|by Natasha Theobald
You know your character is an icon when there are enough songs referencing him to compile a CD. In addition to the score from SUPERMAN RETURNS, the kids at Rhino, care of Warner, have elected to release this collection of music featuring the Man of Steel, in one way or another, as immortalized by songs old and new - and bands mostly new. As highlighted by director Bryan Singer in the liner notes, the themes of strength, justice, heroism, and flying run through the lyrics, and each song has been made contemporary by a bevy of up-and-comers.
After The Academy Is... hits us with the obvious, "Superman," Plain White T's jump on board with "It's So Easy." Both songs benefit from a fresh look. The Academy Is... gives the familiar song more of a sure beat. Plain White T's feature a singer with a nice voice, who gives the angsty lyrics real emotion. Everybody thinks it's so easy being me.
The Sun pops in at three with "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman," which kinda rocks. The guy's voice starts low, giving a dangerous quality to the song. But, as it gets going, it seems to find a groove, taking it to a high note, as well. Motion City Soundtrack discusses "The Worst Part...," a song about loneliness and, maybe, regret. Who knew it was so tough on a fella to save the world?
Things brighten a bit for our favorite Kryptonian as The Films do "Sunshine Superman." Once again, this guy has a great voice, and the band has a good sound with this material. It seems a fitting time to mention that all of the bands are well-chosen. For a CD concerned with lyrical content, the producers have done a great job of selecting good bands with strong singers to bring the message forward. This is true without exception.
"Save Me" from Maxeen, Paramore's version of "My Hero," "The Rescue" from American Hi-Fi, and "Saved" from The Spill Canvas mark a fitting rock-block ode to the work that our son of Jor-El does for us lowly humans. I was satisfied that as many boys needed saving as the girls. It's only fair.
"Meet Me At My Window" gives Jack's Mannequin the opportunity to seduce, while "Waitin' for a Superman" features an emotive Nightmare of You. The Receiving End of Sirens gives us another track simply entitled "Superman," with the good taste to give Lois Lane a mention, and Sara Routh closes things out with "You're Never Gone." But I want to talk about the song in between.
There are no bad songs on this CD, but one of the few that really made me sit up and take notice was "Brainiac's Daughter," done by Royal. It's not afraid to bounce and pop. It made me think of the sound of a song from THE POINT, which is meant as the highest sort of compliment. Lucky number 13 was my favorite song on the CD, so much so that I had to repeat it a few times to really savor it.
You don't have to be a super fan of the Superman to get something from this CD. While he remains the theme of the enterprise, it is not so overwhelming that you couldn't enjoy the music on its own merits, without thinking much about him.. This is just a good way to introduce yourself to some new bands doing some cool stuff. I was even up for the Paramore version of "My Hero," though I still prefer the genuine article from those other superheroes, still fighting to keep the world save from Foo.
link directly to this feature at http://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=1876
originally posted: 06/30/06 03:39:36
last updated: 07/06/06 11:26:48