Oh, What A Soundtrack
I’m going to take a wild guess and say that the Icebox Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (OST for short) was on top of every 5-10 year-old girl’s wish lists for their birthdays or the 2013 holidays or both. Probably both. As for the rest of us, we thankfully didn’t have to put up with the soundtrack on the radio (can you imagine?). At the time I recall being extremely confused why- as much as I couldn’t stand it- that song wasn’t playing on the radio, competing with its slightly less annoying ‘challenger’ from another animated film. We know how the results of that battle turned out, with one grabbing all the awards and the other staying on the charts for months. In short, both won.
The title, if you’re wondering, parodies the title of an Andrew Lloyd Webber song from one of his plays. Now Lloyd Webber and this soundtrack have nothing to do with each other, but let me assure you that everything Lloyd Webber’s done, even the stuff that was awful, is five hundred percent better than most of this soundtrack.
Why was this thing so…ear crushingly popular? I have only one possible answer, but it doesn’t make sense. Perhaps the reason why it was so popular was because it was actually good the whole- NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!!
NO. IT-it can’t be. It can’t be good, because if I thought it was good I would’ve liked something from it. And as you can guess, I liked about zero point one percent of this soundtrack. Let’s find out why, shall we? Put on your ear plugs. Final warning.
Okay, I’m going to talk about the songs in the order they were in the movie since that’s how I (most unfortunately) remember them.
First up is the prologue song trying to pay homage to Norway, I guess. It’s not memorable at all; NEXT!
SIGH. Here we go…what follows is the first of three songs I call the “Icebox Gauntlet”, a grouping of the songs everyone considers the best (more or less) from the soundtrack. This first one is stuck with passing over a decade’s worth of time in the most annoyingly catchy way possible. It also even leaves points for children to act out the- ok, seriously, this was just written for kids and no one else. Plain and simple.
Song three takes place about, oh I’d say not ten minutes after the last one ends (you’ll start to see a pattern here). This one sounds the most traditional and is probably the one that annoys me the least as a result. However, I’ve found this one to be particularly popular among a certain four-to-six year old female demographic. I once heard a girl in a stroller (yes, a stroller), singing the chorus perfectly in key and in tune. I don’t know what to say!
The fourth song- I apologize in advance for the capital letters- is perhaps the WORST LOVE DUET I’VE EVER HAD THE DISTASTEFUL PLEASURE OF LISTENING TO!! Seriously, this is, more or less, the theme of the song: it compares love to an open…we’ll say a gate. AND WHAT ABOUT IF IT’S CLOSED? I GUESS THAT MEANS NO LOVE THEN! Come on songwriters, you won an Oscar for all this work, yet what I’m looking over resembles a ten-year-olds analogy of what love could compare to! You couldn’t fit any other lyric in those measures that would be three syllables? How about “shining star”, “pleasant dream”, or “healed heart”? That last one actually ties in with the “theme” of Icebox! All sound better to me than what’s actually there.
Oh no. OH NO! We’re here. The big one. The song I hated the second I first heard it, a song that became so popular it’ll probably be named in some magazine as one of the most influential songs of its generation! Deep breath. I can get through this without ripping this laptop in half. Hopefully.
Its been four years and that’s done this song a little bit of good, in the fact that I no longer outright despise it. This isn’t the worst song I’ve ever heard, the singing’s good and the orchestrations are good too. Production-wise, its fine.
And then there’s the lyrics. We never hear what she’s getting rid of, did you notice? I mean, for all we know, this ‘thing’ could be just about anything: her house, her dress, that tacky ice sculpture collection, perhaps? The remainder of the lyrics are decent and better than the song I just dissected, but lets be honest, all anyone except the squealing diehard fans remember is the chorus. That DAMN CHORUS!! I MEAN HOW MUCH MORE STUCK-IN-YOUR-HEAD ANNOYING CAN YOU GET?? Keep in mind, this was THE SONG that made MouseEars Animation change their entire outlook on the film and the film itself!!! And its A POWER BALLAD THAT DOSEN’T HOLD A CANDLE TO MOUSEEARS OTHER CLASSIC SONGS! Correction, its UNFIT to HOLD the candle, INSTEAD ITS STANDING BY THE DOOR OUTSIDE WAITING TO GO INSIDE TO HOLD THE CANDLE!!
Furthermore, I did not go back and listen to this song or the entire soundtrack because I want to keep my brain cells (among other items) intact and in one piece, thanks.
After that overhyped screecher we have a strange song that could easily be fixed by having the animal involved actually speak. If snowmen can speak in this world, why not animals? Don’t answer that.
Next is the snowman’s song. While the character design doesn’t annoy me too much the song sure makes up for it. Yes, its supposed to be ironic and is, but either its the fact his voice is annoying or that he isn’t all that funny. Moving on.
Ah, yes. Time for the song everyone considers the strangest. Not because its an electronic pop remix, thank goodness, but because no one can understand the lyrics! Also, its a love song. TWO IN ONE MOVIE??? WHAT??? Look, I know love’s a big deal, it’s like one of the top five things everybody (including me) wants to do, but how much can we overdo it?? Besides, this song isn’t needed and is sung by a bunch of rock creatures!! Despite my trying to take it seriously, I’m failing horribly.
And that- that’s it. Aside from the excellent musical score (which I bet hardly anyone who bought the soundtrack listens or listened to), only eight songs in the film. Believe me, that’s more than enough.
They happen so frequently in the film every other scene is a music video. The absence of a genuine villain song is troubling, as that would’ve given us time to understand his character, which we don’t understand at all!! Lyrically they’re not the best but the singing (save for one example), orchestrations, and production are all good. None of that makes up for the fact that THIS IS THE MOST ANNOYING SOUNDTRACK I’VE EVER LISTENED TO IN MY LIFE!! No wonder it was so popular- people couldn’t get it out of their heads!
Well thank goodness that’s over. I didn’t lose my brain or laptop midway through and the world appears to be exactly as it was.