for that to happen!? Nigel Martin-Smith, probanly… He is technically proficient in singing but yeah, technically so is Justin Bieber…

7. Whatever You Do To Me

A Motown rip-off? Okay, why the fuck not? Despite it’s clichéd “What Goes Around Comes Around” theme  it’s pretty decent and even the use of a saxophone makes sense.

8. Meaning of Love

Now here the boys accomplish what they probably were trying to do for the entirety of their debut. Record a decent dance tune. It’s too bad they didn’t stick around for the UK Garage era because they sound perfectly at home on this melodic (relatively speaking) house beat. Well played, gentlemen.

9. Why Can’t I Wake Up With You?

I really liked the beat which consists of drums, strings and some hiphop breaks and little more. Okay, the entire song isn’t half bad. But don’t tell anyone I said that.

10. You Are The One

Whereas this dance tune is glorious in showing all that was wrong with this particular bit of the 90’s. The melodies are corny, The instrumental is overstuffed with sound effects and the drums… well there’s nothing wrong with the drums but yeah, this song fucking godawful still.

11. Crack In My Heart

Meh. No this isn’t about Robbie’s love affair with cocain… That’d be fucking epic.

12. Broken Your Heart

Any of my comments on Meaning of Love also apply here, positive comments, mind you. I could bitch on how this song is too similar to Meaning of Love but in stead I will congratulate the boys for having found a style that did in fact fit them.

13. Babe

Okay, this Mark Owen guy is also not a terrible singer and Babe is a not-too-awful male vocal group-ballad, even if, like most of the music in this genre, is much too dramatic for its own good. The fact that this contains every single cliché this type of songs could potentially offer would either be a criticism or the lion share of the trashy appeal this holds today.  And with that Everything Changes is over.

Best tracks

Relight My Fire, Whatever You Do To Me, Meaning of Love, Why Can’t I Wake Up With You, Broken Your Heart, Babe

Conclusions

So Everything Changes is a vast improvement over Take That and Party. But then again that‘s not any sort of accomplishment. If the boys would’ve farted into their microphones over these beats it still would’ve been a vast improvement over Take That and Party. So, what then? Well, the instrumentals sound a little less cold and dead on first listen, this time around. That doesn’t mean they do very well under close scrutiny. But at least most of the songs here are inoffensive enough that you won’t be too disturbed by them when your woman forces you to go to the mall with her to carry her bags of useless, expensive shit and you are forced to endure them because the mall staff seems to believe playing adult contemporary music and yesteryear’s hits encourages big spending. Also Everything Changes is about as close to a first class, all included time machine trip to 1993 as you can get. So that counts for something, if you’re into that. I am. But the fact that this never once manages to escape its epoch also means that today it will appeal to only a very small group of people, namely 90s nostalgics. Just like todays pop music in twenty years will probably only get any love by people who are young now. If you never cared for 90’s pop, even when you were under the age of ten when this came out off course this will do nothing for you. Go back to your dubstep tracks, quickly!, before it goes out of fashion! But on to the main reason I’m reviewing these guys in the first place, Robbie motherfucking Williams. Well he gets one song on the entire album,  and not a very good one at that, so fans of his solo career should pass on this.

Recommendations

Everything Changes is quite a lot of fun at times. But not so much fun overall that you should exchange money for it. That Crystal meth habit isn’t going to support itself, ya know? But if you were a fan of the group when it was popular and you might have a copy lying around you should dust it off and give it a spin. And if you are one of those people and you can’t seem to find it, a trip to the pirate bay may be in order.


Pokémon: The First Movie (Soundtrack)

Various Artists

Pokémon: The First Movie Soundtrack

11-9-1999

Atlantic Records

(Right, before we get into why the hell this random album gets reviewed an editorial note. I decided to ditch the entire idea of including songwriting- and production credits in these reviews because a) It’s a fucking chore. b) Nobody cares, and in the rare case when somebody does care then there’s <www.discogs.com>, <www.allmusic.com> and probably tons of other sites you can check. and c) It is damn near impossible to find the correct credits for a lot of stuff, including this album, and I want everything to be uniform, for uniformity’s sake, I guess.

