Friday, August 20, 2004

He said the record wouldn't have to be hot, and no one ever seemed to care if it's not

Teletoon, the sad, pale little imitation of Cartoon Network we in Canada receive instead of the real thing, has recently been advertising their second compilation album. (Not a direct link, due to terrible Flash interface; look for "Toon Trax 2," in the top left corner.) It represents Teletoon's contribution to a disconcerting trend in the soundtrack concept - an album that has almost nothing to do with the source material. It's tween-targeted pop, through an through, with a smattering of actual relevant tracks at the end, those few songs taken from Teletoon-aired-and-owned shows. Compare it to Cartoon Medley, CN's first attempt at the same thing. The first radical improvement, of course, is that the original productions Cartoon Network finances tend to be actually, y'know, good, and have similarly nifty theme songs. Add to that the classic H-B library they control, and there's more than enough for the perfect compilation of themes. But additionally, there's also several fantastic songs excerpted from the shows themselves. Plus the clever cover art, of course. Which seems to have had just a bit more effort put into it?

But to be fair, only the first disc of the Teletoon album is overproduced bubblegum-pop. The second disc of Toon Trax 2 seems to be a CD-ROM "interactive learning toy" of the sort that seemed revolutionary in 1997 or so, which mitigates the entire package's lameness to some minor extent. It's a fair deal, I suppose, for the 12-year-old with $20 to burn. But for the annoyed connoisseur of lowbrow animation who would so desperately love to see Cartoon Network without resorting to the grey market, it's just one more reminder: Cancon ruins everything.

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