July 4, 2012

Review: The Music of Cars Land

The Music of Cars Land CD cover
Music plays a vital role in setting the mood for Disneyland Resort's many realms. The Imagineers have created a masterful soundscape for Anaheim's latest headliner, and some of the best pieces have found a home on a terrific souvenir CD, The Music of Cars Land.

This soundtrack contains two excellent original pieces by Joe Louis Walker ("Welcome to Radiator Springs," "Radiator Rock"), and a fun sampling of classic songs heard in various parts of the land ("Route 66," "Mambo Italiano," "Stop in the Name of Love," "Low Rider" and Woody Guthrie's "Car Car Song"), but I'd wager fans will be most pleased by the final tracks.

Five of the last six pieces come from the Mater's Junkyard Jamboree ride:

"Junkyard Jamboree"
"Big Bull Dozer"
"Tow Mater (The One You Want to Call)"
"Mater's Square Dance"
"Let's Go Driving"

The final track closes out the CD in spectacular fashion;

"Radiator Springs Racers: Attraction Ride Through"
The Music of Cars Land CD art
The Mater songs hold up well on their own; they convey a joyful atmosphere of good humor and fun even without the benefit of the ride's laugh-inducing motions.

The Radiator Springs Racers piece is a brilliantly produced re-creation of the entire ride, from Sheriff's safety spiel to the wistful closing theme. You may not have noticed every moment of the music score playing aboard the vehicles while riding, but -- when heard on its own -- the music's emotional impact on the whole experience -- particularly during the race -- becomes wonderfully clear. The piece is a fantastic audio souvenir of one of Disney's best-ever attractions.

Bravo to Disney for making this music available. I'm a tiny bit disappointed that Sh-Boom is not included, but since the song already appeared on the still-available movie soundtrack, I understand the omission. As is, I highly recommend The Music of Cars Land for all Radiator Springs fans. It's available at Disney California Adventure for $14.98 plus tax.

A closing note: The CD quickly sold out during the land's debut week, but we were able to get two of four remaining restocked copies on our late-June visit. Compared to other sold-out Cars Land items, the CD seems to be an easier product to quickly print out and get onto shelves. If you can't find it at Sarge's Surplus Hut, Ramone's House of Body Art or Radiator Springs Curios, be sure to check at Buena Vista Street's Elias and Co. before leaving DCA.

UPDATE: There are, of course, far more song tracks played in Cars Land than can fit on one soundtrack CD. Check out our Cars Land Songs page, where we're compiling a list of tunes we've heard in Radiator Springs and their availability on CD and iTunes. It's a work-in-progress; if you know of any tracks we haven't listed yet, please drop us a comment!

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