Now as for this album. My friend Jackie Brown, who’s a huge Pokémon fan took the time to review this exercise in nostalgia and regardless of whether you purchased this soundtrack, you surely will recognize some of the music since you have seen the movie if you were a kid in 1999, which most people who write and read blogs were. So Enjoy. Obviously if I feel the need to open up my big mouth, whatever I say will be italicized and in brackets)

Pokémon wouldn’t be Pokémon if it didn’t generate an enormous amount of by-products in addition to the anime, games and trading cards. And, since the production themes behind most Hollywood movies try to squeeze some extra cash from their success by selling a soundtrack, you can add those two, and the outcome is the inevitable Pokémon: The First Movie soundtrack.

It says on the CD cover “Music from and inspired by the motion picture”. That’s a very fancy way of saying that there are some songs on this CD that weren’t in the movie at all. With 16 songs, you’d think you’re getting decent value for your money, but one can’t help but feel that some of those are an excuse to include some lesser-known artists on this CD, in an attempt to boost their popularity by allowing them to ride the wave of Pokémon’s success. Read on to see what I mean.

1. Billy Crawford – Pokémon Theme

When Pokémon: The First Movie was released, I had no idea who Billy Crawford was.  Yet I liked him for several years after, simply because of this song. Then I found out what kind of music he usually made, and quickly lost interest.

That’s not to say I think the song itself is particularly good. He pulls it off decently, I’d say, but I still prefer the original theme by far. This version is supposed to be a high-speed, energetic intro that gets the movie underway, which I guess is why they added some rolling and exploding sound effects at the beginning and end. It works to an extent. The guitar solo before the final chorus, however, doesn’t really work at all. It’s a mediocre attempt at restyling the solo from the original theme, which after all those years still makes my spine tingle.

I believe this song was remastered for the CD release, because the bass seems a bit deeper and fuller, though that might just be because the movie that I watched recently was a file with low audio quality. All and all, it gets the job done, but not much more than that, which I guess also goes for the American dub of the movie itself.

(If you think the name Billy Crawford rings a bell, you’re right. He had a rather big hit with his song Trackin’ in 2001, but only in Europe. If this album puts you in the mood for more nostalgia I suggest you go check it out.)

2. M2M – Don’t Say You Love Me

When I was a kid, I saw the clip for this song on TV. It was kind of a promotion for the movie, so it featured either images of Pokémon, or tiny snippets from the movie (I can’t remember which), all throughout. I remember thinking that (my beloved) Pokémon was now apparently so important that it was showing up in other places on TV, such as video clips, and being very pleased with that. After all that hyping, the fact that we don’t get to hear more than a few seconds from this song during the closing credits is kind of disappointing.

Anyway, what can I say about this song? The lyrics are pretty good, the message is clear, the guitars are catchy and I like the melody… but the vocals are just a little bit annoying, and overall this song has too much of a “smoothed-out” late ’90s/early 2000s pop feel to it. And it ends with a fadeout. I hate fadeouts.

Besides, have we heard much from M2M after this? It doesn’t surprise me much that we haven’t. And there’s plenty more artists like that on this CD…

3. Ashley Ballard with So Plush – It Was You

Case in point: Ashley Ballard with So Plush. I didn’t know who Ashley Ballard was when this CD was released, and I still don’t. A look into the history of So Plush reveals that their debut single, which featured Ja Rule, was moderately succesful. Whatever.

To their credit, though, the singing voices on this song are pretty good. The lyrics are nice, although a bit simple and devoid of meaning sometimes (“It was you who stuck with me when the skies were blue”? Yeah, right). But for every good thing about this song, you could think of at least two bad things. Like how it goes on too long, and the effort to add a little excitement through the use of a bridge doesn’t really do much against that. Speaking of that bridge, what’s up with that silly “rap” voice there? I know that in the nineties you had to have a rapper somewhere in your song to be considered cool, but this one doesn’t even sing a whole verse, he just seems to repeat “So Plush”. It’s just way out of place here, and the same goes for those silly sound effects they riddled this song with to cover up it’s boringness.

(Actually, the voice during the bridge belongs to producer Rodney “Dark Child” Jerkins who produced this song, which is why his protégés So Plush are on here, and why he shouts out himself, So Plush and Ashley Ballard. This guy has worked with everyone from Michael Jackson to the Spice Girls and generally says his own name on the songs he produces, although I seem to recall he managed to keep his mouth shut on MJ’s Invincible album. Now back to the review.)

