Many years ago a friend gushed to me about pop star Lorde – telling me that she was the absolute best he’d heard in a bit. Now, most of the aging hipsters in my age range (mid 30’s to mid 40’s) DO seem like pop music – ironically or genuine, i have no idea. I filed his advice into the back of my head and forgot about it, hipster that I am. Now, I i don’t live under a rock – I’ve seen her name pop up over the years and really enjoyed the cover of Royals by Puddles Pity Party (the sad clown you’ve probably seen on YouTube or season 12 of America’s Got Talent). Anyway – my point is, though I new of her and knew she was talented, I’d never sat down and indulged myself in her particular brand of pop prowess. Until now.
Attack of the Killer Track! is a series that explores tracks from artists from a variety of genres. Some of the tracks were singles, some of them were obscure b-sides or long forgotten album tracks. One thing is certain – all of them are killer tracks.
This is truly a non cynical post – The Muppets and the songs they’ve sung are as meaningful to me at 36 as they were when I was 8. Sure, there is a vocal segment of the fan base that refuses to like anything associated with The Muppets in the post Jim Henson era – their loss, I say. 2011 brought a reboot to the movie series with a smart and funny screenplay by Jason Segel & Nicholas Stoller. A slew of high-profile Hollywood stars lent their talents to the movie (including Segel). The soundtrack was made up of songs penned by half of the New Zealand comedy / folk duo, Flight of the Conchords. Bret McKenzie imbues the songs with wit, humor, and the ability to connect with adults and children alike – a necessary ingredient for songs associated with the Muppets. Man or Muppet is the 1st song associated with the Muppets to win an Oscar, and deservedly so – it is imbued with a timeless quality that fits within the Muppets canon perfectly. A duet between Gary (Jason Segel) and Walter, it deals with the characters trying to figure out who they are – something we all face in the real world at one time or another. The segment shows Walter coming face to face with a human version of himself (Jim Parsons of The Big Bang Theory), while Gary faces his Muppet possibilities. McKenzie’s goal with this track was to come up with something “hilarious and beautiful”. He succeeded on every count. The track looks to the power ballads of the 80’s for inspiration, spun into a mix worth of the Muppets. It can be a machismo world, something I tend to wholeheartedly reject. I know who I am when I listen to these lyrics “If I’m a Muppet then I’m a very manly Muppet / If I’m a man that makes me a Muppet of a man”.