Aloha my wonderful merfolk!
Today, I thought I would so a style of blog post that I haven’t done since Blogoween last year; music review. In case you’re wondering, last year I did a review of Necrofusion by Zak Bagans. You can read that blog post here. Today however, I thought I would review Nightmare Revisited. This is an album where artists have covered songs from The Nightmare Before Christmas. The majority of Nightmare fans will have already heard this album, myself included. However, I’ve not really sat down and actually fully listened to the songs in order to give my true opinions. So today, that is what I shall do!
Overture – DeVotchKa
This version has a very folk feel to it, like I should be dancing in a circle, at a festival, barefoot. It’s very different to the creepy feel of the Overture from the film. This version manages to sound jolly and happy and actually makes me feel like dancing madly to it. You know, that type of dancing you do when you think no one is watching? The type that burns all the weird mental energy you have? I like this version very much.
Opening – Danny Elfman
The opening is very similar to the opening that we see in the film. The main difference is that the narrator is now Danny Elfman. There’s not a lot to comment o with this as it’s only one minute long.
This is Halloween – Marilyn Manson
It will come as no surprise that I am quite a fan of Marilyn Mansons music. I love how he can take a song that is nowhere close to his regular genre and make it his own. I have loved this version of the song since I first heard it all those years ago. The song keeps it’s creepy nature and if I can say it, becomes slightly creepier thanks to Manson’s style of music.
Jacks Lament – The All American Rejects
I have to say I’m not the biggest fan of The All American Rejects style of music. I do have a couple of their songs from my teenage years on my itunes, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to listen to their music. Their version of Jacks Lament is okay, definitely not the best song so far on this album and I have to say I prefer the original films version. By all accounts this version isn’t bad, it’s just not my favourite and feel it could have been covered better by a different artist.
Doctor Finklestein / The Forest – Amina
This version of the song is very alien, very sci-fi. It’s got a very mysterious, modern vibe to it and I actually love this version so much. It does make me imagine someone sneaking through the forest, hiding behind trees, peeking out at people and hiding from those they do not wish to be seen by. Well done Amina for creating the creepy atmosphere with the sci-fi wobbles and high pitched notes.
What’s This – Flyleaf
This version of What’s This is very slow and sad sounding in the beginning. I feel like this doesn’t match the excitement Jack feels during the song. He’s happy, he’s elated, he’s curious. This version of the song doesn’t capture the excitement, the quickness, the erratic nature of Jacks curiosity. Taking that out of the equation, Flyleaf have done a very good version and it does sound very nice. If you’re not after an upbeat erratic sounding version of the song, if you want something calmer, this is the version for you. Also, the lead vocalist has an incredibly beautiful voice.
Town Meeting Song – The Polyphonic Spree
The introduction to this song is incredibly long so sit back and relax for a while. When the song finally kicks in, I have to say I am not impressed by this version of the song. It is not my type of music, the cover is odd and feels slightly off to me. Parts are sang that are spoken in the movie, parts are echoed and harmonised in random places. I couldn’t actually get through the whole song as it made me musically feel uncomfortable. No lie. I felt uncomfortable listening to this cover.
Jack and Sally Montage – Vitamin String Quartet
I feel slightly less uncomfortable with this cover. I’m glad we’ve moved on to a good version of a song on the soundtrack. The Vitamin String Quartet have done an excellent job at covering the instrumental part of the movie. This version is actually quite relaxing because even the loud and erratic sections are quite relaxed. Perhaps its the classical orchestra thing?
Jacks Obsession – Sparklehorse
Sigh. Another version that makes me feel so uncomfortable. This is awful, I can’t even fathom how much they’ve ruined one of my favourite songs from the movie. It’s too slow, it doesn’t capture the essence of the movie version. I can’t listen to this one all the way through, sorry guys. Just no. I can’t even think of constructive criticism. It’s not my type of music. Sorry Sparklehorse.
Kidnap the Sandy Claws – Korn
THIS IS MUCH BETTER. Okay, I’m slightly biased as I’ve liked Korns music since I was about thirteern years old. However, this song is supposed to sound menacing and angry and Korn have hit the nail on the head. Plus, I read that this song was recorded on webcam so fans could see how the band would go about recording and producing a recording for their album. That’s pretty cool. I love the drum beats, I love the guitar sounds and key changes. I also feel like this isn’t too heavy which will be good for those who are not too keen on heavy metal.
