August 24, 2006


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Various Artists, Snakes on a Plane: The Album
New Line Records, 2006

Let's put aside for a moment the unprecedented grass-roots marketing effort promoting Snakes on a Plane, possibly the best bad movie ever made that does not star Bruce Campbell. Many of the songs on SoaP: The Album did not actually appear in the movie, or were at least not very prominent. It's essentially a mix tape from that annoying guy at the end of your dorm hall who thinks he's totally indie and is enlightening the world with his awesome undiscovered bands.

First of all, Fall Out Boy is not indie. You can like them, fine, but it does not make you a hardcore music scout. And when the lead female singer of The Sounds acquires a skill other than flashing sideboob, call me.

Most of the songs are remixes, complete with irritatingly long and opaque labels for said remixes. Some are vaguely related to planes in general, but most seem pretty random. The best of the bunch is a rap song, "New Friend Request" by Gym Class Heroes, which relates in hilarious, pitiful detail the efforts of the artist to pick up a girl on MySpace. The worst is hard to pick, but I'm giving the title to Donavon Frankenreiter's "Lovely Day," the opening credits song with lyrics and chords so bland and generic they could've been churned out by DeMoulas.

The movie's orchestral score is reduced to one track at the end. Trevor Rabin, the guy who sang prog-rock group Yes into the mainstream for a year or two and whose previous aeronautical film scores include Con Air, does a decent job with cues and stings but ultimately creates little more than a sound poem.

What this CD does have going for it is snippets of dialogue sandwiched between tracks, equally entertaining as previews of the movie and as reminders of what absurdity transpired on South Pacific Air 121. Also included is a holographic front cover with shimmering scales in the background and an adorable set of safety instructions dealing with snakes. Totally ripped off from Fight Club, but adorable nonetheless. C

— John"jaQ" Andrews

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