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The Simpsons Sing the Blues

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The Simpsons Sing the Blues

Current Status:
In Season
Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Yeardley Smith
guest performer:
David Johansen, B.B. King

We gave it a C+

In the venerable tradition of everyone from William Shatner to Jim Nabors, the Simpsons are TV stars who’ve decided to cash in on their fame by cutting a record, The Simpsons Sing the Blues. Thus the world can now hear the inevitable Bart rap song, ”Do the Bartman,” and it ain’t bad — Bart’s high voice echoes the beats nicely. But Bart is upstaged by his dad: Homer’s agonized howl on ”Born Under a Bad Sign,” accompanied by guitarist B.B. King, is white-man’s-blues at its most painful. The Simpsons may be selling out, but they do it well; the actors who supply the cartoon voices prove to be good singers. The problem is, most of the musicians surrounding the Simpsons are L.A. session hacks. David Johansen’s Buster Poindexter persona pops up to sing Chuck Berry’s ”School Days” with Bart, but at this point the insufferable Buster is a less well drawn character than any of the Simpsons. If Bart is smart, next time around he’ll make a solo album, and use Neil Young’s Crazy Horse as his backup band. C+