By Patrick Dalziel (@JoyDscvryPaddy)
Music has always been an integral part of Bob’s Burgers since its inception back in 2011. Now, six years later, show runners FOX have partnered with indie label Sub Pop (home of Nirvana and Father John Misty ) to release this collection of 107 original songs from the first 107 episodes. Ranging from the absolutely excellent season 6 finale number Bad Things Happen in the Bathroom, to the incredibly bizarre Die Hard/Working Girl medley from the first episode of season 5. It’s clear to see just how much fun the writers/cast members of the show have with the project even to this day.
However, it is clear that this latest release is purely for the Bob’s Burgers mega fan which actually doesn’t feel like too much of a negative in this instance. The sheer dedication to collecting every piece of music used in the show stands as some exceptional fan service. This alone would have been enough to satiate a lot of people awaiting the release, but a lot has gone into the presentation, especially in the surprising vinyl release: packaged in a triple gatefold format, with each record bearing a different condiment colour (Red, Yellow and Green respectively), slipped in between exclusive art booklets and a very unexpected 7 inch single.
This single (the last 5 songs on Spotify) weirdly contains the best way for people unfamiliar with the show to launch into its musical world. Entitled Bob’s Buskers, this oddity contains reworks of music from the show by artists such as St. Vincent, Lapsley and weirdly a lot of renowned gloomy rockers The National: Matt Berninger brings his heartbreaking delivery to songs about gravy boats, Christmas and being stuck on the toilet which shouldn’t work nearly as well as it does, with the latter of these being a cover of the excellent season 6 finale mentioned earlier. It’s interesting to imagine how the relationship between the band and the show started, but hopefully, volume 2 of the soundtrack series will provide more of what is definitely a winning combination.
Volume 2 is almost inevitable after the success of Bob’s Burgers within pop culture. This however is not a worrying prospect perhaps surprisingly after hearing this first instalment. It would be far too easy to write this compilation off as a cynical cash grab, but that would be ignoring just how much effort has gone into it. Firstly the sheer number of songs presented here is close to overwhelming, leaving no moment of the show unexplored for new music. Secondly, the chronological presentation of these songs allows for a real insight into just how much it has progressed throughout six seasons (Season seven is not finished so not included here).
This point is most likely only appealing to those fans who’re well versed in the source material, but it does provide a nice contextualisation between linked songs. Also, as mentioned earlier the presentation of the physical releases is sublime, and encapsulates the show’s charm and welcoming art style. Finally it’s especially fun to see small fan favourite moments here; such as H. Jon Benjamin’s Bob screaming along to Donna Summer‘s classic In Control (Finger on the Trigger). A fleeting credits scene, the inclusion of which shows how in tune the creators are with fan demand as this scene soared to cult status after airing.
Overall, this album probably wouldn’t serve as the perfect companion to the show for newcomers. For fans, though, this is pretty much a perfect package. Packed with a ridiculous amount of original music, amusing wee vignettes, and completely unforeseen musical cameos, the latter of which are genuinely brilliant and really increased the enjoyment of this record due to their completely unexpected nature.
Featuring butts, butts and, eh, more butts, Bob’s Burgers Music Album is jam packed with entertainment. While those who haven’t seen a single episode may not see much enjoyment from it at first glance, the sheer variety, comedy and fan service is enough to get a chuckle or smile out of even the harshest critic.