Muppets: The Green Album
|Muppets: The Green Album|
|Compilation album by Various artists|
|Released||August 23, 2011|
|Genre||Pop rock, alternative rock, indie rock, power pop, soft rock|
|The Muppets chronology|
|Singles from Muppets: The Green Album|
Muppets: The Green Album (stylized as Muppets•The Green Album) is a cover album of twelve Muppet songs by various contemporary music artists. The album was released by Walt Disney Records on August 23, 2011 on a digipak CD and as a digital download. A music video was also produced for the album's sole single; "Muppet Show Theme Song", featuring OK Go attempting to produce their own music video until they are interrupted by the Muppets' antics.
Walt Disney Records announced the album at the 2009 D23 Expo as Muppets Revisited with a projected 2010 release date. The original project's name paralleled the title of Nightmare Revisited, the tribute album that Disney had released for The Nightmare Before Christmas in 2008. The album was part of Disney's dualistic effort to revitalize the franchise which had drastically faded since the 1990s and to promote the subsequent release of the seventh Muppet film, three months later. The album's artwork features a "typographic portrait" of Kermit the Frog's face, which is reminiscent of cover art derived from the psychedelic rock albums of the 1960s.
Muppets: The Green Album was generally well-received by critics and debuted at No. 1 on both Billboard's Rock Albums and Alternative Albums charts. With an estimated 30,000 copies initially sold, the album also peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 chart, becoming the first Muppet album to reach the top 10.
|1.||"Muppet Show Theme Song"||Sam Pottle, Jim Henson||OK Go||2:36|
|2.||"Rainbow Connection"||Paul Williams, Kenneth Ascher||Weezer and Hayley Williams (of Paramore)||4:00|
|3.||"Mahna Mahna"||Piero Umiliani||The Fray||2:13|
|4.||"Movin' Right Along"||Williams, Ascher||Alkaline Trio||2:33|
|5.||"Our World"||Williams||My Morning Jacket||3:05|
|6.||"Halfway Down the Stairs"||Harold Fraser-Simon, A.A. Milne||Amy Lee (of Evanescence)||2:25|
|7.||"Mr. Bassman"||Johnny Cymbal||Sondre Lerche||2:41|
|8.||"Wishing Song"||Paul Tracey||The Airborne Toxic Event||2:47|
|9.||"Night Life"||Joseph Raposo||Brandon Saller (of Atreyu) and Billy Martin (of Good Charlotte)||2:59|
|10.||"Bein' Green"||Raposo||Andrew Bird||4:10|
|11.||"I Hope That Somethin' Better Comes Along"||Williams, Ascher||Matt Nathanson||2:42|
|12.||"I'm Going to Go Back There Someday"||Williams, Ascher||Rachael Yamagata||4:15|
The members of OK Go are preparing to sing "The Muppet Show Theme" (titled as "Muppet Show Theme Song" on the album), with the help of an elaborate machine, which is inadvertently destroyed by Sweetums. The band is then shown through recreations of their own music videos and homages of traditional Muppet Show sketches, while being accompanied by The Muppets. Statler and Waldorf, are shown at one point briefly watching the video from a computer. The video concludes with a series of pseudo-fictional dream sequences, such as Damian Kulash waking up in terror while sleeping with Animal, Dr. Teeth, and Floyd Pepper, Dr. Teeth himself, waking up alongside the OK Go members, and Tim Nordwind finding himself next to Rowlf the Dog, Foo-Foo, a sheep and Kulash's dog, Bunny. The video alludes to former OK Go music videos, including; "Here It Goes Again", "This Too Shall Pass", "All Is Not Lost" and "White Knuckles".
