Ghostbusters [2016 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] (Review)
The Ghostbusters Soundtrack has its moments and its flaws
Remaking a classic is an arduous, elephantine task – Dumbo at his finest. Furthermore, remaking a classic is a gargantuan risk. Sometimes risks work, and at other times, risks fall flat on their butts. In the case of the remake of classic Ghostbusters, the reviews are in. Expectedly, the reviews are mixed. Similarly, the accompanying soundtrack yields a similar result.
Ghostbusters Soundtrack, 2016
Ghostbusters (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) starts out strongly. WALK THE MOON are one of many acts tasked to record an interpretation of theme, “Ghostbusters.” In the hands of the jubilant, alternative-pop band, WALK THE MOON meet expectations. No, the Ray Parker, Jr. classic doesn’t get a “run for its money,” but WALK THE MOON does the theme justice.
Speaking of “Ghostbusters,” there are other versions that MUST be mentioned. Pentatonix’s version is stunning (track six), given the use of vocal harmonies. Technically, the interpretation edges WALK THE MOON’s take, considering PTX are more liberal with the script. Being liberal doesn’t always pay off, as Fall Out Boy/Missy Elliott edition of “Ghostbusters” (track eight) is…a mess. In the hands of Pete Wentz and company, they take ghostbusting too far.
Not all 14 tracks from the Ghostbusters soundtrack are covers of the theme song. Some new songs grace the set. G-Eazy continues to expand upon a big year with the quirky, yet quasi-infectious “Saw It Coming.” Naturally, Eazy is joined by another ubiquitous presence, Jeremih. Grammy-nominated breakout artist Elle King follows with “Good Girls,” which is manic, to say the least. Give King credit for her energy, not to mention those pipes.
5 Seconds of Summer have arguably the set’s best new moment with “Girls Talk Boys.” 5SOS are naturally “pros” when it comes to girl/boy songs (not to mention nudity), but “Girls Talk Boys” shows them embracing a slightly different style. Specifically, it’s the falsetto. Sure, this is a punk-pop band, but the pop is amplified and the results are spot-on.
ZAYN joins the action on “wHo,” an urban-pop record not far-fetched from the material on his debut, Mind of Mine. It’s not “the second coming,” but respectable. Grammy-nominated UK alternative band Wolf Alice add some flair on “Ghoster,” a stark contrast from Zayn’s pop cut. Enigmatic and unique, those unfamiliar with Wolf Alice may find their interest in the bad sufficiently piqued.
“Get Ghost” incorporates elements of the “Ghostbusters” theme, but is essentially a new song. Naturally with Mark Ronson on board, “Get Ghost” is creative and respectable ear candy. It’s not on the level of “Uptown Funk!” but definitely enjoyable. He gets assists from Passion Pit (Michael Angelakos) and A$AP Ferg.
After “Get Ghost,” two past gems follow. First up is DMX classic “Party Up (Up In Here)” – always enjoyable, but clearly “been there, done that.” DeBarge standard “Rhythm of the Night” trails it. The old is then balanced out up-and-coming duo Muddy Magnolias (“American Woman”) and rock band Beasts of Mayhem (“Want Some More”). The crème de la crème concludes – Ray Parker, Jr.’s untouchable “Ghostbusters.”
All in all, Ghostbusters (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) is DEFINITELY a soundtrack. That means the normal pitfalls of a collaboration occur aka this is not an album that will suffice everlasting listening pleasure. Essentially, this is good enough for a season (if that long) and then it will fade. Your call whether it’s worth your money when the best song is, to reiterate, Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters!”
Gems: “Saw It Coming” (Elle King), “Girls Talk Boys” (5SOS), “Ghostbusters” (Pentatonix), “Get Ghost” (Mark Ronson, Passion Pit & A$AP Ferg) & “Ghostbusters” (Ray Parker, Jr.)