He lives in a pineapple under the sea. Absorbent and yellow and porous is he. He's SpongeBob SquarePants, a giddy, childlike sponge who's been the star of a self-titled Nickelodeon cartoon since 1999. A one-Porifera Ren and Stimpy for the pre-teen set (minus the gross-out humor and double entendres), he's now the star of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.
Albums featuring music "from and inspired by" films are seldom this inspired. Avril Lavigne turns in a sprightly version of the SpongeBob theme (though she was funnier when she covered "Fuel" at MTV's tribute to Metallica). Motörhead grinds out the blues stomper "You Better Swim." Wilco adapts SpongeBob's grating, nasal chant of "I'm ready," turning it into the uplifting refrain of "Just a Kid." SpongeBob and friends join the Flaming Lips, the Shins, and Ween, singing compulsively listenable songs about life underwater. If caught with the CD, claim it's for your kid or nephew. If caught headbanging to "Goofy Goober Rock" (a giddy adaptation of Twisted Sister's "I Wanna Rock"), just own up to the truth: It's really that fun.