All things considered, I can’t help but feel like this song is an unimaginative, rushed 13-in-a-dozen R&B job.

4. Christina Aguilera – We’re A Miracle

Now here’s a song that tries to do everything the previous song seemed to be trying, and actually pulls it off marvelously. Christina Aguilera’s powerful voice carries the listener firmly throughout this very emotional ballad, joined by smooth backing vocals, strings that are timed exactly right, and awesome piano accompaniment. Near the end, there’s a dramatic modulation followed by something I can only describe as a display of extreme vocal skill, the combination of which almost brings tears to the eyes.

There’s just so many good ingredients in this song, and they all come together wonderfully. This song deeply engraved X-tina in my mind as a great singer, which she still is, even if some of her work is nowhere near this level. But now that I’m a bit older, I realize that whoever made the arrangement for this song is a total badass as well.

This has to be either my favourite or second favourite song from this soundtrack. Dramatic lyrics, dramatic arrangement, perfectly executed, full marks. It’s one of the songs that consoles me in hard times even now, and for a song that we only got to hear a tiny part of during the closing credits of the movie (even though I believe it would’ve fit in great in the actual movie), that’s saying something.

5. Britney Spears – Soda Pop

Ummm… what?! Okay, so we have Britney Spears and some vaguely Jamaican-sounding guy whose name isn’t even listed (apparently he wasn’t important enough, even though he sings about as much as Britney), backed up by a sunny beat and an – admittedly – catchy guitar loop, singing about… soda pop? It seems better suited to a soft drink commercial than to the Pokémon: The First Movie soundtrack.

It’s a nice enough tune, in principle, but frankly Britney’s singing just ruins it, and there’s also a bridge in the middle that just feels out of place. Then near the end, they suddenly start singing about getting on the floor and going on all night long… uhhh, yeah. This song wasn’t featured in the movie, and I have no idea what it’s doing on this soundtrack. Definitely the weirdest song (but not the worst, sadly) of them all.

(I find it pretty hilarious they sequenced arch-nemeses Britney and X-tina’s contributions to this compilation back to back.)

6. *NSYNC – Somewhere Someday

*Sigh*… alright, from this point onward there’s going to be five, count them, five mediocre songs to work through before we get to the next catchy tune. This being the first, it’s not all bad; even though the boys’ singing voices generally aren’t great, they manage to sound the lyrics sound sincere.

Said lyrics aren’t awful, and you have to at least give this song a bit of credit for trying so hard to convey a sweet message. That said, though, the actual execution is lacking. For one, the arrangement could and should have been way better. If you only heard the intro, you would swear this song was performed by a group named *NSYNTH. Also, whoever was responsible for mastering this clearly wasn’t paying attention to the bass – it’s way too heavy, which means the beat sounds too loud compared to the rest. It kind of ruins the little unisono bits, which would otherwise have been nice, and it just makes the song in general sound too ‘fat’. I’m sure the idea was to produce a full, deep R&B sound, and I don’t mean to be racist, but it sounds like it was made by white people who didn’t know what they were doing.
So, there we go. Even though I didn’t have a lot of knowledge of popular music when I bought this soundrack, *NSYNC were popular enough even for me to know that they sucked.

(Hearing this one leaves one flabbergasted that Justin Timberlake’s career survived the 1990’s. But then a lot of good artists started off in terrible “bands”. Whether JT is a good artist is up for debate, but all in due time.)

7. B*Witched – Get Happy

It’s hard to be too harsh on this song, but purely from a musical point of view, it has to be one of the worst on the entire CD. The intro is good, the beat and bassline are fine; the lyrics are cheerful and happy but largely meaningless, the singing sucks, the little pre-chorus parts are silly and the bridge is awful and ruins the whole flow of the song. That’s pretty much all I have to say about it. Oh, and it ends with a fadeout.

The idea behind this song is forgivable, though, and if kids in 1999 got happier after listening to this song, more power to it.

