Pros: There's some good stuff to listen to.
Cons: Good to see I'm not the only one who doesn't like Macy Gray.

The Bottom Line: If you haven't heard "Hero" enough already, keep reading.

Let’s face it. Danny Elfman seems to have some affinity with slightly darker music. After all, he’s done Batman, Edward Scissor Hands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Big Fish. And it's pretty clear that certain directors have their favorite composers. George Lucas and John Williams. James Cameron and James Horner. Tim Burton and Danny Elfman.

However, if you’re looking for the Spider-Man score, you’re going to have to buy a different CD. This does have a few pieces from the movie, but the majority of it consists of music “from and inspired by” (as it says on the CD) the movie. I don't usually get these particular soundtracks - if ever. But I screwed up here and bought the wrong one. Luckily it still had Elfman's main themes on it. Due to the mix we have on here, I’m going to do my old "yay" or "nay" rating for each song. So let’s begin.

1.) Theme From Spider Man – YAY Hahaha, how can you not enjoy the old school Spider-Man theme. And I do mean old school. Like, what was it from? 60’s? Correct me if I’m wrong because I honestly don’t know – I just know it was from even before the X-Men, Spider-Man cartoon era popped out. I watched those all the time…

2.) ”Hero” - Chad Kroeger (feat. Josey Scott) – YAY Though overplayed on every radio station in the country, “Hero” is still a great song. Despite the fact that both Chad (from Nickelback) and Josey (from Saliva) sound pretty much the same (thus demonstrating the similarity of rock at the time), it doesn’t much matter. Besides, who cares if you think the same guy is singing the entire time? The music is still good (unless you don’t like alternative rock or whatever it’s called these days) and they are able to match the movie without making it seem entirely like it’s been forced.

3.) ”What We're All About” - Sum 41 – YAY However, despite the “yay” label on this song, the only real good part of this song is the refrain. Sum 41 is an okay group, but if they disappeared altogether, I can’t say I’d notice. To sum up (no pun intended), this song is a bunch of white boys rapping (which isn’t that special) and then actually singing when the refrain comes. The guitar is good as well, but it makes no sense when it comes to going with the movie, and in the end, this song made barely make a “yay.” Maybe it’s just on here because it’s playing on Uncle Ben’s car just before he decides to have that little chat with Peter…

4.) “Learn To Crawl” - Black Lab – YAY This is actually my favorite song on the CD. When I listen to soundtracks, I like to just zone out and let my imagination do whatever it wants with the song, and this one was awesome. It’s rock (again), though a little heavier. I’m a big fan of the refrain here, as well as the breakdown. The lyrics work really well with the movie, but half the time I forget about that and go off on my own little tangent.

5.) “Somebody Else” - Bleu – YAY This is a slower song, which is a good change. I’m a little impressed with the notes this guy can hit, considering he starts out pretty low. I’ve never heard of Bleu before, but this is a good start. After a while though, things start to seem a little repetitive – especially at the end when he keeps singing the same 6 words over and over in that high pitch and I get bored and skip to the next song.

6.) “Bug Bites” - Alien Ant Farm – NAY It almost breaks free of the “nay” decision, but it’s just way to annoyingly repetitive to do so. Alien Ant Farm isn’t a bad band at all, but the guitar use at several points and the repeated use of it in the same way – it just got annoying and I started just skipping over this song entirely every time.

7.) “Blind” - Default – YAY Another song that almost found itself caught by the “nay” threshold. That’s because A.) I’m not a big fan of the lead singer here and B.) this was almost yet another repetitive song without anything new in it to surprise me or keep me interested. It’s dull rock, if anything. However, if your sitting, mellowing out and still want to listen to something rock, then this can work because the repetition isn’t annoying and there is a good breakdown with an electric guitar involved.

8.) “Bother” - Corey Taylor – 4:14 Here’s a good mellow song you can sit back to. It even has a few strings involved. There aren’t any heavy drums, just a guitar and the strings. A couple times I thought this was going to suddenly break into a bigger rock experience, but it didn’t. It’s almost like an acoustic version, only better because I don’t like acoustic. =P I like the words too; ”Once I hold on, I won’t let go till it bleeds.

9.) “Shelter” - Greenwheel – YAY This one starts off fast and rockin’ and stays that way the entire time. This is my second favorite song on this CD. The singer is just as animated as his band and though he sounds like so many other rock singers that have come out of the woodwork, I got used to that a long time ago so it doesn’t bother me. Good breakdown too. I’m not entirely sure how this song works in with the movie, lyric wise, but I still enjoy it.

