F2K is a countdown of the 50 worst songs of the decade. Track our progress here.
Watch out, ’cause here they come… and it would seem that they’re kinda horny.
The soundtrack to Alvin And The Chipmunks was one of the brighter beacons signaling the record industry’s doldrums during the winter of 2007-08. Its reworks of Chipmunks staples like “Witch Doctor” and “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)” made it to the upper reaches of the Hot 100 on the strength of their digital sales alone, as did its helium-and-Autotune-assisted takes on newer tracks like Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day” and Lipps, Inc.’s “Funkytown.” And the album did pretty well, too, at least in an era where moving 28,000 copies of a full-length in a single week could be considered a “hit.”
Which brings us to “Get Munk’d,” a song expressly written for the Jason Lee vehicle. Within the plot of the movie, “Get Munk’d” represents the Chipmunks’ “sellout” era, when they were pushed along the slippery slope to stardom by a smoothie manager (played by the regret-free David Cross) and forced to “sleaze up” their image–because apparently the coprophagia they naturally exhibited wasn’t sexy enough for pop in 2007. (The post-Ke$ha era might be another story.) The end result? Picture a boomy, club-ready Flo Rida B-side that swaps out the decade’s biggest singles salesman in favor of Alvin, Simon, and Theodore, who gamely squeak the following lines in response to an utterly anonymous female singer’s invitation to “turn [her] out”:
Hot body, rock the party.
Give me some of that sugarland!
Get it crackin’
Don’t stop, get it get it
Drop it hot, it’s what’s you’re made of!
Bring it back and…
…Dip down, work it now, turn it out, give me what I want
Girl get wicked
Right now say it loud
Shout it out from the back to the front!
Girl get freaky!
Also later on, Simon raps.
You have to love when Hollywood goes on crusades against its crassest impulses, then slips up by using super-marketable stuff in the service of proving its point. Because what inevitably happens is something like this: Some crusade-minded writer pens a story about how Big Bad Entertainment is trying to besmirch the collective image of cuddly little Alvin, Simon, and Theodore by having them stoop to recording a track about getting freaky. (Bonus points for employing the clever trick of substituting “munk” for “fuck” every time the verb might come up–makes me think about how awesome the forthcoming flick about the Smurfs’ music career is going to be.) Said example of humanity’s debasement gets included– if buried–on the soundtrack, because it helps tell the story of the associated movie.
Only then, some executive brings home the album to his kids and watches them react to it, and subsequently decides that the “funny” “sexy” track is actually much more marketable to the masses than the covers of old-people music sandwiched around it. And so the critique of marketing-at-all-costs culture run amok actually gets marketed. Which all brings you to a point where a mall tour–featuring three people sweating their balls off underneath old Chipmunks costumes, as well as Fun For The Whole Family–gets named after a song that is, at its core, about The Chipmunks running a train on some woman they’ve met at a club.