8. Emma Bunton p/k/a Baby Spice – (Hey You) Free Up Your Mind

Okay, forget what I said about the previous song. This is musically the worst song of the soundtrack. There must be an admirable message behind it, but I’m afraid it’s lost in the sheer horribleness of the music. The whole song drips with the “hey, let’s be totally cool and take elements from punk rock and hip-hop and combine them into a smooth poppy sound with pop vocals” that made late 90s pop so awful.

A look at Emma Bunton’s career learns that she didn’t leave the Spice Girls until after this song, releasing her debut album in 2001, meaning that this is her first solo song ever realeased, and frankly, that’s not very difficult to tell. It explains why they needed that ugly “previously known as Baby Spice” in there, since no one probably knew who Emma Bunton was at the time.

I’m guessing she didn’t have access to the production team that took the Spice Girls to great heights. Seriously, the only good thing about this song is that it lasts only 3:24.

9. 98° – Fly With Me

Although it’s a bit devoid of lyrical content or interesting melodies, this song is actually not so bad at all. The bassline supports the song well and doesn’t get boring, and I quite like the singing. I had never heard of 98° before or after this, but their voices are nice and warm, and they utilize them well in this song.

Overall though, it has too much of a generic R&B feel, and it lacks something… tempo, catchiness, something. It just doesn’t quite do it for me. It’s a shame no one seems to know what this group have been up to, I would’ve liked to hear them do some accappella songs.

10. Mandah – Lullaby

After a lot of songs that weren’t featured in the movie, at least this song reminds us that the album we’re listening is the Pokémon: The First Movie soundtrack, since it includes a few samples of Jigglypuff’s voice. Ironically, though, this song itself wasn’t featured in the movie.

Now, the idea here is nice, but this song is an example of how a bad arrangement can really drag a song down. Mandah (you’re probably wondering who that is, but apparently she later went by the name Willa Ford) has a great voice, and is a good singer, but the bubbly (literally) beat and very warm backing vocals make this song feel a bit cluttered. When they start adding pizzacato strings as well, it just becomes a bit too much. This song would’ve benefited from a simpler arrangement. It’s not something I would listen to before going to sleep.

11. Vitamin C – Vacation

Ah, now there’s something great! The intro to Pikachu’s Vacation, the 20-minute short that was screened before the feature film, is upbeat, catchy and tropical, and it just fits perfectly. Vitamin C, a group that I must confess I’d never heard of before (and never have since), really live up to their name: this entire song just sounds like summer and oranges, what with the up-tempo beat, eager background choirs, drum solos, a surprise sample (that I won’t spoil), scratching, and awesome surf riffs. The lead singer’s smooth voice and the break (which is timed exactly right and doesn’t last too long) add in to make sure this song is both energetic and mellow. I consider it a classic, and still listen to it when the weather is sunny, or when I’m going on a vaction, or feel that I need a vacation…

By the way, the short’s original Japanese version (which is called Pikachu’s Summer Vacation – I wonder why they changed the title?) has a different intro, of course. It’s a really cute, upbeat Japanese song called Natsuyasumi Fan Club, which also fits in very well. I suggest you check it out – the Japanese short is pretty easy to find.

12. Billie – Makin’ My Way (Any Way That I Can)

Where do they keep coming up with all these obscure singers? Billie Piper’s name doesn’t exactly ring a bell in the world of music, but apparently she later went on to become somewhat succesful as an actress, having played in several movies as well as in Doctor Who.

To be honest, it’s not that hard to see why she ditched her singing career for one in acting. While this song isn’t as annoyingly bad as some of the others on this CD, it’s just very bland and doesn’t have anything that makes it memorable. At least the arrangement is modest and not so heavy and in-your-face as some other R&B ballads we’ve heard, but at the same time it just feels as if not a whole lot of heart and soul was put into it. I would almost go so far as to call it lacklustre.

13. Angela Vía – Catch Me If You Can

YES! This song, which was also featured in the short Pikachu’s Vacation, and by complete coincidence shares its name with a 2002 movie, is real refreshing to listen to after the previous one. It gets off to a bit of a slow start, and there’s room for improvement as far as the beat is concerned, but the structure of the song (not kidding – there’s a bridge in there that actually adds to the song) and the great lead vocals, alternating with the obligatory rapper that strangely doesn’t seem out of place here, do a good job of keeping the listener entertained to the end. Angela Vía (who?) even treats us to some vocal acrobatics. Oh, and infinite bonus points to the songwriter for actually including the word “Pokémon” in the lyrics.

