‘Footloose’ goes country: A look at the remake’s soundtrack

August 8, 2011

Blake Shelton: apparently he now wants you to kick off your Sunday shoes. (Matt Sayles/AP)

Well, Entertainment Weekly has gotten its hands on the song listing for the soundtrack to said remake. And let’s just say that more alarm bells may be sounded for some, as neither Deniece Williams nor Sammy Hagar will be involved this go ’round.

With a couple of exceptions, the soundtrack for “Footloose” 2011 appears to have been notably countrified, with updated songs from the first film as well as brand-new tunes.

So country star Blake Shelton of NBC’s “The Voice” will be singing the title song, replacing Kenny Loggins. Ella Mae Bowen, a 15-year-old singer-songwriter from South Carolina, will re-do Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out for a Hero.” Jana Kramer, a country singer and actress whom you may recall from both “One Tree Hill” and her brief stint as Smash Williams’s girlfriend Noelle on “Friday Night Lights,” will take on “Let’s Hear It for the Boy.” As for Mike Reno and Ann Wilson’s “Almost Paradise” duties, those will be handled by fresh-faced duo Victoria Justice and Hunter Hayes.

Other artists on the soundtrack include Big & Rich, Zac Brown, the decidedly non-twangy Smashing Pumpkins and Shelton’s fellow “Voice” judge Cee Lo Green, who will sing a song called “Walkin’ Blues” with some help from Kenny Wayne Shepherd.

Now, no one expected the makers of the new “Footloose” to dredge up every old ’80s song from the original. But the first movie had a much more rock-pop-rebellious attitude to it, or at least what passed for rock-pop rebellion in a movie released in 1984 and set in what Hollywood conceived of as a typical small town. Hence, I’m not sure how I feel about the “country strong” vibe of the new soundtrack.

I mean, if you’re going to involve Cee Lo in this venture, why not have the dude belt out “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” or — ooh, even better — an update of Shalamar’s “Dancing in the Sheets”? (Am I the only person who still loves “Dancing in the Sheets”? Seriously, it can’t be just me: That song contains a “Freakazoid-”style robot vocal and some quality ’80s double-clapping.)

How do you feel about the new “Footloose” soundtrack? Think it has potential or are you suddenly pining for the days of “I’m Free (Heaven Helps the Man)”?

When she isn’t at a movie theater or writing about movies, Jen Chaney is ... um ... probably at home, watching a movie.
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