Making Christmas – Rise Against
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first saw that Rise Against had covered a song from The Nightmare Before Christmas. In my head I had them as a rather heavy metal style band. Much heavier than Korn. However, I’m pleasantly surprised at how good their cover of Making Christmas is. I’m really enjoying this. It’s one of my other favourite songs from this movie and to hear it covered well makes me happy. It’s not too heavy for those who aren’t a big fan of rock or metal which is great. They’ve found a good medium for this cover. I also love the instrumental in the middle. Great work Rise Against.
Nabbed – Yoshida Brothers
Okay, this cover is interesting. It starts off sounding traditionally Japanese and continues the vibe all the way through. I feel like this cover, you have to let warm up before passing any judgement over it. It’s an odd mix between techno, traditionally and keeping elements in from the movie. I think I like it as it’s unique, it’s different. I don’t know if I could listen to it over and over again but for this review, I’ll say its a decent enough cover, if slightly odd.
Oogie Boogie’s Song – Rodrigo Y Gabriela
This cover starts off acoustic sounding, quick and fast paced. There’s no lyrics, it’s an instrumental version of the song. I actually really like this. Most other artists would have chosen to completely cover the song as Oogie Boogies song can be quite fun to sing however, Rodrigo has decided against that. I’m finding myself bopping along to the sound of the acoustic guitar in my ears. I really like this cover version.
Sally’s Song – Amy Lee
This one I had heard previously, many many times. I was a big fan of Evanescence during my teenage years and even now I’ll give them a listen and try to mimic Amy Lee’s incredible voice. This song again, does not disappoint. Lee shows off her vocals really well in this song and manages to keep the eerie and creepy vibe to this love song. There is the occasional hint of typical Evanescence background sound but other than that, the song is kept quite simple most of the time with just Lee’s voice and a piano. There is one slightly audio heavier section of the song to mix it up a little bit. It’s beautiful and chilling. Perfect for Sally’s Song.
Christmas Eve Montage – RJD2
Techno/Dance/Hip Hop music is not really my thing and if I’m being honest, I couldn’t really recognise some of the parts of this song. I felt it was remixed a little too much to be recognisable and bring about nostalgia for the movie. The only part of this song I even slightly enjoyed was the guitar parts somewhere around the middle. Other than that it hurt my ears and was pretty un-enjoyable. I had to turn it off. Sorry guys.
Poor Jack – Plain White T’s
For those who don’t know who the Plain White T’s are, they are the band that sang Hey There Delilah. Okay, moving on. Their cover is quite simple, with only their voices and their guitars in the beginning. I actually like this cover of such a good song from the movie. I feel like they’ve understood Jacks story and his journey to the point where he realises he is The Pumpkin King and Christmas is not the holiday for him. They sound confident and poweful when they need to and remorseful when they need to as well. It’s a good cover version in my opinion.
To The Rescue – Data Rock
As previously mentioned, Techno is not really my thing, however, they’ve managed to keep the song recognisable whilst still being dance-y and fun. I don’t think I would go and listen to this song by choice. I wouldn’t choose it out of over 1000 songs on my Itunes, however it’s not horrendous to listen to.
Finale/Reprise – Shiny Toy Guns
From the band that brought you Le Disko, Shiny Toy Guns bring you the Finale/Reprise of the movie. Do they deliver? Yes and no. They’re an eccentric band anyway so their version is quite spooky/strange/weird. They go over each song from the movie which is great, they have a male and female vocalist do Jack and Sallys parts respectfully. I will say I prefer the movies version of this song as this version just sounds rather bland and not like anything I’ve heard Shiny Toy Guns release previously.
Closing – Danny Elfman
Again, this is very similar to the movie version of the song, except it’s Danny Elfman doing the narration. Elfman makes a good narrator.
End Title – The Album Leaf
As End Titles go, this is a very pretty cover version. It’s slow, just like the one at the end of the movie. Its a good end to the compilation album for such a great movie!
Overall, there were more hits on this album than misses and that’s pretty good going. My favourite covers have to be Marilyn Manson and Korn personally. What are your favourites?
a mermaid be waiting for you, in mysterious fathoms below