Music From the Original Motion Picture
The golden rule of soundtracks is that the music should be woven into some kind of theme that would attract both filmgoers and the music lover who generally listens to groups from within that predetermined theme. If the album is incoherent, it would seem rather unreasonable that the producers of a soundtrack would ever expect a customer to toss away hard-earned cash for some fractional enjoyment. Moreover, it would seem rather tragic that producers in such high places couldn’t predict this kind of predicament. But alas, sadly, this is the case with the Shrek soundtrack. It is a compilation of songs with nothing in common, crammed together so that, regardless of what a listener’s preferred genre is, only one or two songs could possibly be appealing — if that.
The most solid and, arguably, the only redeeming track on the album is Self’s “Stay Home,” a previously unreleased song full of everything that makes Self great — fantastic grooves, clever lyrics, masterful harmonies, and endemic hooks, all residing under a solid layer of unique and satisfying rock. Further down the line, the eels’ “My Beloved Monster” is exactly what one would expect from the eels, considering the song came out in 1996. It’s a fun tune, but picking up their first album is a far wiser purchase. Coming in at a distant third, The Proclaimers’ “I’m On My Way” is an innocent little rock-blues ditty with a catchy chorus and plenty of “uh-huh”s. And that, folks, just about wraps it up.
Past those, this album is miserable — which is no surprise, considering it includes yet another unnecessary appearance of Smash Mouth’s “All Star,” a loathsome jingle that music executives won’t seem to let die. Another Smash Mouth anti-classic, their cover of The Monkees• Neil Diamond-penned classic, “I’m A Believer,” is both quirky and irritating — a peculiar restructuring of a song that was better off on its own. The track that follows, “Like Wow!” by Britney Spears clone Leslie Carter (sister of fellow teenpopsters Aaron Carter and Backstreet Boy Nick Carter), just drives home reality like a nail to the forehead: this soundtrack has no direction, and it’s virtually inconceivable that one person would equally enjoy Self and Leslie Carter. Thus, it is preposterous to expect anyone to truly appreciate this album, and by that indication, listening to the Shrek soundtrack isn’t even worth the time investment, let alone the money.