Just when we thought we’d seen the last of those suicide bombing feather-balls that wasted way too much of our time, the Angry Birds are back, but this time in movie form to tell us all why exactly they were so angry in the first place. Now, I won’t spoil anything for you, mostly because I haven’t actually seen the movie, but I can tell you that the movie soundtrack features one of the weirdest lineups of musicians I’ve ever seen. From country star Blake Shelton to DJ Steve Aoki to rap-metal band Limp Bizkit, the album lists artists from pretty much every major genre of music that comes to mind. And surprisingly, it’s pretty cohesive. An amalgamation of classic hits and new songs written for the movie by contemporary artists, the soundtrack is consistently punchy, purposeful, and filled with feel-good vibes. Basically, if the Angry Birds needed a motivational playlist to help them get pumped up before flinging themselves at the evil green pigs, this soundtrack should do the trick.
The album opens with Blake Shelton’s “Friends,” fittingly complete with bouncy sound effects that accentuate the banjo twang and give it a very video-gamey feel.
It’s followed by a pretty predictable cover of “I Will Survive” by Demi Lovato, whistle-friendly tune “Wonderful Life” by tropical house producer Matoma, and “On Top of the World” by Imagine Dragons–basically a bunch of agreeable, poppy songs you’d expect to hear in every other commercial on TV. A highlight of the soundtrack is “Explode” by Charli XCX, which represents a bubblier take on her usual synth-heavy, 80s-pop inspired style. Then, in an unexpected turn of events, you get transported to the real 80s with Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” and Scorpions’ “Rock You Like a Hurricane.”
I’d assume that the plot starts getting really wild somewhere around the halfway point of the album, as it becomes significantly less radio-friendly and moderately more aggressive, starting with Steve Aoki’s “Fight,” the kind of intense EDM track that makes you want to floor-it down the highway, followed by classic hip-hop records “Wild Thing” by Tone-Loc and “Sound of da Police” by KRS-One, during which I can only imagine the Angry-Birds tried to pull something really badass but got caught red-handed, or rather red-winged, in the act. Something definitely goes wrong when Limp Bizkit’s “Behind Blue Eyes” comes on, which sounds more like a gloomy Daughtry song and is the only real downer on the soundtrack. The album tapers off with two acoustic folk pieces, one of which is sung by Peter Dinklage who plays Mighty Eagle, and finally comes to a close with the movie score/theme song.
The Angry Birds Movie Soundtrack is an easy to listen to, action filled collection of songs for a presumably easy to watch, action filled movie, and that’s about all it is. Unless you’re looking for some uber positive, child appropriate hype music (attention: gym teachers), there isn’t really a need to explore this album outside of the movie. Nonetheless, the soundtrack features an impressive assortment of artists, eras, and genres that perhaps only the universally addictive quality of Angry Birds could bring together.