- Steve Whitmire – Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat, Beaker, Statler, Newsman, Chicken, Bean Bunny, Link Hogthrob, Penguin, Snowth, Foo-Foo
- Eric Jacobson – Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Sam Eagle, Marvin Suggs, Snowth, Penguin
- Dave Goelz – The Great Gonzo, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Waldorf, Zoot, Beauregard, Purple Frackle, Penguin
- David Rudman – Scooter, Janice, Nigel, Beautiful Day Monster, Penguin
- Matt Vogel – Sweetums, Camilla the Chicken, Floyd Pepper, Crazy Harry, Uncle Deadly, Pops, Dr. Julius Strangepork, Lew Zealand, Angel Marie
- Bill Barretta – Rowlf the Dog, Dr. Teeth, Pepé the King Prawn, Swedish Chef, Bobo the Bear, Mahna Mahna
Release and promotion
The music video for "Muppet Show Theme Song" was released online and for purchase on August 19, 2011. On August 31, OK Go and The Muppets had a live performance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
|Consequence of Sound|||
Muppets: The Green Album received mixed to positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 60, based on 8 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Chrysta Cherrie of Allmusic concluded her review by stating that, "Muppets: The Green Album freshens up the franchise for the newish millennium, and Generation Z listeners will enjoy hearing current artists in this different context, but other listeners may be left reaching for their classic Muppets fare." A Sputnikmusic reviewer said that "too few of the artists approach the material with the right ideas". Jeremy Frye wrote that the album's potency largely depended on the nostalgia factor; "If you were to see The Green Album sitting on the counter at Starbucks and consider making an impulse buy because you love The Muppets, I’d say go for it. As tributes to significant portions of your childhood go, it could be much worse."
Conversely, Cinema Blend's Joseph Giannone favorably compared the album to The Muppet Show saying that, "Like the original program, The Green Album is an eclectic, smart and eccentric journey through each guest appearance's effort." Consequence of Sound wrote that; "All that's "green" isn’t necessarily gold here, but most of it shines. " Elizabeth Keenan of MTV Geek!, commented that, "The album fits well in the grand tradition of the Muppets' connections with real-world pop culture." Alistair McGeorge described the album in her Female First review as "good for a nostalgic listen, the songs have a surprising amount of strength in this setting, and it's a good collection in its own right." Doug Wortel awarded the album an 8 out of 10, while positively remarking that, "The wonderful thing about The Green Album that sets it apart from those other records, besides the source material, is nearly every performer on this album sounds like they’re having a ball, which is exactly what any Jim Henson fan would want from a record like this."
In regards to the album's roster of artists, Sara Baumberger wrote that the selected songs were paired effectively well. Spin's Mikael Wood expressed praised for Andrew Bird's rendition of "Bein' Green" remarking, "Andrew Bird sidesteps the precious self-pity you'd expect from "Bein' Green": His Kermit gets the clever-to-cuddly ratio just right." Web Behrens of Time Out Chicago spoke highly of OK Go's cover; "Layering in everything from electronica to a perfectly quirky "Flight of the Bumblebees" sample, the homegrown band knows just how to push the envelope. We loved it even before we saw the video, which is sure to be another viral hit for Kulash and Company, taking their trippy cover to an even higher level." Peter Chianca of Wicked Local, wrote in regards to Weezer and Hayley Williams' cover; "complete with twittering swamp sounds, approximates the wistfulness that the late Jim Henson brought to the original." Chianca also noted that, "Alkaline Trio’s punky take on "Movin' Right Along" is the album’s standout, riffing playfully on the Kermit-and-Fozzie banter." John Terauds of the Toronto Star commended the album as a whole, highlighting that, "The finest treats come from two of the gentlest and most memorable melodies brought to us by Kermit the Frog: "Rainbow Connection", where Hayley Williams of Paramore sweetly recaptures the original's innocent wonder and longing, boosted by Weezer's pastel-swampy backdrop; and Andrew Bird's clean, frank delivery of "Bein' Green"."
|Canadian Albums Chart||14|
|U.S. Billboard 200||8|
|U.S. Billboard Alternative Albums||1|
|U.S. Billboard Digital Albums||5|
|U.S. Billboard Kids Albums||1|
|U.S. Billboard Rock Albums||1|
|U.S. Billboard Tastemakers Albums||11|
"Muppet Show Theme Song"
"Movin' Right Along"
"Halfway Down the Stairs"
"I Hope That Something Better Comes Along"
"I'm Going To Go Back There Someday"
- Nightmare Revisited
- Almost Alice
- Frankenweenie: Unleashed!
- The Muppets: Original Soundtrack
- The Muppets: A Green and Red Christmas
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- "Muppets: The Green Album - Various Artists". Billboard. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
- Official site at Walt Disney Records
- Muppets: The Green Album at Amazon.com
- OK Go music video at YouTube