Various Artists

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (Universal)

This just in: Will Ferrell is a freaking comedic genius. His new movie, Anchorman, could be a complete shit taco for all I know, but the man is brilliant on the soundtrack. And his character — fictional ’70s newscasting sleazeball Ron Burgundy — is all over the album. Introducing songs. Munching waffles. Guzzling liquor in the bathtub. Weeping throughout Henry Gross’ “Shannon.” He even contributes a rendition of “Afternoon Delight” that is just as good — good being a relative term — as the original. These are tunes that you don’t know that you know, which makes your reintroduction to the Blues Image (“Ride Captain Ride”) and the Friends of Distinction (“Grazing in the Grass”) even sweeter. It’s a warm nostalgia trip, even for someone who was only a dog-paddling spermazoid when the Isley Brothers sang “That Lady,” because Anchorman offers universal truths. Namely, “Carry On Wayward Son” is a good fucking song no matter what anybody says, and talking about killing a man in a bar fight is an outstanding way to introduce Neil Diamond’s “Cherry Cherry.” Burgundy’s presence may be overbearing for those who prefer listening to Tom Jones without first hearing someone talk about holding up a buffet restaurant at gunpoint. But those people also, in the immortal words of Ron Burgundy, suck...dong.
 
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