VARIOUS Chef Aid: The South Park Album (American/Columbia)

Oh dear. First, before anyone accuses me of prudery, let it be said that in my opinion "South Park" is the funniest cartoon series ever made. But on the other hand, I’m quite keen on music as well, and it’s on the terms of the latter, rather than an accompaniment to the former, that I feel duty bound to judge "Chef Aid". And, well, my startling conclusion is that it’s not very good. Chef’s sensitive rendition of "Chocolate Salty Balls" may be radio-unfriendly-unit-shifting fodder for a blank generation’s Christmas stockings, but let’s be honest, in the series itself a joke that weak wouldn’t have lasted four seconds, let alone four minutes. Some have derived considerable amusement from Cartman’s moving salute to the AOR genius of Styx, "Come Sail Away", but I’m not among them. In fact, the two reasonable moments that open and close this sorry selection are Primus’ "South Park Theme" and Vitro’s Think Tank Remix of "Mentally Dull", which wins points for being plastered with predictably hilarious dialogue from the first series. Solely as a listening experience "Chef Aid" will undoubtedly appeal if your idea of a perfect evening is one spent listening to Rancid, Elton John, Devo, Ozzy (who sounds unnervingly like a Muppet here) and Meat Loaf. Think carefully: is this you?