Soundtrack
Space Jam


5.0
classic

Review

by Mike Allen USER (107 Reviews)
August 9th, 2010 | 59 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Don't bring me here anymore, right?

In a completely realistic predicament in 1996, our beloved Looney Toons are in grave danger. They have been held hostage on their own turf by a race of miniature aliens; faced with the prospect of being dragged into far away Moron Mountain to become the new shining attraction to a failing theme park. Looney Toon ringleader Bugs Bunny, cool as a cucumber, is unwilling to let this happen; he essentially calls shenanigans and convinces the aliens to give the Toons a chance to defend themselves. Amongst the horrific suggestions that were brought upon by the likes of Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, and Sylvester, Bugs steps in and delivers the ultimate challenge: a Basketball game. The Toons were obvious favorites here, considering the aliens from Moron Mountain are clueless about what Basketball is and don’t stand more than half a foot off the ground. Knowing the uphill battle that has been laid out for them, the aliens steal the talent of four NBA superstars and one goofy giraffe (you know which one), including Patrick Ewing, Shawn Bradley, Muggsy Bogues, Larry Johnson, and Charles Barkley. Suddenly the Looney Toons aren’t so confident. The aliens have grown to a massive ten feet tall on average, converting into monsters. No, excuse me; Monstars. The desperate Toons are doomed, with only one person in the universe that could possibly save them:

Michael Jordan.

In my twenty-one years on this earth, I have never seen a cult following more ubiquitous than that of Michael Jordan. Whether or not he was the greatest Basketball player of all-time is up for debate, but one very thing was for certain: he was unstoppable. Jordan had out-worked everyone around him during his career, and this was conveyed through his game-winning theatrics and resilient knack for championship after championship. It had actually gotten to a point where you that something magical was going to happen every time he stepped on the court. To quote Benny “the Jet” Rodriguez from the Sandlot, “he was less than a god, but more than a man. Like Hercules or something.” Rodriguez had been referring to Babe Ruth, but the very same thing could be said about Jordan. MJ’s legacy was spreading faster than the plague, and suddenly the Chicago Bulls were America’s team. Nearly every child in America claimed some sort of allegiance to the Bulls; whether this was the tendency to like winning teams or just purely out of admiration for Jordan. It was because of this, that MJ was the perfect athlete to star in the 1996 children’s film Space Jam.

Space Jam had been the most watched film of my childhood, to the point where I could probably play it over and over again in my head without missing a line. The movie was an intriguing one in that it was a collaboration between animation and traditional film making, akin to Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Space Jam drew from a large cast of recognized athletes and actors such as Bill Murray and the voice of Danny Devito to carry out the bizarre storyline. To this day, the film has been receiving mixed reviews to say the least, leading me to believe that if I saw the movie for the first time it wouldn’t have nearly the same effect. Luckily that isn’t the case, and for the reasons above, Space Jam evokes a certain tinge of nostalgia that any other children’s movie cannot achieve. And the soundtrack has a lot to do with that.

“Everybody get up, it’s time to slam now. We’ve got a real jam going now, welcome to the Space Jam.”

At the time, nothing was a stimulating as blaring this while watching Jordan absolutely dismantle defenses at the early minutes of the film. Needless to say, much of the soundtrack had this very effect; it seemed perfectly suited for the film it was portraying, almost entire due to the fact that it featured some of the hottest hip-hop and pop artists of the day. The Space Jam Soundtrack is extremely 90’s in nature, underlining such acts as Seal, Coolio, Jay-Z, and R. Kelly pre the urination incident (yeah, you know what I’m talking about), among several others. Furthermore, the record is almost entirely filled with clean, Will Smith-esque hip-hop and soulful ballads, each just as effective as the last. Fourth track “I Believe I Can Fly” falls into that second category; a massive hit that elevated R. Kelly’s illustrious career. Despite its cholesterol raising lyrics, “I Believe I Can Fly” is a wonderful pop song that utilizes R. Kelly’s soaring vocals and the music’s floating ambience to a tee. In harmony with the aforementioned track is Monica’s stirring “For You I Will,” which is just another addition to the effective R&B songs of the album. The record’s most enticing track however, could be that of the collaboration between comedian/actor Chris Rock and the ever-sexy Barry White. These two paradoxical figures actually make for a very interesting piece in “Basketball Jones,” written by none other than everyone’s favorite stoners Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong. The verdict is a victorious endeavor, despite Rock spouting non-sense and shout-outs over White’s smooth baritone.

