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SONIC DEATH MONKEY SOUNDTRACK REVIEWS - er, can we take a break from movies this week?

by Laura Kyle

So, a little birdie who watches "The OC" and bad teen dramas on the WB told me the music on those shows is surprisingly awesome. Okay, FINE! I admit it. I've been indulging in more than a handful of guilty pleasures lately... in other words, yeah, I've been watching "One Tree Hill," or "The WB's Exploitation of Its Teeny-Bopper Audience, Via Ceaseless Marketing." Yeah, I like a little soap opera with my marketing ploy I guess. Except there's always a silver lining to these things... beyond how hot Chad Michael Murray is.

And you know what, if the WB realizes good music is profitable, well, I'm not going to object to rewarding the network's occasionally good behavior by giving the bands featured on its various dramas, like the most recent addition to the Frog Network, "Bedford Diaries," a turn on my mp3 player. After all, the majority of the music featured on these shameless shows is fucking good!

Just glance over at the thewb.com if you don't believe me (click to music). I guarantee you three out of the five song titles listed you then proceed to investigate, you'll like. Plus, just for kicks, I browsed "One Tree Hill's" track listing of its first stab at a TV soundtrack, from a while ago, and it's not shabby at all. Sure, you can skip Gavin Degraw's theme song to it which saturated the radio waves, the two songs by the show's fake musician characters (probably wannabe real-life musicians), and Sheryl Crowe's TERRIBLY ANNOYING "The First Cut is the Deepest" (which by the way, actually makes no sense at all; it's a flawed metaphor because when someone cuts you with a knife or whatever, for the first time, the cut would probably be shallower than a second or third cut...just a guess), but the rest are contemporary goodies.

Favorites are the Get Up Kids' "Overdue" and Rock 'n Roll Soldiers' "Funny Little Feeling." And get this, "One Tree Hill," Vol. 2, is even better. It's a bit more radio friendly, featuring Audioslave's kickass "Be Yourself" and the likeable "Son's Gonna Rise" by Citizen Cope. Yes, #2 often trips up, sporting two songs by "One Tree Hill" cast members and one by a band currently topping the charts who I HATE: Fall Out Boy (of which a bandmember guest starred recently, WHAT A COINCIDENCE!). Standouts from Vol 2 are Nada Surf's U2-esque "Always Love," the Shout Out Louds' "Please Please Please," and Hot Hot Heat's "Middle of Nowhere." I even dig Gavin Degraw's soulful "Jealous Guy."

What can you expect from this music? I find myself discovering new songs from bands I already like and new bands altogether. It's like a goldmine. Fun melodies, a little whimsical at times, a nice mix of uppity rock and sweet acoustic stuff... and with the exception of some duds, they've got considerable more integrity than what you'd hear on your local rock and/or pop station.

Hey, if aliens were to come down to Planet Earth and judge human music performance based on MTV or the radio, they'd be disappointed. So it seems that unless one takes the initiative to attend concerts and whatnot, he or she must rely on internet buzz, musically-savvy buddies, and well, movies and TV shows (like the WB's lineup: "Charmed," "Smallville," "Everwood," "Bedford Diaries," sometimes "Gilmore Girls," etc...) to find the hip, anti-mainstream gems out there.

I should note "The OC's" musical track record is more well-known (and better), which is not too curious, seeing as how FOX's contribution to the world of teen dramas is marginally more respectable than, ahem... "One Tree Hill." (In other words, maybe I'll take on "The OC" another day.)

You don't have to physically sit down in front of the tube to catch these songs -- I'm not saying: "Love's Lost Guarantee" by Rogue Wave was used so well during the third to last montage and Franz Ferdinand's "The Fallen" really fit with that one scene, in tonight's episode. I'm just sharing something that readers of this site, likely people who favor quality TV, may not know.


link directly to this feature at http://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=1793
originally posted: 04/13/06 13:39:38
last updated: 04/20/06 10:23:36
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