CD: Tsubaki Sanjuro - Original Soundtrack Title
 Pokémon 2: The Power of One
International Title
 Pokémon: Revelation Luiga
Music By: Various
Record Label: Atlantic Records
 
Running Time: 60:42 Discs: 1
Release: December 2000 CD Number: 7567-929952
Comments
Anthony Romero

First off, thanks goes to Jessica Stan for sending this in for review!

This is the German soundtrack to the second Pokémon movie, Pokémon: Revelation Luiga (1999). While this was billed in the United States and many countries as "Pokémon 2000: The Power of One", Germany got the film rather late that year. So rather than have a film come out in December with less than a month before 2001, the movie was instead branded as "Pokémon 2". Now this release contains most of the same content found on the United States version of the soundtrack. However, it does add two German songs at the end, adding a little extra value to this release. As a whole, this CD is on the weak side except for those who have fond memories of early Millennium pop songs and can stomach some ham fisted Pokémon references into the lyrics.

The disc starts off with easily the most popular song from the international score for the film, Donna Summer's "The Power of One". The tune was made even more famous when 2012 presidential candidate Herman Cain got caught quoting the song for his speeches. The actual song is good, with Summer's having a great voice. Despite being a pleasant song, though, it's not particularly memorable and feels like it came a decade too late, like it would have been perfect attached to an early 1990's production.

After this is Alysha Antonino's (credited just as "Alysha" on the CD) "Dreams". The song is okay, but on the generic pop side. The singer had some potential, even if there are moments were she doesn't quite have the chops to carry the song. However, despite her local paper touting her "chart topping Britney Spears", this song seems to be the only tune of interest for her career.

Looking at the following track one finds the cringe worthy "They Don't Understand" by Dream Street. The song starts off, with background music that sounds like it was recycled from any number of pop songs of the era, all angsty about parents not understanding. After awhile it becomes clear that the parents are not understanding the kids love of Pokémon, and makes the listener want to curl up into a ball after the full level of cheese the song sinks in. How this boy band limped on for two years after doing this track is a modern miracle.

Next on the docket is a song from Angela Vía, whose career was pretty much confined to 2000, called "Wonderland" which has about the same pedigree that I would associate with a song that plays during the parades at Disneyland. After that is the fairly uninspired "With All Your Heart" from the group Plus One, a Christian boy band that likely kept their career alive longer than their talent would normally permit due to their religious angle. Following this is a song from Italian singer Laura Pausini called the "Extra Mile". Given how successful she is compared to most of the others on this CD, doing regular concerts across the US to this day such as a stint in 2014 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, I was surprised how much this song failed to engage me. Afterwards we have a R&B song called "Flying Without Wings" by Westlife, which is pretty ho-hum save for some occasional violin work. Up next on the CD is a cringe worthy "Pokémon World" by Youngstown. The song is a lyrical homage to the season 2 intro music for the United States version... which wasn't a good song to begin with. Subsequent track is the appropriately named "Blah, Blah, Blah" which is another awkward song that name drops Pokémon. The tune is by Devotion 2 Music (D2M), who never really broke out. Finally the disc hits the only artist I was familiar with prior to listening to this CD which is "Weird Al" Yankovic, an icon of the 1990's scene for many an awkward kid. Never been a big "Weird Al" fan, outside of Amish Paradise, although "Polkamon" has an upbeat tune to it.

Following this is a collection of four songs that make up the least inspired portion of the CD, which is saying something. This includes the ultra awkward "The Chosen One" by the The B-52's, which does have a nice chorus although it's rarely used. There are also two songs by O-Town, offering up subpar R&B with "One Heart" and a total pop misfire with "Comin' to the Rescue". Finally there is "One" by Denisse Lara which is one of those "it's not quite a story, but not quite a song" tunes for a good portion of the runtime before the lyrics and vocals finally click.

Next up are two honest to goodness orchestrated tracks from the film's score... or so claimed. Only one of the two tracks can claim that with a straight face. The first, "Dance of the Bellossom", is by John Lissauer and is an upbeat tune although with very cheap sounding orchestration, almost like it would be best suited for a free to play mobile app or a casinos online game. Sadly, the theme is totally ruined by the overlaying of dialogue, with various Pokémon saying their name on top of the music, making it more of an endurance than anything else. After this is a legitimate score theme orchestrated by Ralph Schuckett, who would later go on to do some work on the Kirby and Sonic X shows. The theme starts off real strong, and gives a faint vibe toward Shinji Miyazaki's "Flura's Flute" theme from the original Japanese cut. Sadly, the track has some really weak horn music that gives away the small orchestra and does ruin the majestic tune that the theme was building toward prior to their insertion.

Now for the two bonus tracks, these are done by Tommy Thompson. The musical artist in this case is a bit of an enigma: searching turned up no results at all. In fact, all that comes up is material for the Wisconsin politician, Tommy George Thompson, by the same name and online casinos no deposit bonus. So one can assume that maybe his career was short lived. For these songs, the artist does a solo number for the first, "Du Bist Nicht Allein", and works with other musicians for the second, "Pokémon Welt", sharing vocal duties with Tyra. As a surprise twist, the late Jeff Golub, guitarist who worked with Rod Stewart, does the guitar work for the second song. Both songs, which are in German, are surprisingly catchy. The first is good, and more of a general pop song. It makes no reference to Pokémon and is generally one of the less dated tracks from the CD. The second song, though, is the clear winner. This one is heavy with Pokémon references, but works hard to integrate them and does a nice job of switching back and forth between German and English. As the title suggests, this is actually a similar rendition of the material found in the Youngstown song on track 8... but much more interesting.

Bottom line, this is a weak soundtrack. It does offer some extras, though, which places it above the US version for that reason. Regardless of the strength of a few songs here, most feel uninspired and like contractual requirements for the artist to insert Pokémon references in the laziest ways possible.

Rating: Star Rating
Tracks
  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

    Bonus Tracks
  17. Du Bist Nicht Allein
    By: Tommy Thompson
  18. Pokémon Welt (Pokémon World)
    By: Tommy Thompson