Man, I can just hear the thousands of pre-teen girls talking about this soundtrack, “Like, John Tucker Must Die is a totally awesome movie and the soundtrack is soooo totally cool, ya know?!” The film is about three popular gals (one of them is Ashanti, remember her?) from different cliques joining forces for revenge after discovering that the school jock (Jesse Metcalfe) is stringing them along. Well, the girls are a little peeved and if the back of this CD is any indication (there is a picture of Metcalfe looking quite distraught with no shirt on) the poor dude is put through some embarrassing shit.
The soundtrack itself probably suits the movie very well; it features a collection of friendly modern rock songs and is as ridiculously boring as the film’s synopsis. Opening with the All American Rejects’ formulaic hit, “Dirty Little Secret,” the soundtrack doesn’t start off promisingly and it quickly disappoints with Simple Plan’s—I mean, Cartel’s—”Honestly” which features some of the most uninspired guitar playing I’ve ever heard. Also featured is a brutal pop-punk version of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” courtesy of Quietdrive.
I could go on, but there’s so much bad that it’s probably better to focus on the songs that are actually good. Pop group Stefy’s careful production on first single “Chelsea” steals a bit too much from the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” but the song is still fun, infectiously layered with bits of keyboard and some fantastic harmonies. Three other highlights include, Nada Surf’s power-pop attack on “I Like What You Say,” Ben Lee’s mid-tempo acoustic version of Modest Mouse’s hit “Float On” and OK Go’s short but sweet “This Will Be Our Year.” These artists have a genuine love for the pop music they create and it sounds like they at least put some thought into the whole project. The same can’t be said about the producers who put this bland and all-round mind-numbing soundtrack together. (Wind-Up Records)