"Kermit Unpigged" isn't a terrible CD by any stretch of the word...but it could have been better.
Let's start with the good. Most of the tracks work wonderfully, particularly the ones with Kermit. The Muppets are matched well with the artists and songs; Clifford was a natural choice for "On Broadway," for example, and the pairing of Gonzo and Jimmy Buffet seems to make sense in some way. Kermit gets the bulk of the tracks here, and Steve Whitmire did a wonderful job with his vocals.
"Bein' Green" doesn't feature Kermit until the end, but that doesn't matter. Don Henley gives us a beautiful version of the song, which is easily the album's best track. This is probably one of Kermit's signature songs, and its presence almost makes up for the lack of a version of "Rainbow Connection."
Mr. Henley isn't an exception, as most of the recording artists did admirable jobs on the tracks here. Vince Gill's vocals on "Daydream" sounded great, and Jimmy Buffet's "Mr. Spaceman" is one of the better tracks on the album. Linda Ronstadt's "All I Have to Do is Dream" didn't impress me quite as much, but her vocals were more than passable.
The variety is a very nice touch here, as the songs range from slower to faster-paced, from serious to silly. It takes away a bit of flow between tracks, but that's probably why the album has its storyline.
Why did I give the CD three stars, then? Several reasons come to mind. The CD is relatively short; this is normal for kiddy CDs, but it would have been nice to have had a few more tracks. There's a lot of dialogue on the CD, and more than I'd like in the songs themselves. It's to help move the storyline along, but the entire story is unneeded. Really, how many CDs have narratives? The tracks with Miss Piggy could have been better; while it's nice to hear Ozzy Osbourne speaking and singing coherently, we did NOT need to hear Piggy's (intentionally?) off-key singing. She's slightly better in "She Drives Me Crazy," but not by much.
My biggest complaint? An utter lack of Fozzie. He was in the intro track (wandering off to go to the restroom) and had a few lines in "All Together Now," but that was it. Even if the CD's running time was meant to be real-time, a forty minute bathroom break is excessive for a bear. Clifford and Floyd get their own songs, so why not Fozzie? He would've been a great fit for a less serious artist, someone like "Weird Al" Yankovic. A track with Fozzie would have been a very nice touch, and would have helped to increase the running time as well.
The lack of Fozzie and the length, along with my other minor complaints, drop my score to three stars. Don't let that stop you from getting the CD, though. Most of the tracks are well done, and the good outweighs the bad enough to make the CD a worthwhile purchase.