Saturday, February 18, 2012

cd review: longhorns: original motion picture soundtrack

Longhorns, the movie, is a sexual coming (out) of age comedy -- sort of a gay-themed Porky's / Fast Times at Ridgemont High type of production, set in Texas in the 1980s.

With the movie modeled on the 1980s sexcoms, HP Mendoza (who was tasked with creating the soundtrack) set out to make an album that was similarly modeled on the soundtracks to the 1980s sexcoms. That means lots of different tracks by a bunch of different bands.

Now, that's not to say that this is a travelogue of 1980's styles. There's no hair-metal, ska or punk rock. This is an album full of late new wave electro-pop. None of this would sound out of place on a Pet Shop Boys album. 

Actually, what a lot of the music sounds like is HP Mendoza's music sifted through a 1980's synth-pop filter. And that makes perfect sense, since central conceit of the album -- that it's a compilation of various artists -- is basically an inside joke. The featured bands -- Queerious, Analog Crafts Night and Orel Bernstein among them -- are all, in fact, Mendoza.

Mendoza crafted a catchy, engaging collection. The music is danceable and compelling. His penchant for clever wordplay is less evident here than in other works of his, especially the soundtrack to Colma: The Musical. Still and all, there are plenty of good double-entendres. My favorite track is "Race the Storm," which has a slight country flavor -- the only taste of country music in the soundtrack, despite the movie's Texas setting.

The only weak spots on the album are the last three tracks, which are score pieces, which aren't designed to stand on their own as music the way the other tracks are.

In case you care, here's the trailer for Longhorns

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