RIO OST: Kids’ music you can actually listen to
It’s heartening to see the animated movie, RIO, still in the Top Ten at the US box office. A whole bunch of kids’ movies came our way over the Easter school holidays: Gnomeo and Juliet we missed, Rango was a day out with Gran (hallelujah) and Hop I fell asleep in. (I have low blood sugar!) The 3D glasses hid my snooze as I dozily realized that I don’t care for Russell Brand, as a rabbit or a human.
But RIO I liked. And we’ve found that the soundtrack is equally enjoyable. For where else can you introduce your children to the joys of Sergio Mendes and Jermaine Clement* with the same album?
Mr Mendes and John Powell are the album producers and, as you probably know, the musical numbers are integral to both the story – bird meets bird, bird loses bird, bird learns to fly – and the setting, Brazil.
Btw, does anyone know of a movie set in Brazil that doesn’t include Carnival? Just wondering.
The soundtrack is heavy on the party music with a couple sweet love songs thrown in. One of the things that most impressed me was that out of 14 tunes there is very little soundtrack filler. Okay, my girls got a little bored with the last few numbers, which are all sung in Portuguese. But really, the first eight tunes are stand-alone strong. They’ve even reworked the classic “Mas Que Nada,” and how cool is that to hear YO doing her best Gracinha and singing along in the backseat. Now I know what my Dad felt like when we asked him to play his Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass records.
The big production numbers are sung by voices you know – Will I Am, Anne Hathaway and Jamie Foxx – and voices you don’t, namely Ester Dean who sounds almost exactly like Rihanna. The music will make you move while the lyrics, well, the lyrics are hopelessly silly: “Let me take you to Rio, Rio / Fly on the ocean like an eagle, eagle / Then we can chill in my gazebo” Gazebo? Someone get that writer a rhyming dictionary, stat! And I haven’t even gotten to ‘Funky Monkey’.
But you know it’s kid’s music. It’s clean and it’s fun and of a much higher standard than the tunes in so many of these animated flicks. Why do these producers insist on reworking ‘80s tunes. Is that to amuse us parents – a sign of your ironic sense of humor – or are you just lazy? If I wanted my girls to hear ‘I Want Candy’ I’d play the original Bow Wow Wow version, not a lukewarm rehash by some wannabe Justin Beiber.
But back to RIO. The film’s director, Carlos Saldanha, says the RIO soundtrack “represents a dream come true”. If you’re a fan of Brazilian music – and you like to move your monkey feet – it probably is.
*from Flight of the Conchords! Here’s some more of him:
Posted on May 31, 2011, in kids' movies, music, new music, parenting, pop culture and tagged Anne Hathaway, Brazilian music, Gnomeo and Juliet, HOP, Jamie Foxx, Justin Beiber, kids' music, Mas Que Nada, Rango, RIO, RIO movie, Sergio Mendes, Will I Am. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.