Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Interscope)

Christmas Records

Dr. Suess' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Interscope)

Not since MC Hammer manhandled The Addams Family has a soundtrack suffered from so much artist misplacement. Granted, Busta Rhymes' opening "Grinch 2000" (with Jim Carrey chiming in at every turn) has a lot to live up to. It's an update of the Grinch theme from the original Boris Karloff-narrated cartoon, and though Rhymes is one of the most original hip-hop artists around these days, it still feels remarkably unappealing. Super-patriotic Canadians the Barenaked Ladies follow up with "Green Christmas," a jaunty little abomination guaranteed to harden the hearts of even the most altruistic among us. Smash Mouth's Casio-backed "Better Do It Right" is a step in the right direction -- the Cali yahoos give it a ska twist and clearly have tongue planted firmly in cheek -- but tracks from Faith Hill, Ben Folds, and even (ohgodno) 'N Sync flop around like a bunch of gutshot reindeer. Hideous doesn't even come close. Bonus points are hereby conferred for including audio samples of Anthony Hopkins' narration (suitable for your holiday answering machine, natch) and the fact that the Eels(!) are here at all. And then there's James Horner's (Titanic) orchestral score, which moves with the stillborn gravity of holiday treacle oozing down a wall, shamelessly tugging, yanking, appropriating your emotions. Spiders in the stockings of all involved, please.

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