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‘The Simpsons: Testify’ offers a whole lot more music from the television series

By M&C News Aug 31, 2007, 19:32 GMT

‘The Simpsons: Testify’ offers a whole lot more music from the television series

A soundtrack so highly anticipated that even Homer would get off the couch to celebrate its arrival, ‘The Simpsons: Testify’ is finally here! 

Set for release on September 18th from Shout! Factory, ‘The Simpsons: Testify’ music CD spotlights material culled from award-winning composer Alf Clausen and features the unmistakable voices of America’s most beloved TV family: Homer (Dan Castellaneta), Marge (Julie Kavner), Bart (Nancy Cartwright), Lisa (Yeardley Smith), and Springfield’s various townsfolk (Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer).

The soundtrack kicks off with Danny Elfman's unforgettable main title theme, and continues with a collection of the best songs from the last nine seasons of the longest running primetime comedy on TV today. The album arrives just in time to accompany the premiere of Season 19 of The Simpsons on FOX.  

Only on ‘The Simpsons: Testify’ can you find a range of great talents from Jackson Browne to “Weird Al” Yankovic, both willing to engage in self-parody that reflects the show’s uncanny irreverence. And then there is David Byrne, who while hearing a list of his vast musical accomplishments, adds with pride “And I used to wrestle under the name ‘El Diablo!’”

It is Byrne who helps Homer realize the full odious potential of “Everybody Hates Ned Flanders,” even contributing an extended salsa remix, “No Me Gusta Flanders.” We’re also treated to the lyrical styling of the endearingly homicidal Sideshow Bob (as voiced by Kelsey Grammar) as he reexamines his overwhelming loathing of Bart Simpson on “The Very Reason That I Live.”

‘The Simpsons: Testify’ puts the music front and center, as the songs featured were mixed specifically for this new album. For the first time, the brilliant re-imagining of Broadway hits Evita, My Fair Lady, and The Sound of Music can be fully appreciated for all of their satirical nuance.  In “My Fair Laddy,” Groundskeeper Willie plays Eliza Doolittle to Lisa’s Henry Higgins, as Willie learns both elocution and manners to the refrain of “What flows from the nose, does not go on my clothes.”

And in “Yokel Chords,” Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel and his hillbilly brood take the place of the von Trapp family, with Lisa again playing the role of teacher.  In this memorable parody from the most recent season, the Sound Of Music line “I am sixteen going on seventeen” becomes “I have eight teeth, going on seven teeth.” Of course.

Any Simpsons fan will no doubt remember Ricky Gervais memorable appearance as the Marge-obsessed Charles Heathbar, who serenades Marge with “Lady,” which spends more time explaining its lyrics (in song) than actually saying anything romantic, with the possible exception of the closing exhortation, “don’t die.”

For those of us with a love of musical theater and the American popular songs, The Simpsons has certainly carved out an iconic place in musical history by communicating in song at the highest level. Never in recent memory has a television series made such effective use of both songs and underscore to advance plot points, support the characters’ emotions and put a lasting smile on the viewer’s face.

Now entering its nineteenth season, The Simpsons, a modern cult classic created by Matt Groening, remains one of TV’s most popular programs – in all demographics.  The show premiered on FOX as a half-hour comedy series January 14, 1990, and received numerous Emmy awards for Outstanding Animated Program. 

Nearly all of the music for this weekly animated half-hour series is composed or arranged by composer Alf Clausen, who has received 2 Emmy awards and 20 Emmy nominations for his Simpsons music.



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