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SUPERBAD – Lyle Workman

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The unexpected comedy success of 2007, Superbad follows the fortunes of Seth and Evan (Jonah Hill and Michael Cera), inseparable best friends who are destined to be parted when they enroll at different colleges. During their last weeks of high school, and realizing that they only have a short time left together, the intrepid duo hatch a plan to finally fulfill their lifelong ambition: losing their virginity. With the help of their nerdy friend Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), the guys embark on adventure to score enough alcohol to take to a party where they can inebriate the girls of their dreams, Jules and Becca, and engage in full-on regret sex. Hilarity, as they say, ensues.

The score for Superbad is by guitarist, composer and music producer Lyle Workman, who previously scored The 40 Year Old Virgin, and who has worked with artists such as Sting and Todd Rundgren. Stylistically, Workman’s score is rooted in the infectious vibes of 1970s funk and disco, and features a host of wailing electric guitars, a blaring horn section, Hammond organs, bass flutes, and a plethora of toe-tapping rhythms and beats.

Somehow Workman managed to gather together a virtual super-group of jazz and funk artists to perform his score, including bass legend Bootsy Collins, drummer Clyde Stubblefield and rhythm guitarist Catfish Collins. It’s nothing like a traditional score, instead playing more like a succession of rock-funk instrumentals, but in and of themselves, the pieces are great, if you like this kind of thing.

The opening “SuperWhat?” is an especially catchy ride, especially with Bootsy Collins scatting over the top, while later pieces such as “Seth Pulls Into Lot”, “Like a Pimp” and “Funk McLovin” could easily inspire even an overweight white film music reviewer to get his groove on.

The soundtrack is rounded out with a series of similar-sounding, finger-snapping tracks from the mid-to-late 70s by artists such as The Bar-Kays, Jean Knight, Curtis Mayfield and the incomparable Rick James. If you don’t like throwbacks to the 1970s, or have some kind of aversion to music which isn’t intended to be anything more than a rocking good time, then Superbad will likely be an annoyance. For anyone who, like me, occasionally enjoys listening to undemanding good-time music, Superbad is a hugely entertaining diversion.

Rating: ***

Track Listing:

  • SuperWhat? (4:06)
  • Too Hot To Stop (performed by The Bar-Kays) (3:28)
  • Seth Pulls Into Lot (2:38)
  • Cops See Fogell’s I.D./Seth Saves Evan (1:46)
  • Do Me (performed by Jean Knight) (2:51)
  • Flashback Party Weekend (3:30)
  • P.S. I Love You (performed by Curtis Mayfield) (3:56)
  • Evan Runs (1:47)
  • Sleeping Bags (3:26)
  • Like a Pimp (2:05)
  • Here I Come (performed by The Roots) (4:12)
  • Seth Runs On Track (1:09)
  • Bustin’ Out (On Funk) (performed by Rick James) (5:20)
  • Evan’s Basement Jam (3:33)
  • Roda (performed by Sergio Mendes) (2:24)
  • Goldslick/Seth Fantasy (0:54)
  • Soul Finger (performed by The Bar-Kays) (2:19)
  • Funk McLovin (3:22)

Running Time: 52 minutes 55 seconds

Lakeshore Records LKS-339432 (2007)

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