10.) ”When It Started” - The Strokes – NAY I don’t think I’ve ever liked The Strokes. And this one isn’t helping. The singer is very whiny and the guitar keeps strumming the same notes over and over again. It’s just not good.

11.) “Hate To Say I Told You So” - The Hives – YAY Now this is definitely an interesting song. It’s not like anything else on this CD really and I don’t see how this connects to the movie. But the guitar and even the tambourine work nicely. Even when the singer kind of wigs out and almost screams his lyrics a little near the end things are still okay. It works with the song.

12.) “Invisible Man” - Theory Of A Dead Man – YAY I enjoy Theory of a Dead man, but even so, I forgot this song was by them. Some heavy guitar and a deep voiced (not too deep) singer and good use of echoing and call and response of the lyrics makes this an interesting song. It’s pretty rockin’. The only downfall is that I always think of the book Invisible Man when this comes on…

13.) “Undercover” - Pete Yorn – YAY This one starts out slow but shows great promise from the very beginning. I love the music, the singer, and the lyrics, which totally apply to Peter’s actions/feelings toward Mary Jane, which is cool. But it doesn’t feel forced at all. ”I will love you, I won’t let go.”

14.) “My Nutmeg Phantasy” - Macy Gray (feat. Angie Stone and Mos Def)(Tom Morello Mix) – NAY Oh good God. One of you, back in my The Italian Job review asked me to spill the beans on Macy Gray. Well here it is. I think she sucks. I’m serious. I do not enjoy that woman’s voice. It drives me nuts. When everyone went crazy over her, I wondered what they were smoking and I’ve always wondered what Simon from American Idol would have to say about her. So pretty much no matter what she sings, I do not enjoy. As for the song, it feels hectic and unorganized, the chorus is too high pitched and contrasts sharply with Macy’s voice and when they and the music are doing their thing, she interjects with echoing lyrics which seems to mess things up…ugh. I skip it every time.

15.) "I - IV – V" - Injected – YAY This was almost a “nay” because of the way the lead singer works with the song and the way the guitar is being played. It’s almost hectic like track 14, except of when things slow down and he actually is in sync with the rest of the music. It’s so close to a “nay” though…the way they make this song interesting with drums and the slow parts and such is its only saving grace.

16.) “She Was My Girl” - Jerry Cantrell – YAY This is a different one. The music behind the singer is very good and Jerry’s got kind of a dark voice going on here. It’s feels abrupt through the whole song, at least that’s the word that comes to me at the time. ”She was my girl…used to be my world…” If you’re working out or something, then it can get redundant at the end and skipping the rest can be in order (hey, I’ve done it).

17.) “Main Titles” - Danny Elfman – YAY Ooh! The main titles! Yay! Wait, I already said that. Hehe. This is what you’ll hear at the beginning of the movie (duh). Elfman seems to be a big fan of anxious strings and loud brass. But he works them well, so don’t worry. Oh, and don’t forget the chorus, Elfman likes to use them too, which is an extra +. He gives us a little hero feeling and dark bad guy slipping in throughout the whole song. It’s a great prelude to the movie because it tells you exactly what you’re going to get.

18.) “Farewell” - Danny Elfman – YAY This is when Peter is at the funeral at the end of the movie and speaks to Mary Jane. Another good one. It begins quietly, with hints of the theme (or at the very least the main credits) before falling into gentle strings and eventually a flute as Pete and MJ talk (don’t forget the harps). Eventually it leads right into the final credits, a flurry of music fit for a hero.

19.) “Theme from Spider-Man” - Aerosmith – YAY Haha, only Aerosmith could redo this title song (from track 1) and get it to rock out! This is just for fun really, and I was really surprised they didn’t use it anywhere in the movie – not even at the end credits. I will tell you though, if you’re on a treadmill, this is a great one to turn on; the only downfall is that it’s short.

So with all the yays and nays, if I had my way, I’d construct the CD with just the yays on it, giving me...a lot of tracks, actually. I thought there were more I’d cut out on. Oh well, I guess that just goes to show that I enjoyed most of the CD.

Final thoughts (since I pretty much gave my opinion on each song above), are unless you enjoy rock, this CD might not be for you. You can always nab the Original Score version of the Spider-Man CDs and then be in total soundtrack heaven. If you liked "Hero" then give this a try. If anything you’ll like most of the songs on here and just skip over a few like myself. It’s still worth the money. Trust a fellow comic lover.


Originally published on Epinions.com


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I am an author, I sell books for a living, and I love music like there's no tomorrow. I've experienced much of this country, from forested hills of the East, to the golden plains of the Midwest, the sandy beaches of the Southeast, and the oh-so-majestic mountains of the Rockies. And when all else fails, eat chocolate.