Chances are, if you’re a fan of singing, smiling, and all things pleasant, you hold a fond place in your heart for the Muppets. Who among us can deny the many hours spent glued in front of the television, relishing every antic and caper that Kermit could think up? How about Muppet Laboratories, featuring the charmingly tweaked-out Beaker and the benignly absentminded Dr. Bunsen Honeydew? Or PIGS IN SPACE, for cryin’ out loud? They did an episode with the characters of Star Wars! Comedic gold that was ahead of its time, if you ask me.
I’m a music junkie at heart, though, and what captivated me most when watching the Muppet Show (and its spin-off movies) were the delightful musical performances. Because after you were done laughing, and the skits were finished, and the sarcastic old windbags in the balcony were done heckling their fellow muppets, the songs are what really stuck with you. Gems like “It’s not Easy Being Green” have weaseled their way into the collective memory of a couple generations, giving us all the sweetest of associations with Kermit and his pals.
Here’s where things get real. The Muppets are back, and they’re getting ready for their first theatrical release in eleven years. Sweet. What does this have to do with BRU?
Have you heard the soundtrack? Sweet mother of mercy! Twelve of the best songs spanning the Muppets’ entire career have been covered by modern Alt Rock artists – the same guys and gals you hear on WBRU every day. What are the implications?
1. A whole new generation will have their ears graced with Muppet Glory.
2. We (the old-school Jim Henson lovers) have an excuse to re-experience the songs that characterized our respective childhoods.
These are some seriously good covers. They evoke the memories and emotions that Childhood You felt upon his or her first listen, all while maintaining the distinct style of each artist. Here are a few standouts:
OK Go – The Muppet Show Theme: An industrial, machine-like reboot of the classic Muppet theme song.
Weezer and Hayley Williams of Paramore – The Rainbow Connection: Prepare to shed manly, grown-up tears of wistful reflection.
The Airborne Toxic Event – Wishing Song: More like “Wishing Well”… Honestly, if no one had told me that this was originally a Muppet song, I would have mistaken it for a track off of All at Once, the latest ATE album. The band’s unique sound shines through crystal clear on this one.
This is without a doubt one of my favorite albums in recent months, so I encourage you all to give it a listen. Muppets: The Green Album is coming to stores TODAY (August 23rd), and you can listen to it in advance on the NPR website.