Various Artists – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

5 out of 5

Label: SBK Records

Produced by: Various, John Du Prez

I’m not not bias: my childhood was ruled by TMNT – toys, the first couple movies, comics (yes, mostly Archie), and that Fred Wolf cartoon. That extended to a purchase of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles soundtrack on cassette, and… it got listened to. But I’d ask for some faith, in that I wasn’t the type of kid who went all-in in his fandom regardless; I legitimately liked the tracks and score from the movie, though I also understand how wrapped up in nostalgia that is. 

As I’ve grown, though, most of my rose-tinted glasses have been put away, and yet I get a hankering for 9.95 or Spin That Wheel here and there. And if you want to still question that, we can at least agree that John du Prez’s score – the solo tracks and his boppy “Orchestra On The Half Shell” group – is amazing stuff, wholly tapping into the first movie’s surprisingly moody vibe. 

That’s 30% of the songs, so at the very least, the album ends well. 

But while MC Hammer and the 90s funk of that ilk which take up the first 70% might be pretty dated, if we allow for that, all the songs are rather prime examples of that style, with a lot of production depth and tonal variation to keep things moving. Hammer’s funk / rap; there’s r&b; there’s soul; there’s new jack swing; to me, it’s a pretty well-rounded disc – and catchy as hell – that sticks to a particular range of sounds, keeping things immersive. 

Yeah, Hammer’s This Is What We Do is immersive. 

How “good” this makes things is obviously subjective, but I think for anyone who makes the commitment to listen to a 90s movie soundtrack, you’re already over the largest hump – the 90s being a weird transitional time for popular music – and then once you start factoring in the du Prez material, and how well considered the sequencing is, I think it only takes the slightest rose tint to say this soundtrack is perfect,