John Waters' Cry-Baby goes hand in hand with Hairspray, and is a musical film that will probably appeal more to Waters' fans than fans of musical cinema. There is nothing original or exciting about the music on the soundtrack, as energetic as it is, and its bizarre nature is probably due to the scenes from the film rather than its own oddities. Waters describes it as "music that proved kids knew how to be bad before sex, drugs, and rock & roll," yet there seems to be little separation between those attributes and the concoction of lust and loudness here. Songs like "Doin' Time for Bein' Young" and "High School Hellcats" are no different from rock & roll, except that they sound like weak imitations of songs from Grease. Waters, the master of imitation and suburban insult, may very well have planned it that way. What might have changed everything would be to have Johnny Depp, who stars as Wade "Cry-Baby" Walker, sing the songs himself. He lip-syncs to the voice of James Intveld. Depp, a surprising actor who never shies away from big-handed tasks, should have supplied his own voice, even if he sounded terrible; isn't Waters one of the greatest living admirers of "terrible"?
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AllMusic Review by Peter Fawthrop