14. Aaron Carter – (Have Some) Fun With The Funk

This has got to be the song with the worst human beatbox I’ve ever heard. On the other hand, I must say the drums and guitar are pretty catchy. That’s about all there is to it, though. The intro sets us up for disappointment, as all the verses, bridges and what have you are extremely boring and spoil any flow that might have been there. The chorus is the only thing that keeps you listening, but it doesn’t do enough to make this an overall good song. Nick Carter’s younger brother (who, amazingly, at the time of writing this is still only 23) doesn’t particularly stand out as a great vocalist, and one suspects his musical career getting underway had more to do with marketing opportunities than with his actual skill. I’m not familiar with his recent work, but I suspect it hasn’t gotten much better. At least this song, which unlike the name suggests, doesn’t feature much that could be called funk, never really takes off.

(Does anyone else remember Aaron Carter’s hit single Candy?, No? good!)

15. Midnight Sons – If Only Tears Could Bring You Back

If you’re in a melancholic mood (which I am right now), this is a pretty nice song to listen to. It’s not quite intense to draw tears, but it doesn’t hurt your ears either.  Now, Midnight Sons (which, I suppose, is something like the poor man’s *NSYNC) doesn’t excel at singing (come to think of it, that can probably be said of most boy bands). This is only really noticeable in the lead singer; a lot of digital editing is used to polish it up nicely in the backing vocals.

As far as middle-of-the-road pop ballads go, though, this one is actually quite decently arranged. Nothing spectacular, but they aren’t doing a whole lot wrong, although I personally feel the heavy drums near the end are a bit overdone.

The lyrics are a bit hard to understand sometimes, but you have to give them bonus points for sweetness.

16. Blessid Union of Souls – Brother My Brother

This has to be, absolutely, without a doubt, my favourite song on this entire CD. I love everything about this song. It’s got great acoustic guitar throughout, strings in the intro and chorus that still give me goosebumps sometimes, and some of the simplest and best lyrics in any “peace not war” song I’ve ever heard. The only tiny point of criticism I could think of is that maybe the song would’ve been better off without most of the backing vocals.

For me, this song will always be tied to the scene it accompanies in the movie, the scene where Mewtwo’s army of cloned Pokémon fight against their originals. Some people argue that the music they use in the Japanese version, which is, apparently, a gentle instrumental tune, fits way better. Maybe they are right. I don’t know, I’ve never seen the Japanese version. But I think if any song fits that scene perfectly, it’s this. Call it nostalgia, blame my sentiment because I saw the dubbed version of the movie as a 10-year-old, but I think that scene is one of the absolute highlights of the otherwise not so great American score.

They truly saved the best for last on this soundtrack, and thank goodness they did.

Best tracks

Brother My Brother, We’re A Miracle, Vacation.

Conclusions

All in all, this soundtrack manages too capture the spirit of the movie pretty well. Some of the songs are actually good enough that you’d listen to them if they weren’t on a Pokémon movie soundtrack. Unfortunately there’s also plenty of boring filler songs, and the relatively large number of songs that weren’t in the movie is a bit distracting from the movie’s feel. There’s not too much variation, musically: it’s mostly pop and poppy ballads, with some sterilized rock and hip-hop influences thrown in. Then again, what else did you expect from a CD marketed to an audience of American kids in the late 1990s?

American.

Kids.

In the late 1990s.

Exactly.

So, there you go. It’s not the best album ever made. It’s not even the best Pokémon album ever made. But as the movie soundtrack, it does its job and you have to listen to it if only for the nostalgia value.

Recommendations

If you didn’t buy this when it came out, there really is no point in looking for it now. It’s a by-product of the multi-billion-dollar craze that Pokémon hasn’t been anymore for many years. I doubt that even the most specialized music stores would have it (unless maybe they were specialized in soundtracks from 1990s kids’ movies).

However, it’s all over the internet, so if you haven’t listened to it, you should go and do so. Maybe you will remember being a kid and watching the movie, and if this soundtrack brings back some of those memories, it does its job, and that’s all it needs to do.

(Well, there ya have it. Leave some comments for Jackie below.)