Four years ago, this humble reviewer hoped we’d see Sub Pop and the Bob’s Burgers team join forces once more for a second volume of musical insanity, and thank the gods it’s happened.
Featuring 90 tracks taken from seasons seven through nine, Music Album Vol 2. once again captures the beloved animated show’s whip-smart humor and hipster credentials. While shows like Rick & Morty and Big Mouth have happily leaned into gross-out surrealism, Bob’s Burgers has steadfastly held onto its heart, the show’s foundation always being the Belchers’ dysfunctional love for one another. Realistic, it may not always be, but the show intelligently captures the pitfalls of growing up as well as running a small business in a town filled with colorful characters.
While not boasting quite as many big-name featured artists as Vol. 1, the likes of Adam Driver, Jenny Slate, and a returning Matt Berninger of The National all make an appearance. Fun as these spots are, it’s the core cast ((H. Jon Benjamin, Kristen Schaal, Dan Mintz, John Roberts, Eugene Merman) that once again impress, tackling a wide array of genres with demented aplomb. At 90 tracks, a lot of the material is just fun skits that’ll give lovers of the show a smile, but there’s some genuine ear-worms too - full confession, I’m still humming ‘Parakeet In My Hat’ from Vol. 1 four years later.
Highlights include, ‘This Wedding Is My Warzone’ is an impassioned musical theatre number about Bob’s catering worries, complete with fantastic backing from Linda. Loveable goof Teddy (Larry Murphy) gets a few side-splitting covers, including a ukulele-led stab at Bobby Darin’s ‘Beyond The Sea’ and a ridiculous take on 80s cheese-fest ‘(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.’ Top prize goes to Louise and Bob’s brief rendition of ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ though, Jon Benjamin’s world-weary tones matching the drunk dive-bar karaoke spirit that Meatloaf’s anthem deserves.
What truly wows again is the sheer breadth of genres the show’s team tackle, be it the New Order-esque bass tones on ‘Flu-ouise,’ the Misfits stomp on ‘Witchy Witchy’ or the Ragtime swing of ‘Best Couple Friends.’ While musical numbers aren’t rare in modern animation, the way Bob's Burgers will drop a gem so casually is always appealing. Having all these moments collected in one place helps the listener appreciate the time and effort that’s gone into the recording and composition of these tracks when they’re often on screen for less than a minute.
For those hankering after a physical release - and let's be honest, that’ll be most reading this - Vol. 2 comes in CD format, a colourful 3 LP gatefold edition, and a deluxe gift box featuring die-cut pages shaped liked burger components, lyric book, sheet music and more for the geek within. It's no surprise that Loren Bouchard's creation is still going strong; it's a show overflowing with pop culture love, using its classic sitcom premise to homage the things in life that make our days less boring - much like this set of hilarity.
Words: Sam Walker-Smart
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