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SONIC DEATH MONKEY Soundtrack Reviews - Kung Fu Panda

Monkey Fu
by Michael Collins

From, who-know, to, hero, Kung Fu Panda is all about finding your hidden talents; Regardless of how hidden they may be. Sadly this soundtrack is not going to reveal any hidden talents. Considering the target audience of the film – computer animation fans, who are maybe a touch on the young side – it is a little surprising to hear the style of music that we get. There are some nice tracks here from Hans Zimmer and John Powell, but are the kids going to be interested at all?

The music is orchestral in make up and style and heavily influenced by Asian styling with liberal use of the Koto and the Erhu by the sounds of it. They can be wonderful sounding instruments, but they don’t strike me as something that’s going to appeal to the audience of Kung Fu Panda.

The music has quite the epic feel to it. It’s as if the music is coming from one of those grand films with long luscious shots of beautiful landscapes of sweeping plains or intimidating mountain ranges. Except this film doesn’t have that. Sure, Kung Fu Panda would have this music playing in the background, but to use these tracks for the soundtrack album isn’t really on the money for me.

Sure the music is very good, even great; and it does a great job in conveying the emotion of the film as all musical scores should. Yet, they’ve missed what their target audience would be looking for.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think the marketing department should have had a closer look at this soundtrack. Well, why not? The soundtrack album is all about marketing. Maybe if they did have some input into this soundtrack, perhaps the marketing department would have slipped in some tracks that would have been a little bit more pop-kid-friendly. I feel so dirty saying that.

The only track that smells (or stinks, depending on your point of view) of an interfering marketing department is a very 90s sounding version of Kung Fu Fighting. It features Gnarls Barkley’s Cee-Lo Green and Jack Black. Not all that bad, it’s not all that good either. Green does a reasonable job and Jack Black is barely noticed. Uh yeah, ok, maybe that explains why the marketing peeps were kept away from this project.

So full marks from the producers of the album in keeping those marketing guys away. It may not exactly boost album sales, but at least they’ll have their cred and for the few that care, they can appreciate Zimmer and Powell’s efforts.

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originally posted: 08/07/08 16:17:06
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