CARS 2 - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2011)

Despite the scathing reviews for Disney Pixar’s offering for this year’s summer blockbuster season, we are still pinning our hopes for the sequel to the movie that made Lightning McQueen a household name. We won’t be seeing the cars rev their engines till August, but here on our hands we have the film’s soundtrack album, and we are glad to announce it’s a pleasant collection of songs and score material that provides you with 63 minutes of good, clean enjoyment.

Academy Award winner Michael Giacchino (Up) takes over from randy Newman to score this sequel, and he has created a fun world of conspiracies and espionage as Lightning McQueen and his best bud Mater go on an international adventure involving trained spies and top secret missions.

The main theme is hard to miss here – it rings in your head from the first score cue “Turbo Transmission”. The impending bass and percussion is followed by a slick guitar solo which reminds you of the good old James Bond themes. When it gets to a soaring high with a full orchestra backup, you’d be indulged in uber coolness. Featuring the main theme again, “It’s Finn McMissile!” introduces us to the franchise’s new character voiced by Michael Caine, and it paints a suave and unruffled picture of the Brit thespian and his on screen personality.

In fact, the catchy main theme is repeated many times throughout the album in tracks like “Towkyo Takeout”, “Whose Engine Is This?” and “Blunder and Lightning”. If you are a sucker for bombastic main themes, then these cues will easily make it to the repeat mode category on your player.

Elsewhere, Giacchino adapts the theme for a more lighthearted mood in cues like the comedic “Mater the Waiter” to illustrate the character voiced by Larry the Cable Guy. The folksy “Radiator Reunion” is also another lightweight track which will soothe your senses.

While a substantial amount of the album focuses on adventure cues, “The Radiator Springs Gran Prix” features a fanfare like arrangement which takes listeners to the race tracks.

The songs presented on this album aren’t too bad either. American alternative rock band Weezer performs the cover of “You Might Think”, and sings to “Collision of Worlds” with Robbie Williams, while Country musician Brad Paisely contributes the radio friendly tune “Nobody’s Fool”.

As if that’s not enough, French songwriter and singer Bénabar performs the romantic Mon Coeur Fait Vroum (My Heart Goes Vroom) and Japanese girl group Perfume croons the guilty pleasure that is “Polyrhythm”. How’s that for going international?


Recommended Track: (7) It’s Finn McMissile! 

Review by John Li