Any movie soundtrack that contains “Wooly Bully” by Sam The Sham and The Pharaohs and “Purple People Eater” by Sheb Wooley can’t be all bad.
Monsters vs. Aliens is the soundtrack album to the animated film of the same name. There are fourteen tracks of original music by Henry Jackman plus six songs by artists as different as they can be. Somehow it all holds together well and provides an interesting and pleasurable listening experience whether if you have seen the film or not. The original material is bouncy and has the feel of individual songs but they are wisely broken up by the outside material. It may be a tad eclectic but it’s never dull.
This is Jackman’s first major solo project. He learned his craft under the tutelage of Hans Zimmer, who has been nominated for seven Grammy and seven Academy Awards plus nine Golden Globes, and who serves as the executive producer on this project. Jackman’s composing style is similar as he lays down some major themes and constantly returns to them over the course of the film’s score. While the music is part of a soundtrack it also stands on its own as well.
“A Giant Transformation” starts the album off in style as it is up-tempo with orchestra and brass in support. Then in one of the great transitions in music history we return to the Buchanan Brothers of 1947. “When You See (Those Flying Saucers)” is old style blue grass or hillbilly music as it was called in the day. Lester and Chester Buchanan harmonize against several stringed instruments for some mighty fine lip smacking music. This is followed by the Exciters huge 1962 hit “Tell Him” and then back to more original music which sets the tone of the album.
The best of the original tracks are “Meet The Monsters” which is a funky little ditty and the ominous grandeur of “The Battle Of Golden Gate Bridge.”
Other imported songs include the previously mentioned “Purple People Eater” and “Wooly Bully” plus “Planet Claire” by The B-52’s which is a perfect, if quirky, space song. The only song that appears to be out of place is “Reminiscing” by The Little River Band.
Monsters vs. Aliens is an enjoyable soundtrack and hopefully Henry Jackman will be allowed to score more films in the future. It stands on its own plus represents its parent film well which is all you can ask from a soundtrack album.