Are ya ready kids? I can't hear you! Arrrrrr! As if the neighbors didn't wonder about you already, you can now blast the songs from the show SpongeBob Squarepants out of your high-fidelity stereo system 24/7. Much like it's spiritual father The Ren & Stimpy Show, SpongeBob Squarepants is a very offbeat children's cartoon that often includes humor aimed way above the heads of the obvious child target audience. Further proof is provided by the tracks on this CD, one of which was recorded by Ween and another by Pantera, neither of which are likely to land a guest spot on Sesame Street. Fittingly, the album kicks off with the theme song, sung by the gruff but lovable Painty the Pirate. Ween follows with the chirpy yet instructional shoe-tying song "Loop De Loop." Sandy Cheeks (with Nashville mainstay Junior Brown) croons her "Texas Song", mixing ukulele with lap steel. A few seconds of show dialog introduces "Pre-Hibernation" by Pantera, which is essentially a minute-plus of distorted, heavy trash guitar… very out of place in any other "children's" cartoon but just another day in the SpongeBob universe. A 50's beat jazzes up "Ripped Pants", the finale of the episode that introduced America to sponges in underpants. Like a good brain hemorrhage, "SpongeBob Scaredy Pants" mixes the theme song from The Munsters with sixties surf music into another enticing episode closer. Aside from the theme song, my favorite track is "F.U.N. Song" sung by SpongeBob and the ultimate napoleon complex, Plankton. As the Pollyannic SpongeBob sings "F is for friends who do stuff together / U is for You and me…" Plankton growls "F is for fire that burns down the whole town / U is for uranium… BOMBS!" The worst part about this twisted album is that the seven tracks speed by in a mere nine minutes. Surely the powers that be could have squeezed on another couple of songs or even a minute or two of that great "ukulele played underwater" incidental music. Or more dialog. OR ANYTHING! It's zany, spastic fun as only SpongeBob can provide but at nine minutes, it isn't worth the list price of $7.49.
This review first appeared in WhatzUp, November 2001.