The Songs on the Minions: Rise of Gru Soundtrack, Ranked

The Minions: The Rise of Gru soundtrack is out, and it wants to be cool. Super-producer and Taylor Swift friend Jack Antonoff “produced and curated” the album, which the press release refers to as a “sun-soaked 70’s [sic] inspired soundtrack.” It features staples of the current “famous at liberal-arts colleges but unknown to moms” scene like Phoebe Bridgers, Brockhampton, and Tame Impala plus actual ’70s artists Diana Ross and Earth, Wind & Fire anggota Verdine White, and it is clearly intended to provoke the reaction “Phoebe Bridgers is on a Minions album? Wow!” Yet its surface-level prestige makes it more annoying than enjoyable. The entire project seems like something that sounded really cool in a boardroom. Still, uncool didn’t berhenti Pharrell’s Despicable Me 2 song “Happy” from dominating the airwaves on real actual pop stations for an interminable length of time, which means we still have to take Minions music (somewhat) seriously.

With that in mind, we decided to rank the songs on the soundtrack with the hope of finding what’s good, what’s bad, and what “Cecilia” covered by the Minions sounds like. Questions that were asked during this ranking include: Does the song fit into the overall “sun-soaked 70’s [sic]” vibe? Does the cover reinterpret the original? And, most importantly, is it worth looking at Minions: The Rise of Gru cover art to listen to it?

The press release referred to this song by saying, “And of course, Illumination’s Minions mahjong ways themselves star on the album, with their distinctive performance of the classic Simon and Garfunkel 1970s favorite, ‘Cecilia.’” Distinctive is definitely one word for it. Obviously, it’s terrible. It’s a joke cover performed by Minions but mostly a screeching cacophony of nonsense sounds that only feels stupider in the context of Simon and Garfunkel’s classic tune. Next!

It’s almost impossible to rank these two against the other songs, seeing as they are part of the score, not the soundtrack. I can say that they’re both better than the Minions’ “Cecilia,” though.

16. “Cool,” Verdine White

The bass is unsurprisingly great given White’s pedigree, and its funk is likely to get your head bopping. Unfortunately, in the context of this album, an original instrumental interlude is just not what we came here for, so we had to rank this pretty low (but above “Cecilia”).

15. “Funkytown,” St. Vincent

The worst cover done by an actual artist on the soundtrack; this one flat out doesn’t work. The vocal effects are turned up to 100 to the point of annoyance, and, for a version of one of the most buoyant songs ever written, it drags. The St. Vincent Minion above though? Top marks!

14. “Turn Up the Sunshine,” Diana Ross and Tame Impala

By far the biggest disappointment here, the soundtrack’s leadoff and only original single just never comes together. Perhaps it’s suffering by comparison to Pharrell’s “Happy,” but the biggest permasalahan is that the hook isn’t hooking. There was no way to get “Happy” out of your head. “Turn Up the Sunshine,” on the other hand, won’t get in your head.

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