April 14, 2004

Various Artists "Music from the OC, Mix 1"

I don't like teen dramas. I can't stand 'em, I can't stand the way they inspire devotion and mindless chatter about this character or that character, this plot twist or that story line. It's a television show, people! The OC is this year's model, and, yeah, I'm not impressed. Throw in the annoying development of dressing rich kids as indie kids and it all seems even more superficial--dropping band names without actually talking about the music. It's a TV show, not a lifestyle accessory! Sure, it's great for the bands too--Death Cab For Cutie being the biggest name-dropped band--but really, if it's your band, you're giving yourself a way a little bit by being the 'hip' 'new' 'thing.'

I wasn't expecting much from Music From the O.C. Mix 1, and I have to say this--I was wrong. There are some really great bands on this mix, even though much of the material is previously released. Turin Brakes' "Rain City" makes me want to hear more. Spoon, good ol' Spoon, offer "The Way We Get By"--which is annoying, as it's far from their best song! "We Used to Be Friends" by the Dandy Warhols is a nice, 80s-style rocker which makes me forget why I didn't like the Dandies in the first place.There's South's ubiquitous once you hear it "Paint The Silence," too. And "California" by Phantom Planet? Not as bad as the band who made it would lead you to believe!

So color this grumpy writer impressed---this is a generally nice sounding record that sounds great on your CD changer. Hell, if I was a bigwig at WB, I would just package it as I got it--a CD-Rom with a paper sleeve and no artwork whatsoever--because not only would it be a cooler package, by not featuring pictures on the cover, you would fool the 'target demographic' to think that they were buying something other than a 'tie-in product' for your brand.

--Joseph Kyle

PS.To the WB staff: give me twenty-five thousand dollars, and I'll give you a kick-ass volume two.

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