Friday, August 24, 2007

Chef Aid: The South Park Album (1998)

So, like I said in the season 2 review, the early years of South Park were a time when the show was perhaps more traditional in its relationship with the media. A product such as this, a tie-in soundtrack album, is a perfect example. Don’t let that fool you, however – it’s a fantastic collection of songs and comedy.

Track listing:
1 – South Park Theme – Primus (0:40)
2 – Nowhere to Run (Vapor Trail) – Crystal Method/DMX/ODB/Ozzy Osbourne/Fuzzbubble (4:40)
3 – Chocolate Salty Balls (P.S. I Love You) – Chef (3:55)
4 – Brad Logan – Rancid (2:16)
5 – Come Sail Away – Eric Cartman (5:12)
6 – Kenny’s Dead – Master P (3:24)
7 – Simultaneous – Chef (3:17)
8 – Will They Die 4 You? – Mase/P. Diddy/Lil Kim (3:52)
9 – Hot Lava – Perry Farrell/DVDA (3:50)
10 – Bubblegoose – Wyclef Jean/Stan/Kyle/Cartman/Kenny (2:52)
11 – No Substitute – Chef (4:47)
12 – Wake Up Wendy – Elton John (5:58)
13 – Horny – Mousse T vs. Hot ‘N’ Juicy (3:31)
14 – Huboon Stomp – Devo (3:21)
15 – Love Gravy – Rick James/Ike Turner (4:01)
16 – Feel Like Makin’ Love – Ned Gerblansky (3:26)
17 – The Rainbow – Ween (2:45)
18 – Tonight is Right For Love – Chef/Meat Loaf (3:03)
19 – It’s a Rockin’ World – Joe Strummer (2:31)
20 – Mephisto and Kevin – Primus (5:18)
21 – Mentally Dull (Think Tank Remix) – Vitro & the Cast (4:34)

As you can see, it’s very...eclectic. It’s the perfect disc to put in and just leave on continuously as it goes through all sorts of music moods, with an artist for everybody, and lots of funny songs. The Chef songs are not just lifted wholesale from the show. They get fuller instrumentation here and some new, extended lyrics. The only one that drags is “No Substitute” since it clumsily combines two songs from two entirely different episodes. The other character songs are funny, and well-done musically so you don’t get tired of the one-note joke before the song’s over.

Other highlights include Rancid’s track, a catchy fast rocker; “Bubblegoose,” a fun little jam with the kids on chorus doing some bits in between verses; and of course, “Mephisto and Kevin,” and absolutely bad ass song with the quick delivery of Primus’ Les Claypool giving you the backstory on Mephisto and his little helper. Most of the songs are presented in the construct of a concert, with audience noise and Chef introducing the next act at the end of each song.

Issac Hayes participates on most of the tracks he doesn’t sing lead on, either doing the chorus or some backing here and there. The final track on the album is a sort-of techno piece peppered with clips from the episodes up to that point. It concludes with a clean cut of “Kyle’s Mom is a Bitch” from the first season’s Christmas show. A great treat for fans, especially then, when the internet wasn’t as pervasive as it is today for distributing that sort of thing. The only bonafide thumbs down for me is the second track, with rap that made me think my CD was skipping. Whenever it was just Ozz singing, it was passable, but otherwise – ow.


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