The Powerpuff Girls

The Powerpuff Girls

Heroes & Villians: Music Inspired by the Powerpuff Girls

Rhino

Anyone with kids has a convenient excuse to watch The Powerpuff Girls, Cartoon Network’s animated series about a trio of very special little tykes. Those without young ‘uns could instead depend on the show’s sophisticated sense of humor and animation to justify the fact that they’re watching… well, a cartoon.

Heroes and Villians proves conclusively that a) the people behind the Powerpuff Girls are extremely hip and b) there are a lot of talented musicians who are as into the show as my kids and I are. Counting amongst its fans, we have Devo, The Apples in Stereo, Frank Black, Cornelius, Shonen Knife, Optigonally Yours, Komeda, Dressy Bessy, Bis (who also do the show’s closing theme) and more. The roster is a pretty impressive mix of the established and the up-and-coming undergraound, and it lists a lot of my personal favorites.

Of course, the show’s main theme — a frenetically paced pseudo d+b number — kicks things off. Devo’s “Go Monkey Go” hearkens back to their Freedom Of Choice days. Frank Black’s “Pray for the Girls” is a rocking number with a twisting chorus like only Black can pull off. The Apples in Stereo and “Signal In the Sky” is a honeyed call to action. “Walk and Chew Gum,” by Optiganally Yours, is appropriately skewed tribute to the city of Townsville’s bumbling Mayor. Shonen Knife, Komeda and Dressy Bessy give us song portraits of the Girls (feisty Buttercup, confident Blossom and dreamy Bubbles, respecitvely). Komeda’s “B.L.O.S.S.O.M.” is a kinetic track that will get you off your chair and have you dancing with the kids. Bis gives us “Fight the Power,” a tune good for disco wrestling with a heavy ’80s overtone. The Sugarplastic’s “Don’t Look Down” is the theme for the Girls’ mentor, Professor Utonium, is a deliciously catchy dose of pop. Cornelius’ “The Fight” is an aggressive dose of samples and beats. The Bill Doss has “Friends Win,” an AM-tinged piece of pop perfection.

Of course, the disc closes with the show’s end theme, by Bis, prompting you that it’s time to start all over again. Wonderful and indispensable, even if you are not familiar with the show. Watch for that bonus track…

Rhino Records, 10635 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025; http://www.rhino.com

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