Sometimes you just want to hear Cee Lo’s ‘Forget You’ sung entirely by Camilla the chicken – no expletives, just clucking, squawking hens. Actually, so overplayed is that tune we could do without ever hearing it again, but this rework sums up the Muppets’ appeal: kid-friendly, but with a profane adult silliness wrapped up inside.
Classic cuts aside (Paul Simon, Starship), Flight Of The Conchords’ Bret McKenzie takes on the role of soundtrack supervisor, composing four original tunes, including ‘Life’s a Happy Song’, which earned the New Zealander an Oscar nomination. ‘Let’s Talk About Me’, a cod rap sung by the Muppets arch nemesis Tex Richman, sees McKenzie’s playful way with words come more to the fore, and on ‘Me Party’, Amy Adams and Miss Piggy turn disco divas.
McKenzie has definitely upped the cool quotient – Joanna Newsom, Andrew Bird and Feist all feature – but it’s surprising that his contributions aren’t more plentiful and, considering his own and the Muppets’ previous form, more out-there. Still, hearing the Muppets Barbershop Quartet do ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ can’t fail to raise a smile.