If you haven’t seen Holes, you should add it to your must-watch list, but first, you need to hear the soundtrack. Probably the only thing worse than being in a juvenile detention camp is being in Camp Green Lake. This fictional juvenile correction camp is in the middle of the desert, and they have a unique form of punishment. Stanley Yelnats (Shia LaBeouf) isn’t even guilty of the crime he was charged with, but when he lands at Camp Green Lake, he is forced to dig holes in the hot sun all day for no apparent reason. We’re not going to post any spoilers about how it all turns out, but we are ranking all the songs from the Holes Soundtrack.
15. I’m Gonna Be a Wheel Someday by Theresa James and the Rhythm Tramps
It’s hard to pick the last song on this list because they’re all great. We chose I’m Gonna Be a Wheel Someday because Theresa James and the Rhythm Tramps have a laid-back style and a superb sound that almost belies the longing in the lyrics of his song. It’s almost like the singer is so confident she’ll win that she doesn’t need to try harder, but with a voice like that, she probably doesn’t.
14. Mighty Fine Blues by Eels
Everything about this song felt nostalgic before it was. The relaxed air of cheerful but not exuberant enjoyment is hard to capture, but Mighty Fine Blues manages it. There’s a sense that everything is about to go wrong, but the singer clearly plans to enjoy himself until it does. As the lyrics say, “I think I gotta go. I think I’m gonna die. Oh my god, something’s wrong. The end is coming near because I’m feeling mighty fine.”
13. If Only by Fiction Plane
If Only is about a longing that can never entirely be satisfied. Even if you get everything you ask for, it still doesn’t give you everything you need. The sorrows of life are part of who we are, but so is the longing for something better.
12. Happy Dayz by Devin Thompson
Devin Thompson’s soulful and sweet voice has that funk, soft-rock, crooning quality that makes him instantly easy to listen to. Happy Dayz is a song about succeeding when you thought it was hopeless. Whether through love, skill, or camaraderie, having someone or something there to help you lift yourself up can make a significant difference and turn your hard work into Happy Dayz.
11. Let’s Make A Better World by Dr. John
We’ll leave this oddball song to Mika, who explained it to Observer Music Monthly by saying, “When you’ve had too much to drink, and you’re reminded of things you’d rather forget… I always wished there was this mystical figure I could talk to. I started to call him Dr. John…There’s this whole world that goes with my songs.” Dr. John is the stage character who sings Let’s Make A Better World To Live In. The idealized wise old mentor for a world where none exists reminds us all that we have to work harder and do better.
10. Just Like You by Keb Mo
Keb Mo worked with the incredibly talented Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt on this fantastic song. Just Like You was the title track to this 1996 album. Unsurprisingly Just Like You won Best Contemporary Blues Album of the Year when it came out.
9. Everybody Pass Me By by Pepe Deluxe
Everybody Pass Me By is one of the most fast-paced songs in this album. It’s hard to describe this song, but it is marked by rich twangy guitar work and distorted bass lines. The additional vocal distortion makes it sound like the singer recorded the words decades before the tune came along to finish it. Nothing about this song should work together, but it does.
8. I Will Survive by Stephanie Bailey
Stephanie Bentley is hands down the most underrated singer on this soundtrack. I Will Survive is a soulful song packed with longing and classic country goodness that makes it everything you hope it could be. There’s nothing whiny in this song, just a sense of perseverance and competence.
7. Keep’n It Real by Shaggy
If you need a go-to song about keeping your head up and doing the right things so you can keep it real and move forward into a better future, this is the song. You don’t need treasure and a mansion to ‘win’ and be happy. Keep’n It Real is a simple, excellent song about doing what needs to be done without complaint and improving your own life.
6. Down To The Valley by Little Axe
Down In The Valley is a typical, well-made song about just trying to make it through a day. The singer prays for God to help him find the way. Little Axe’s vocal talents and raw sound lend themselves perfectly to this tune.
5. Eyes Down by Eels
Eels contributed two songs to this album, but we chose Eyes Down for the top five because it’s so relatable. Sometimes the only thing you can do is ‘keep your eyes down’ and keep going. Once you hear Eyes Down, it’s not hard to see why Eels have lasted so long. According to the band’s website, they already have tours planned for 2023.
4. Shake Em On Down by The North Mississippi Allstars
Shake Em On Down is a bop. You can’t hear this song without feeling like, at last, nodding along to the music. Superb guitar work combined with great drums and well-harmonized vocals makes this song really stand out. Even on an album filled with blues and country influences like the Holes Soundtrack, this song pops out at you, memorable and delightful through ad through.
3. Don’t Give Up by Eagle Eye Cherry
Eagle Eye Cherry’s Don’t Give up has a vaguely funeral feel to it. The soft-rock-meets-mild-depression sound should be a bad thing, but it works out. The message is overall positive and reminds us that even the things that hold us down won’t last forever if we keep trying to do better.
2. Honey by Moby
Honey by Moby is a classic. This unforgettable piano-heavy song is an earworm that loops and sticks in your head like the sweet substance it’s named for. Genius reminds us, “Honey” is the first track on Moby’s 1999 commercial breakthrough Play. It was also the first commercially released single from the album…” It’s hard to imagine a time before Moby, but this song is actually a significant contributor to Moby’s fame.
1. Dig It by D-Tent Boys
Dig It is a song made for and about this movie, meant to embody the spirit of the whole story, and it does a great job. There’s nothing ambiguous about what they mean when the singers talk about digging and sore muscles. “You got to go and dig those holes. Broken hands and a withered soul.” This is the song that describes daily life in Camp Green Lake.
Anyone who was at least an older elementary student by 2003 is familiar with Holes. This incredible and unique movie is based on the 1998 Louis Sachar young adult novel of the same name. Although relatively few teens can relate directly to being in a desert prison camp, the sense of being trapped in a dismal daily grind that seems to be a neverending punishment is one that many understand. The Holes Soundtrack is the backdrop to those emotions for an entire generation.