Disorganization as a Musical Revelation

BEAN: THE ALBUM MercuryPolygram

A few phrases unavoidably spring up when listening to the Bean soundtrack: genre-defying incoherence, void of musical focus, gratuitous marketing and a waste of raw materials. In addition to providing another unnecessary compilation of unrelated tunes for the consumer public, the inexplicable, unnecessary nature and order of Bean: The Album represents every shred of numbing dumbness that bleeds throughout the movie. But there is an unavoidable counterpart to this misdirected stupidity that becomes apparent with each silly song; the tracks are connected by an inane disconnectedness reminiscent of the classic, original Mr. Bean character that could blossom into a smirch of enjoyment. The probability of liking Bean: The Album is slim, the possibility of laughing from song to song is very good.

Ambivalence is never a completely favorable trait in the musical world, especially for an inherently questionable soundtrack, but it somehow keeps Bean from the movie music graveyard. The surf-rock doo-wop of the Beach Boys' "I Get Around" and the 80s staple "Walking on Sunshine" from Katrina and the Waves lend a familiar sound to a bunch of otherwide deservedly unknown songs. Don't think that unpopularity leaves other tracks necessarily disappointing. "I Love L.A." by the revivors of this past summer's Latin element, O.M.C., has a catchy groove, Boyzone's "Picture of You" frolicks in generic R&B; melodies, "He's A Rebel" by Alisha's Attic combines Motown and 50s rock into a contemporary oldies derivative and 10cc's "Art for Art's Sake" lounges in a lazy, drugged-up guitar wasteland. There is even a hilarious cover of "Yesterday" by Wet Wet Wet. In a perfectly sad attempt to tie these songs to the actual movie, clips of quotes from Bean are peppered between tracks. There really is no musical reason for these connectors, but they certainly contribute to the overall confusion. If nothing else, Bean: The Album will maintain a constant transition from puzzlement to doubling over in short bouts of laughter. But the investment of time and mental energy really isn't worth the minimal entertainment that Bean's soundtrack offers.