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Comments about the soundtrack for South Park (Parker/Shaiman)
Filmtracks Sponsored Donated Review

Todd China
Filmtracks Sponsored Donated Review   Sunday, May 3, 2009 (7:36 a.m.) 

(The following donated review by Todd China was moved by Filmtracks to this comment section in May, 2009)

South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut: (Parker/Shaiman) If you can get past the massive amounts of profanity, you will hopefully be able to appreciate what a great soundtrack this is. I had only seen a couple of episodes of the show when I first saw the film, but I grew to love the songs. South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut is one of the most entertaining animated musicals of the 90s, surpassed only by Beauty and the Beast in terms of the sheer creative genius of the songs. A comparison with Beauty and the Beast may sound downright blasphemous, but the greatness of South Park lies in the fact that it is the very anti-thesis of everything the Disney musicals (and all their subsequent imitators) stand for. Nothing is too sacred, no joke too low, no statement too politically incorrect for Trey Parker and his cohorts. This isn't high art --you don't listen to South Park to hear beautiful voices, you listen to it for its biting, sarcastic, gleefully anti-social message. In short, South Park is a brilliant satire that succeeds by stretching the concept of "offensive" to rarely ventured territories of absurdity.

There is so much profanity in the lyrics that the listener is quickly and completely desensitized to it by the time "Uncle Fucka" hits its final note. South Park is so offensive by its very nature that Trey Parker clearly felt that in order to create something *truly* offensive by South Park standards, he had to go to absurd lengths with Terrence and Phillip and their movie, "Asses of Fire." Therefore, what results is a song, "Uncle Fucka," that is 100 times more offensive than what we, the audience, are accustomed to. There isn't much to the lyrics, but they do serve their purpose, and Parker's music has a manic energy that I find hard to deny. The orchestral accompaniment to "Uncle Fucka" and "I Can Change" is pretty energetic and creative --I find it hard to believe that these songs were written entirely without the assistance of others, in terms of the orchestrations. "Kyle's Mom's a Bitch," which comes directly from the show, is probably the least engaging of the songs, but even this number has a redeeming moment. When Eric says, "Talk to kids around the world, it might sound a little bit something like this," we see kids in France, the Pacific islands, and Africa spouting ridiculous gibberish, with hilarious results.

"It's Easy, Mmmkay" and "Blame Canada" are two of the most subversive and entertaining songs on the soundtrack. I find the idea of a bunch of kids going through rehabilitation to learn to replace "ass" with "buns" and "shit" with "poo" very funny. There is some great irony in hearing the kids sing, "We shouldn't say fuck, no we shouldn't say fuck, fuck, no!" "Blame Canada" is also a brilliant satire that pokes fun at our society's need for scapegoats and easy answers. The song could apply to the current events of today, what with the scramble among school officials, parents, and politicians to regulate guns and violent video games in the aftermath of school shootings --the need to find something to blame for our social problems.

"What Would Brian Boitano Do?" and "La Resistance" are two other standout songs on the album. In these songs, as in the others, there are some viciously funny lyrics and amusing rhymes, such as in "What Would Brian Boitano Do?", when Eric sings, "I want this V-chip out of me / It has stunted my vocabulary." The heroic feats of Brian Boitano are all pretty hilarious, especially the one about "When Brian Boitano was in the Alps / Fighting grizzly bears / He used his magical fire breath and saved the maidens there." I also love how in "La Resistance," Gregory goes over the top in describing all the horrible things that might happen to our heroes... "You get stabbed in the head with a dagger or a sword / You might be burned to death, or skinned alive or worse..." The "interpretations" on this disc are generally pretty horrible. Only track 17 is marginally listenable, given that it was used over the end credits. The absence of Marc Shaiman's underscore is a shame indeed, given the crap that filled up the disc instead. Although this soundtrack is a little on the short side (I'm counting only the songs from the film here), it is a true laugh riot. ****

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