CD: Tsubaki Sanjuro - Original Soundtrack Title
 Pokémon the Movie 2000: The Power of One
International Title
 Pokémon: Revelation Luiga
Music By: Various
Record Label: Atlantic Records
Running Time: 53:05 Discs: 1
Release: July 2000 CD Number: 833702
Anthony Romero

First off, I would like to thank Jessica Stan for sending this in for review!

This disc contains the US soundtrack for Pokémon: Revelation Luiga (1999), the second Pokémon movie. As might be expected for those familiar with the album for the first movie, this disc features songs from various artists that were hacked into the original movie in place of Shinji Miyazaki's sometimes great themes. As for the quality of the songs, well this time the disc loses out on the name artists like NSYNC and Britney Spears and replaces them with largely second tier artists who ham-fist in Pokémon references with disastrous results.

The CD kicks off with the most famous song from the movie, "The Power of One" from Donna Summers. The song is okay, but feels like it missed its generation. Like it would have fit perfectly in an early 1990's Disney movie rather than this millennium Pokémon film. The song has gained some infamy as well, thanks to being caught as a speech source for 2012 presidential candidate Herman Cain.

Next up is Atlantic Record's best efforts to try to promote their "next Britney Spears", with the overproduced "Dreams" from Alysha Antonino. There is so much going on in the song that Alysha's portion ends up being really minor, but kudos to Atlantic Record's for trying... although her career in music did not last past 2000.

Track three is one I get giddy about due to how bad it is. "They Don't Understand" by Dream Street is like a slow motion train wreck full of cheese, almost to the point the listener swears it must be a parody. The song starts with a backdrop that mimics a lot of pop songs of the time, but then lays on the angst hard about parents not understanding. The song keeps it vague, making it seem like maybe they aren't letting the kids hang out with friends or go on dates or something... until about a minute into it, the kids clarify that the parents don't understand their admiration for Pokémon. Now I'm a big Pokémon fan, but this song just makes me want to curl up into a ball. Whatever manager for the group decided this was a good idea clearly deserves a big blotch on their resume.

Next up are a string of so-so to bad songs, although all are forgettable. Angela Vía's "Wonderland", for example, just lacks energy to make it really click. It's odd as her song for Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back (1998), or to be more precise the opening short, was very energetic and one of the better ones from the US version. Even normally talented singers like Laura Pausini, one of the few from this disc who still has a thriving career, turn in performances here that feel like they are on auto pilot. While most of the disc can be attributed to a pop flavor, there are a few that break the mold like "Flying Without Wings" by Westlife which has an R&B vibe. Doesn't stop the song from feeling like an outtake from a more famous artist, that might not have made it on their final album release. This middle portion also contains the awful "Pokémon World" by Youngstown. This was the season 2 opener for the US version of Pokémon, after the mammoth success of the franchise was realized. It's hugely over produced, a running theme with songs on this disc, and gives off a super smug vibe. It's a shame as the original US Pokémon theme by Jason Paige is excellent, and all subsequent ones have been awful in contrast to it, failing to capture that lightning in a bottle balance that they struck on the original theme song.

As the disc progresses, the energy level in the songs somehow continues to degrade rather than improve. Stuff like "Comin' to the Rescue" by O-Town just feel totally uninspired, like the artists were meeting quota after a long month of recording. Oddly enough, and his inclusion on this disc feels odd amongst the swath of super poppy tunes, the most energy from this section comes from the "Weird Al" Yankovic song "Polkamon". Known for his parodies, this song is a German polka take on the Pokérap. The end result is lively and catchy, and I say this while not being a "Weird Al" fan but he puts way more energy into this than the tracks around him.

The last two tracks on this disc are quasi orchestrated tracks. The first, "Dance of the Bellossom", fails in this regard as the track is overlaid with Pokémon saying their name. For those familiar with the dubbing of the show, the vocal performances range pretty dramatically, like the one for Poliwrath is pretty awful. Either way they suck what positives might be in the track straight out. Thankfully the next one fares much better. The track, called "The Legend Comes To Life", sounds a bit like Shinji Miyazaki's "Flura's Flute" from the Japanese score. This might be coincidence, in fact it probably is as the theme is more clearly modeled after the Power of One song as an upbeat instrumental version, adding a lot more grace to the tune than present on the song version. Sadly, the small orchestra beaters the song after awhile. The string work is strong, but the horn work is very weak and makes it clear there was a very small orchestra behind this.

Bottom line, run, don't walk, away from this soundtrack. The highlights aren't worth suffering through the rest of the tracks. Fans of the series are better off hunting down the original Japanese scores, which lack both the cheese and dated approach that this one suffers from.

Rating: Star Rating
  1. The Power of One
    By: Donna Summers
  2. Dreams
    By: Alysha Antonino
  3. They Don't Understand
    By: Dream Street
  4. Wonderland
    By: Angela Vía
  5. With All Your Heart
    By: Plus One
  6. The Extra Mile
    By: Laura Pausini
  7. Flying Without Wings
    By: Westlife
  8. Pokémon World
    By: Youngstown
  9. Blah, Blah, Blah
    By: Devotion 2 Music
  10. Polkamon
    By: "Weird Al" Yankovic
  11. The Chosen One
    By: The B-52's
  12. One Heart
    By: O-Town
  13. One
    By: Denisse Lara
  14. Comin' To The Rescue
    By: O-Town

    Pikachu's Rescue Adventure
  15. Dance of the Bellossom
    By: John Lissauer

    The Power of One
  16. The Legend Comes To Life
    By: Ralph Schuckett