TestifyThere are some names in the entertainment industry that require no introductions. The Simpsons, the ultimate television cartoon comedy, is clearly one of those names. And with this release of 41 tracks from the last nine seasons, the writers prove once again why the show’s managed to stay in the public eye for nearly two decades. After 20 Emmy nominations and 2 Emmy awards, composer Alf Clausen still creates and arranges the majority of the music for the show, making it clear how deserving he is of the accolades.

With musical acts from all genres, including Los Lobos, Shawn Colvin, “Weird Al”, Jackson Browne, The B-52s, Baha Men, and David Byrne, the guest celebrity musical appearances are almost as rampant as the celebrity guest acting appearances. Ricky Gervais makes a special double appearance on the album, from his memorable episode as Charles Heathbar, an Englishman with a penchant for Marge.

Nearly every song on the album immediately evokes visual images from the show and is deserving of mention. The Lion King/Cats/Jesus Christ Superstar mix starring Itchy & Scratchy is one of the many moments when The Simpsons manages to transcend comedy and become genuine hiliarious brilliance. Though these moments abound throughout the episodes, this collection of songs manages to capture the essence of the show’s music and still preserve the integrity of the jokes, even without the visual cues.

With lines like Homer’s reaction to the spread of his popular anti-Ned Flanders song: “I’ve come to hate my own creation! Now I know how God feels.” and Marge’s response to Ricky Gervais’ love song: “That song was so nice. How’d you think up so many rhyming words?” this is a comedy album that actually earns the laughs it gets. As Homer unwittingly states after the “Weird Al” parody “Homer & Marge”: “It would take a man of stone with a funny-bone of steel to resist that.”

Zach’s Rating: A
Simpson’s testifier’s rating: A
Actual testifier’s rating: C-

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