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'Nightmare Revisited' still an amazing compilation

By Zach Lederman
On April 10, 2014

I think the thing I love about listening to music, as opposed to playing a videogame or watching a movie, is that you as long as you're enjoying the music you're listening to, the experience never really ends. With movies and games, there are typically set stopping points, but no such barricade exists with listening to your favorite music. Even if you're only listening to a single song from the album, maybe once every few days, you're still getting usage out of it.
It's for that exact reason that it might seem a bit strange that I'm choosing to do a retro review of "Nightmare Revisited," an album that itself revisits a soundtrack produced over twenty years ago. "Revisited" is a reimagining of the soundtrack to the extremely popular Tim Burton Christmas/Halloween hybrid film, "The Nightmare Before Christmas." The soundtrack, which was originally produced by Danny Elfman, features a montage of darkly twisted arias and laments in typical Elfman/Burton style.
The album I'd like to revisit today, however, takes things to a level that I'm not sure Burton or Elfman ever thought possible. Each of the soundtrack's 20 tracks has been rerecorded by a famous rock or metal band/singer, including Marilyn Manson, Korn, The All-American Rejects, Flyleaf and a significant amount of others. The resulting music are some of the most bizarre tunes I've ever heard in my life, and yet I love every minute of listening to it.
The songs in their original incarnations, as I mentioned earlier, had a sense of creepiness to them, toned down somewhat to account for the younger audiences. Listening to these covers almost feels like listening to the songs that Elfman or Burton would have written without any constraints. Each piercing note of each song seems to scratch your subconscious in just the right way, as to remind you why you were once afraid of the dark. I think out of all the bands on all the tracks, Marilyn Manson does this the best on the album's very first track, "This is Halloween," which was also the opening track to the film.
But of course, not every tune is terrifying. In fact, my favorite one on the entire album- "What's This?"- which was recorded by Flyleaf, evokes feelings of joy and excitement, rather than the black comedy doom and gloom of the rest of the album. I think it's the sudden change in tempo and emotion that makes me love it so much.
Overall, "Nightmare Revisited," was, and still is, a fantastic album that anyone should be able to get behind, whether or not they've seen the original film. The album is currently available for less than ten bucks on iTunes, so there's no reason for you to not go pick it up right now! But, if I may be so bold, go and watch the movie first so you can hear the soundtrack in its original incarnation. It will make "Revisited" so much sweeter.

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