Snakes on a Plane: The Album is precisely what you might get if you let a 16-year-old and Samuel L. Jackson loose in a music studio, gave them infinite resources and a DJ, snippets of the best-and-worst dialogue from the film (“Is there anyone here who knows how to fly a plane?” fits so nicely alongside someone asking a snake, “Who’s your daddy now, bitch?”), and let them compile their own mixtape. It’s probably the only way the soundtrack could have been put together, considering the film was made in roughly the same manner and is playing to the exact same audience, whether they can legally buy tickets for it or not. This makes the soundtrack, like the film, almost review-proof; sure, you can judge the album based on the merits of its content, its arrangement, and the various remixes, but in the end all that matters is how fucking sweet it is.
That being said, the soundtrack is not nearly as fucking sweet as I anticipate the film will be, but two dominant original tracks have quite a bit more going for them than anyone might expect. Cobra Starship, Gabe Saporta’s “one-man” outfit that borrows members of The Sounds, Gym Class Heroes, and The Academy Is…, will probably never be heard from again after Snakes on a Plane leaves theaters. Think about it: Do you remember anything Survivor did after “Eye Of The Tiger”? Likewise, “Snakes on a Plane (Bring It),” should honestly be one of the worst songs of the year but isn’t via its association to the film (any song, I venture, would benefit by opening with Samuel L. shouting “I have had it with these motherfuckin’ snakes on this motherfuckin’ plane!”). If Snakes on a Plane is nearly as campy as it promises to be, then the song’s already dated production fits too perfectly for the song to be in the wrong at all.
Cee-Lo Green is having a hell of a year already as part of Gnarls Barkley, so composing and putting together the aptly named “Ophidiophobia,” the album’s only track that could survive on its own, is just icing on the cake. The rest of the soundtrack proper is comprised of remixed and dubbed versions of cuts from the likes of Fall Out Boy, All-American Rejects, and their lesser-known soundalikes, all mashed together to the point that it quickly becomes impossible to tell the bands apart. Gym Class Heroes lend the album perhaps the year’s stupidest song in “New Friend Request,” which has them fawning via text message and email over their “MySpace mistress.” It would be funny, and somehow eerily appropriate to include on a film soundtrack that’s also an Internet meme, if they weren’t so “got-damned” serious about it. Equally inappropriate are the inclusions of an acoustic version of Coheed & Cambria “Wake Up” (the lyrics are asinine in and of themselves, and the soft acoustic glaze only amplifies that fact) and two reggae-ish tracks from Donovan Frankenreiter and Michael Franti & Spearhead, which can only serve to play over the closing frames and end credits, after those motherfuckin’ snakes are off that motherfuckin’ plane.