this movie is enjoying runs in no more than twenty theaters in the Los Angeles area and some very bad reviews. Star vehicles like this are expected to generate very large returns in a very short period of time. I'm not sure what happened, given that Alicia Silverstone and Brendan Fraser, both hugely hyped box-office draws, are the stars of this particular vehicle. Maybe it's just bad marketing. Or maybe the whole thing is just ill thought-out from top to bottom.
Soundtracks, in this country, enjoy the same kind of popularity that "Compilations" do in the U.K. Fueled by the American public's manufactured fanatical interest in movies, good movies, bad movies, awful movies, unredeeming movies and movies made for the sake of entertaining people with nothing better to do. It's a way for the record companies to make a few extra bucks and for them to recycle old material while slipping in a few new tracks.
Packaged by Capitol with no fewer than five Capitol artists, and the rest imprints, the album is mostly rehashing; Everclear's "I Will Buy You A New Life," R.E.M.'s "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)," Sonichrome's "Honey Please," non-single tracks from Dishwalla's "Pretty Babies," and a host of offerings from New-Wave Swing bands like The Flying Neutrinos' "Mr. Zoot Suit," The Squirrel Nut Zippers' "Trou Macacq" and The Cherry Poppin' Daddies' "So Long, Toots." Also included are two golden oldies - a Randy Newman track called "Political Science" that's older than Alicia Silverstone, and Perry Como's "It's A Good Day," which must be older than her father.
The bright spots on this very expensive coffee-table coaster are the tracks you may be unfamiliar with. It opens with the first single from the breathtakingly talented Tommy Henriksen's debut album (see review in this issue), and a fun little ditty from the band Block called "Rhinoceros" (also reviewed this issue). Both are Capitol, so it would make sense that these aritsts are basically being test-marketed by the film. Unfortunately, this isn't going to do much for them. Both are obviously talented and probably should be marketed on their own.
I wish that this soundtrack weren't so influenced by what the record company and the studio thought people wanted to hear and instead gave us the real soundtrack to the movie, which was composed by Steve Dorff. The last track on the disc is his, called the "Adam & Eve Love Theme," and is a surprisingly well-crafted little bit of speaker fill. It makes me actually interested in hearing what the rest of his work on the film sounds like, as opposed to these hastily thrown-together revisitations to singles and records by other bands that I already own, thank you.
Perhaps I sound put off by this sort of blatantly bad tie-in, and you're right, I am. I'm not stupid. I love the music on this disc, don't get me wrong, but aside from the swing tunes, which are actually used in the film, I don't see the point to the rest of it. To me, the great film soundtracks are for films like "The Last Temptation Of Christ," "The Last Emperor" and even "The Boxer." But this tells me nothing about the film itself and it doesn't inspire anything in me but a sense of letdown.
I'm going to reserve any other judgment because it's probably based on my personal taste as opposed to an objective opinion. It isn't the music's fault that this happened. The artists themselves are most likely getting some stilted advice from their management and letting these things slip past them almost undetected. The musicians here are actually good, and the tracks are all the best they have to offer, even if they aren't the radio singles; which is why this is getting such a high rating.
So, if this is the kind of music you're interested in, and want a "sampler" of sorts, then the album is right for you. Otherwise, spend your money on whole albums that you'll play over and over that you'll love - not something that's going to sit and collect dust.
1.I See The Sun - Tommy Henriksen
2.So Long Toots - Cherry Poppin' Daddies
3.Honey Please - Sonichrome
4.Rhinoceros - Block
5.Pretty Babies - Dishwalla
6.I Will Buy You A New Life - Everclear
7.It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) - R.E.M.
8.Trou Macacq - Squirrel Nut Zippers
9.Mr. Zoot Suit - Flying Neutrinos
10.It's A Good Day - Perry Como
11.Political Science - Randy Newman
12.A Little Belief - Celeste Prince
13.Adam & Eve Love Theme