Dumb and Dumber – Soundtrack Review

The Most Annoying Sound In The World
The Most Annoying Sound In The World
One of the best films of 1994 and one of the funniest films of the decade was successful mainly because of the two centralpartnerships- Carrey and Daniels, and theFarrelly Brothers. One of the things you notice upon repeated viewings (although many notice on their first watch) is the high quality soundtrack mostly made up of new music from the era. The only letdown of this CD is that it leaves out a few of the best tracks from the movie, namely `Where I Find My Heaven’ and the older `Can We Still Be Friends’. Whether this was down to legal issues or time constraints I don’t know, but the exclusion is pretty inexcusable. Luckily what is included is a collection of fun, at times humourous songs which will remind fans of the movie of their favourite scenes. Those not familiar or keen on the movie will still find something they like in this eclectic mix, from punk to funk, from whimsicalto poptastic.`The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead’ kicks off the album in a fitting way- it begins at the first part of the lads’ journey in the movie. By the Crash Test Dummies who were riding on a wave of success at the time, and with vocals from Ellen Reid who adds a sweet, almost country twang. It is an upbeat lively cover and in many ways is the film’s theme song given the wacky but tender lyrics. It is a fun, sing-along song with great melodies and nice harmonica work.

`New Age Girl’ has an intro full of madness and humour- everyone knows the duh-duh- raugh chant. Deadeye Dick put plenty of bounce into the offbeat story of a hippy style new age girl, and a series of questions concerning her between friends. It has the most manic and funny lyrics on the album, and has a West Coast pop feel to it. There are many memorable moments, great melodies, and it is an interesting take on the traditional love song. Once again this seems to go well with the characters and plot of the film not least because of Mary.

`Insomniac’ is a good song by Echobelly, full of Britpop melodies and angst. Jangly guitars playing alongside Sonya Madan’s sultry, off kilter tones are the main focus. Strong lyrics involving love, sex, and the terrible effects these can have on you.

`If You Don’t Love Me I’ll Kill Myself’ is a staunchly Yankee song sandwiched between 2 Euro songs, and has an almost country feel to it. I like the sentiment- a feeling I’m sure most romantics and losers in love have felt, I like the lyrics as a whole, and the music is quite jaunty and bouncy rather than going for the obvious stream of minor chords.

`Crash’ is the popular song by The Primitives; here it is the slightly different 95 mix. Again it is a fast, fun, upbeat song although the lyrics are pretty dark for such a catchy pop song. This is probably the most famous song on the album and again it suits the film’s road movie, collision course story perfectly.

`Whiney Whiney’ is a song I tend to skip- mainly because that whole Shaggy sounding rough Caribbean sound grates on me. Having said that, it is catchy enough and is a humourous pastiche of a host of other songs.

`Hurdy Gurdy Man’ by the Butthole Surfers is a song which I can take or leave- some days I enjoy it, sometimes it is annoying. It is tuneless for the most part with transparent melodies, but the overall hurdy gurdy effect I like more than dislike. Again though this is a song which often gets the skip treatment.

`Too Much Of A Good Thing’ is probably my favourite song in the movie and on the soundtrack, featuring in a couple of scenes. The central chords are memorable, the lyrics are very good, and there is quite a moody late night feel throughout. There are a couple of quiet breaks before the conclusion meaning it almost becomes a mini epic. Of the songs used here that were not a hit, this one deserved that status the most.

`The Bear Song’ is certainly the heaviest song on the album with heavy distorted guitars and a swirling bass riff. The lyrics are suitably insane repeating over and over and it features some odd impressions. The song is related to the infamous pepper scene of the movie; both build up steadily to the selling point.

`Take’ continues the heavy song flow and is an almost grunge tone. There are angry riffs which complement angrier lyrics. It stands out from the other melancholy songs because of this fact, while the other songs usually cover up the downbeat nature of the words with a jolly, blue sky sound. Luckily the melodies here are fine, though in the grand scheme of things it’s just an average angst ridden rock song.

`You Sexy Thing’ is an instant skip- I’ve yet to hear a version of this I like and this is amongst the worst. It tries to be different, it adds some funky twists, but even though I see that Lamborghini when I hear it, I still have to skip.

`Get Ready’ closes the album in an effective enough way- The Proclaimers seem like a suitable musical match to Harry and Lloyd. Upbeat and up tempo it doesn’t leave any bad tastes, though it isn’t outstanding in any way. The lyrics again reflect the love story and journey of the characters, and it is fuelled by a bluesy rhythm and shout along chorus.

Overall this is a strong soundtrack to accompany one of my personal favourite films. The songs have been nicely selected to suit the varying, albeit limited, moods of the film- from up tempo fun, downbeat and tender, to hysterical distortion. A good soundtrack should be capable of standing on its own feet, the problem is usually coherence- it’s just a bunch of songs strewn together with no semblance of continuity of relativity. Naturally if you’re a fan of the film in question this coherence comes from your own relationship to the film- as you listen you recall your favourite parts. Dumb and Dumber strikes a chord between your fond memories and being a collection of average to great songs.

What’s your favourite song from the album? Do you think the missing tracks are a huge downer? Pretty bird?

Tell it like it is!

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