The Space Jam Soundtrack is a rather unique find in its variety, for it contains the silky cohesiveness that many soundtracks struggle to attain. There are obvious highlights, but the record does not feature a dud or a track that plain doesn’t belong here to disrupt the flow. The tandem of “Fly Like An Eagle” and “The Winner” set the record out on the right foot, sampling both of the musical styles that are utilized so adequately. Seal’s cover of Steve Miller Band classic “Fly Like An Eagle” is a clear highlight; a funkier and less-psychedelic version of the original that is furthered by Seal’s trademark soul vocals. The track was actually more successful a billboard single than his smash-hit “Kiss From A Rose,” which had been featured on the Batman Forever Soundtrack just a year earlier.

From the standpoint of an eight year old sports fan, Space Jam could not fail. The soundtrack was loaded with just as many superstars as the film, and even furthered the careers of artists such as Seal and R. Kelly; each depicting the charm, exuberance, and heart of the movie with tremendous virtuosity. See, right now you thinking about digging Space Jam out of whatever drawer it has been sitting in for all of those years. Listen to those instincts, because who knows? MJ might have another game winner in him.



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user ratings (9)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
EVedder27
August 9th 2010


6088 Comments


I think 8-year old me wrote this.


damn album art

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
August 9th 2010


31215 Comments


Added

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

SeaAnemone
August 9th 2010


20374 Comments


can't wait to read later.

I see an epic review coming, but I have a girlfriend and a lobster tail waiting for me...

Digging: Holy Sons - Lost Decade II

EVedder27
August 9th 2010


6088 Comments


Thanks Deviant

tiesthatbind
August 9th 2010


7374 Comments


Awesome review, I used to love this movie. Congrats on reaching 100 reviews.

Digging: xSPONGEXCOREx - How Tough Are Yah?

Nagrarok
August 9th 2010


8256 Comments


Haha, big fat pos. I haven't seen the film (I vaguely remember a commercial for it from when I was a kid), but this is still pretty hilarious.

Oh, and congrats on the milestone of course. I wouldn't guess this was going to be it, it's a coincidence I also did a soundtrack for my 100th.

EVedder27
August 9th 2010


6088 Comments


Thanks ties and Nag. Nag you would probably hate it if you saw it now, it only works for me because I remember how much I loved it.

fromtheinside
August 9th 2010


18363 Comments


EVERYBODY GET UP!

Digging: Gehenna - Seen Through the Veils of Darkness

Nagrarok
August 9th 2010


8256 Comments


Of course, I should have seen it as a kid. Nostalgia is always fantastic.

klap
Staff Reviewer
August 9th 2010


10455 Comments


haha NICE didn't see this coming


and oh to live in the days when shawn bradley was considered a superstar...

Digging: Cymbals Eat Guitars - LOSE

EVedder27
August 9th 2010


6088 Comments


Yeah he wasn't, but it'll probably mess up the whole sentence if I change it. Gonna try something though

klap
Staff Reviewer
August 9th 2010


10455 Comments


haha i was just kidding, it just always makes me laugh when i watch space jam and i think about what the casting director was thinking

EVedder27
August 9th 2010


6088 Comments


I thought of something better anyway so I made the change. And I think they just wanted someone really really tall for that part, but idk they could have made Ewing the tallest.

Romulus
August 9th 2010


8437 Comments


This will go down as one of my favorite sputnik moments

Bulldog
August 9th 2010


3796 Comments


I think 8-year old me wrote this.


Well 8-year old you did a great job. Have a pos.

Loved this movie to DEATH.

klap
Staff Reviewer
August 9th 2010


10455 Comments


bahahah goofy giraffe. should've gotten like robinson imo, but hey bradley did fit the part

EVedder27
August 9th 2010


6088 Comments


thanks rom and bulldog.

Ryan, was it all that you wished for?


Yeah Bradley's alien was just like him so I guess it worked

MUNGOLOID
August 9th 2010


4323 Comments


first album i ever bought, ever.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
August 9th 2010


16143 Comments


i loved this movie back in the day















who am i kidding this is still wonderful!

Digging: Alt-J - This Is All Yours

Greggers
August 9th 2010


2375 Comments


Ah man I spent so much of my childhood watching this on video over and over again, might have to dig it out at some point and give it a watch for old time's sake.

Excellent review, and congrats on reaching your 100th mate.



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