I'm such a Pete fan, it's hard for me to be objective.You really hit that one right on head for me as well, jonny. I guess I really should qualify what I say about Pete before I say it.
What's remarkable about the music is that it's all written by the cast and perfectly captures the sound and feel of the folk crossover acts of the time. Each group has a different sound befitting their counterpart, and within that, the songs are bright and varied, tuneful and memorable. Apart from the Folksmen's cover of [the Rolling Stones]' "Start Me Up," which is not heard in the film, and perhaps the heavy-handed (but very funny) "The Good Book Song" by the New Main Street Singers, there are no obvious jokes, which is what makes the music work as music. And while some of the songs may function almost too well as neo-period pieces -- witness the somberness of the Folksmen's Spanish/American war "Skeletons of Quinto" -- most of these are infectiously enjoyable as individual songs. They're as good as the songs in Spinal Tap and, in some ways, more impressive, since they're more intricate and cover more styles. The greatest testament to its success is that it works as a folk-pop album regardless of the film. It is funnier if you're in the joke, but that's not necessary to know if you just want to enjoy the music here on this splendid album.