Over the years, the Minions and Despicable Me franchise has been known to contain surprising hit songs thanks to a soundtrack composed by Pharrell Williams and Heitor Pereira.
Continuing this tradition, they first enlisted Cole Bennett and Yeat for a surprise trailer and song. In addition, they created a soundtrack lineup so stacked that the only artists missing are Micahel Jackson and Whitney Houston.
Without a doubt, the artists that are listed on this soundtrack will leave any listener astounded. Produced by award-winning pop producer Jack Antonoff, the “Minions: The Rise of Gru” takes a spin on popular 70s hit songs. A few of the artists that are included are Tame Impala, Diana Ross, RZA, Thundercat, Kali Uchis, Phoebe Bridgers and much more. Though I was personally surprised by the choice to perform covers instead of originals, there are a handful of covers that are performed beautifully. Songs like “Turn Up The Sunshine” featuring Diana Ross and Tame Impala were a perfect selection for the Illumination Entertainment movie. Though, without question, the two standout tracks of this album are “Desafinado” by Kali Uchis and “Goodbye to Love” by Phoebe Bridgers. For both tracks, the mixing was at its best, and the singers seemed to be coupled perfectly to their respective songs.
Though there are some standout tracks on the album, there is plenty of disappointment nestled between the 19 songs. Though it is produced by the overlord of pop, the biggest issue for the album is the poor mixing and production. For instance, I was shocked at the destitute execution of “Funkytown” performed by St.Vincent since both she and Jack have worked numerous times. However, the strange electronic effect that was placed on her vocals leads to a sound equivalent to an animatronic robot being tortured. Other songs like “Hollywood Swinging” have smaller issues. In this case, Brockhampton diverged from the original lyrics which leaves a sour taste in your mouth, especially in the chorus where the phrase “gimme my crown” rings in your ears. Overall, the choice to cover these well-known songs may sound good on paper, but in reality, it can be distasteful. An opportunity to create new music was sadly missed, especially with all the talent collected.
For an animated movie, it is hard to complain since not many children’s movies go so far for a soundtrack. The largest issue was the poor selection of covers and the subpar production. Despite this, some tracks were brilliant, and in the grand scheme, fit the movie to a T. As an album itself, I would give it a 5/10, but since it’s only a Minions soundtrack 7/10.
Kali Uchis cover Stan Getz’s & Joao Gilberto’s “Desafinado”:
Phoebe Bridgers cover Carpenters’s “Goodbye to Love”:
Weyes Blood cover Linda Ronstadts’s “You’re No Good”: