Saturday, October 17, 2009

Phineas and Ferb have done it again

Actually, Swampy and Dan have done it again.

Since I posted my first paean to the boys with the geometric heads, three great things have happened in the P&F universe: first, new episodes have been created; second, the soundtrack CD that I had wished for has been released; and third, the Disney Channel hosted a P&F singalong to promote both the CD and the new episodes.

I'm not suggesting that the CD came about because of my posting. The Disney folks have always been shrewd marketers, and Swampy and Dan have obviously had a lot of fun while riding this gravy train. Hey, more power to them. P&F is a great show and a great brand, and it will be a great franchise, if it isn't already.

You know, 25 years ago I used to race home from work at 4:30 so I could watch Inspector Gadget with my older son. P&F has the same draw for me as Inspector Gadget did, only now I can enjoy P&F just about any time of the day, with my younger (17 year old) son.

Anyway, about the CD: it features 26 selections from the series. I understand how difficult it was to choose the songs. They had a lot of good material to pick from. Only a couple of my favorites ("Evil Love" and "Swinter," actually) are missing.

Several of the songs have been re-orchestrated, or perhaps the TV versions are the re-orked versions and these are the real things. Rest easy: the ones on the CD are just as good as the ones on TV -- if not better.

The Emmy-nominated theme song, "It's Going to Be a Great Day," is the full 3-minute version, not the 60-second TV version, sung (as on TV) by the very listenable band Bowling For Soup. (I don't know which version got the 2008 Emmy nomination.) "Gitchee Gitchee Goo" has been expanded and enhanced, and although the original is fun to sing along with, this one's even better -- well, once I learn all the new parts, that is.

All of your favorites are on there. I can't get enough of "Truck Drivin' Girl" and the pizzicato stylings of "Let's Take a Rocket Ship to Space."

And I'm sure I expose myself to charges of not being a true P&F aficionado when I confess that I hadn't realized that the gravelly blues solo in "Chains on Me" was the same voice as the one in "E.V.I.L. B.O.Y.S." Oh, and it's definitely not Ashley Tisdale - not even if she gargled with alum water for an hour, let alone being exposed to wild parsnips. According to the CD jacket, it's Dan Povenmire. I tried singing with a gravelly voice like that once. I can't do it for more than 40 or 50 seconds before I start gagging. I wonder how many times Dan had to stop and gag while recording these two masterpieces.

Dr. Doofenshmirtz, also voiced by Povenmire, got his "My Goody Two-Shoes Brother" on the CD, with all of its very carefully fashioned lyrics.

The normally taciturn Ferb gets his moment in the spotlight with "Backyard Beach" and "Phinedroids and Ferbots."

Other special favorites of mine include the clever "My Undead Mummy," the Abba tribute "Disco Miniature Golfing Queen," and the Love Händel suite, including the Emmy-nominated "I Ain't Got Rhythm."

I tip my hat to, wave my Bic lighter in the air for, and applaud in the general direction of:
  • the real voices of Love Händel (including Steve Zahn, one of my favorite actors)
  • the P&F actors who lend not just their acting talents, but also their singing voices, to their characters
  • the composers and lyricists who created these little gems
  • Dan and Swampy, of course
  • everybody else who sang and played on the series and the CD
Props to all of you.

(I bought the CD only a couple of days after it was released. It wasn't for me, though: I gave the CD to our son for his 18th birthday. I'm hoping to get one of my own next week, for my birthday.)