OVERALL GRADE: B+
Phil Collins joins a growing list of rock performers to write songs for a hit animated film. Like Elton John's soundtrack for THE LION KING, TARZAN generated an Oscar-winning ballad, "You'll Be In My Heart," and several other widely played tunes. Unlike most other Disney soundtracks, the songs on TARZAN are sung not by the characters, but as the background for the film's visual sequences.
As a result, this soundtrack is a bit more monotonous and contains fewer original tracks. Yet the songs are delightful, crossing pop conventions with some African instruments and a nice balance of voice and percussion. The instrumental tracks are all grouped together, a decision that creates some monotony in that three versions of "Two Worlds" can be heard within a few minutes of one another. But it also makes it easy to skip all the quieter music for restless kids.
TARZAN's themes of family and social belonging weave throughout its music, which will appeal to family members of all ages.
Kids: Three- and six-year-old listeners had most of the lyrics memorized after repeatedly listening to this CD. Older kids may not like the pop sound as much.
Adults: Working professionals and senior citizens can enjoy the upbeat songs by Phil Collins and the lush melodic score. The version of "You'll Be In My Heart" which was a radio hit is included on the soundtrack.
Parental Advisory: Vague lyrics in "Two Worlds" about the death of a gorilla baby may require explanation for younger children.
Although several of the songs are dominated by cliches of the "trust your heart" variety, the lyrics encourage learning and exploring. The music incorporates African rhythms appropriate to the setting. "Trashin' the Camp" offers an introduction to the concept of musical improvisation.
Even the quieter tracks on the album contain some loud percussion and threatening minor key musical motifs. This is an excellent sing-along album for in the car, but not appropriate to relax kids before bedtime.
1. Two Worlds - Play
2. You'll Be In My Heart - Quiet
3. Son of Man - Party
4. Trashin' the Camp - Play
5. Strangers Like Me - Play
6. Two Worlds Reprise - Play
7. Trashin' the Camp (Phil and 'N Sync version) - Car
8. You'll Be In My Heart (Phil version) - Car
9. Two Worlds (Phil Version) - Party
10. A Wondrous Place (score) - Quiet
11. Moves Like an Ape, Looks Like a Man (score) - Car
12. The Gorillas (score) - Quiet
13. One Family (score) - Car
14. Two Worlds Finale - Play