No matter what one may think of the numerous "sequels" to Disney classic animated movies themselves, there's little doubt in listening to this disc that at least they sure can come up with some good music to accompany them. With impressive vocal talent (including Reba McEntire as "Dixie," Josh Gracin, Little Big Town, and Trisha Yearwood) and some fun, playful songs, as well as a pretty good score, this disc comes up a winner.
I can't comment on how well the music ties in with the movie, because I am one of those people who doesn't really care for the ubiquitous sequels to movies that, quite frankly, wrapped up nicely the first time and don't need expansion (especially backward expansion, instead of moving forward from the end of the first one). However, the music stands nicely on its own, especially Josh Gracin's "Hound Dude" and "Blue Beyond," sung by Trisha Yearwood. I notice that Vicki Lawrence is one of the vocal cast of the movie, but I guess she's just not recent enough on the charts to sing any of the songs. But there's Little Big Town singing the up-tempo "We Go Together," and Chip Davis's performance of "We're In Harmony," as well as the very fun "Good Doggie, No Bone!" by Reba McEntire as Dixie. I suppose they had to step up a little some to compete with Pearl Bailey's incomparable performance as Big Mama (the owl) in the first movie (not to mention the adult voices of Tod and Copper were Mickey Rooney and Kurt Russell, respectively) - the result is a very fine little soundtrack, crisp and to-the-point, and well-cut-in with pieces of the score with the vocal songs (unlike some of the Disney soundtracks that place the songs in one chunk, the score in another).
There is, of course, a certain homey, family feel for any product which bears the Sign of the Mouse. So it is true of this pleasant little disc, very likely a good companion piece to the movie. Something you can play without worry about what your kids are listening to, and they'll probably like it, too, I would expect especially McEntire's big number, which might cause kids everywhere to start spontaneously howling and yipping just like the "hounds" do in chorus. It's cute. But more importantly, a quick look at the fine print in the CD credits and you'll find they sure didn't stint on musical quality. On the contrary - we have Jerry Douglas on dobro, Mike Marshall on guitar, the great Sam Bush on mandolin, Casey Driessen on fiddle, Noam Pikelny on banjo, and Byron House on bass, a house band that cannot be beat, on loan from roots-music labels like Koch and Sugar Hill, among others. That Disney can cajole that kind of talent from all over the place always speaks volumes for their own stand-up dedication to entertainment class and, again, quality. Say what you will about the House of Mouse, you can't come away from any of their productions feeling gypped.
- Friends For Life (One Flew South)
- Nashville 7 (score)
- We're in Harmony (Chip Davis)
- Hound Dude (Josh Gracin)
- Depressed Dixie (score)
- Good Doggie, No Bone! (Reba McEntire)
- Sticky Hound Puppy (score)
- Blue Beyond (Trisha Yearwood)
- We Go Together (Little Big Town)
- You Know I Will (Lucas Grabeel)
- Sad Puppy Blues (score)
- We're in Harmony (Finale)