April 22, 2004

Test Spin: The O.C. Mix 1

Print More

Will the guy who likes Death Cab get the gal who wears Prada? Will the kid from Chino steal the Abercrombie model’s girlfriend? Will the audience be old enough to point out all the plot lines lifted straight from Dawson’s Creek? The OC’s first season addressed many important issues. It also had great music. So why not capitalize on the teen girl market while at the same time introduce them to great bands? Sure, it’s not very indie. but Ben Gibbard needs money to put food on the table too, and his kids like bread better than artistic integrity. Thus we get Music From the OC. And it’s Volume One, no less — warning us that Fox will follow this album with more sequels than The Land Before Time.

Like Neverland Ranch, there’s a little something for everyone. Sure, the album has groups you’re sick of (Phantom Planet), groups you’re a little too cool for (Jet), and groups that are a little too cool for you (Spoon). Still, how can you not like anything by The Dandy Warhols or Doves?

And herein lies the moral dilemma. Is the album good because the songs are good? Or is the album bad because it’s a soundtrack to a derivative soap opera? My answer: Both. Sure, the taint of this generation’s 90210 might send you running. In that case, don’t buy the CD. But, if you can bury your sense of pride, go for it. Not sure which category? Download the songs, make your own cover art, and pretend you invented the track list. Either way, it’s great music.

Archived article by Will Lanier
Red Letter Daze Staff Writer