Entertainment Weekly - 8/15/03, p.72
"...Songs by Victoria Williams and Todd Rundgren sit comfortably next to those by Burt Bacharach and Michael Gore..." - Rating: A
This is an Enhanced CD, which contains both regular audio tracks and multimedia computer files.
Original score composed by Stephen Trask.
Recorded at Clinton Studios, New York, New York. Includes liner notes by Todd Graff.
Personnel: Kenny Brescia (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, banjo); Tim Weil (vocals, piano, synthesizer); Jeff Potter (vocals, drums, percussion); Todd Graff, Idina Menzel, Aisha Dehaas (vocals); Arthur Fiacco (cello); Jerry Vivino (clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Mark Pender (trumpet); Daniel A. Weiss (organ).
Audio Mixer: Jan Folkson.
Liner Note Author: Todd Graff.
Listening to an exceptional soundtrack album like Camp drives you to the credits to find out who compiled it, and it seems one must praise the film's music supervisor, Linda Cohen, who has put together some seemingly unlikely materials to come up with a disc that sets a new standard for the various-artists collections that soundtracks have become. Of course, Cohen had a special project to work with. Writer/producer/director Todd Graff's valentine to his days at a summer camp for aspiring musical theater performers may be described accurately as "Fame goes to the Catskills," but that only sets the stage; what matters, particularly on the soundtrack album, are the performances and the songs. It wouldn't be surprising to hear that Cohen had some connection to Warner Bros. Records in the 1980s, since she re-conceives two key songs from that company and era, Bob Telson and Lee Breuer's "How Shall I See You Through My Tears" from their 1984 show Gospel at Colonus (recorded by Warner), and Todd Rundgren's "The Want of a Nail" from his 1989 Warner album Nearly Human, giving them impassioned choral treatments that will be inspiring high-school choruses from now on. That doesn't explain her familiarity with the obscure "Turkey Lurkey Time" from the 1969 Broadway musical Promises, Promises or the better-known "The Ladies Who Lunch" from the 1970 show Company, however. It's cast members Alana Allen and Anna Kendrick's performance of the latter that will determine the listener's acceptance of this unorthodox collection of songs; either you buy the idea of 15-year-olds performing this song, which is way beyond their life experiences, or you don't. But by the time you get to it, you are likely to have swallowed the film's (and the album's) concept whole. The six rock songs that conclude the disc after the eight songs sung by the film's actors come as something of a letdown (you wish you could hear more of those young talents), but there is more than enough here to establish Camp as a superior, and surprising, film musical. (The CD is "enhanced" with the film trailer, other movie excerpts, and bios of the film's young stars.) ~ William Ruhlmann