Sound — 10
I can't even tell you how happy I am this videogame soundtrack is not another electronic heavy guitar boredom! Finally they came up with actually Music, not a number of computer sounds to synchronize your keyboard-slamming. Songs for "Stubbs the Zombie: The Soundtrack," out October 2005, were handpicked by Shout! Factory with care and recorded specifically and exclusively (except for "My Boyfriend's Back" by The Raveveonettes) for the game. Wide range of artists from alternative rock veterans Flaming Lips and The Dandy Warhols to indie artists Ben Kweller and Oranger all recorded new versions of songs from Stubbs' own era, year 1959. The only exception is Phantom Planet's zombie-inspired "The Living Dead," that was written specifically for the game. Thus the track stands out from others, being more contemporary and heavy. The album starts with happy hand clapping and wonderful harmony vocals by Ben Kweller in "Lollipop," giving you some sweet radio oldies vibe right form the start. The Raveonettes follow with "My Boyfriend's Back," made famous by The Angels and is the only female-sung track here. The track has a surf feel and brings the memories of old Blondie songs. "Shaking All Over" by Rose Hill Drive has some excellent guitar riffs. It just couldn't be the other way as the song was originally by Led Zeppelin. Psychedelic feel that Rose Hill Drive featured the song with, makes it sound like a track by Jimi Hendrix Experience. Next comes Cake with mellow "Strangers In The Night," which is one of the best covers here. Cake showed the talent for cover songs back when they did "I will Survive," making it sound modern, but still keeping the authentic touch. "Strangers In The Night" is the same way -? you can almost hear Frank Sinatra singing, but at the same time cheesy bossa nova rhythm keeps the irony peculiar to Cake and the cover sounds like something that could have been written nowdays. The Dandy Warhols, staying true to their kitschy seal, gave "All I Have To Do Is Dream" some retro feel by bouncing bass guitar and very low vocals, bringing back the memories of what your walkman sounded like when the batteries were low. "Stubbs The Zombie: The Soundtrack" is a very good chance for the lovers of oldies music to pay attention to some indie modern artists, as well, for a lot of young people to discover something from the history of music.
Lyrics — 9
I believe the best things can be said by very simple words and soundtrack proves it. Sweet words of love, predictable rhyme... being sophisticated by difficult sentence structures and all kinds of allegories, we almost forgot how it used to be. What do you think, when somebody's talking about a lollypop? Agh... things were so different before the "sexual revolution."
Overall Impression — 10
Aspyr Media tries hard to make a full entertainment experience out of multimedia products and "Stubbs The Zombie: The Soundtrack" pictures that they're quite successful at it. To make a really good soundtrack to a game is a very wise marketing decision by itself, as music influences youth more nowadays, than it has ever done. If you attract people to the soundtrack, you automatically get them interested in the game (you even get $5 off the purchase of the videogame buying the CD). The fact that songs were specifically recorded for the CD and you can't hear them anywhere else adds to it's value. Another wise decision is to make the album of 50-year old songs. Something people didn't hear for a long, long time, so it sounds fresh and outstanding from most music we have now. Plus it just can't bring bad associations as you've definitely heard a lot of doo-wop played by your parents in your childhood. Good Music + Something Familiar that haven't heard for a while = Genius!