Mean Girls

Soundtrack

iTunes.com, 2004

REVIEW BY: Bruce Rusk

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/26/2004

The typical problem with movie soundtracks is they often consist of a lot of filler to puff up the lack of original music. Mean Girls does a little better than most, offering a selection of upbeat pop tunes directly targeted to its core audience, namely teen and pre-teen girls. Someone behind this had enough sense to focus on the core audience for this film, and create a girl-friendly pop album.

The soundtrack starts off with a typical movie soundtrack throwaway track. Actor Daniel Franzese warbling Christina Aguilera's hit "Beautiful." Lets just say that Danny-boy wouldn't have made it past Simon Cowell. Good thing they got it out of the way early. I can hear the iPods skipping past it as I write. [ Editor's note: in a unique cross-promotion, the Mean Girls soundtrack is being made available only via download on iTunes.com.]

Next up is "Overdrive," a rather pedestrian pop song by Avril Lavigne wannabe Katy Rose. This should appeal a lot to fans of, well, of Avril Lavigne. This is textbook new-millennium-girl-power-pop, and so should hit a chord with the adolescent fans this movie will attract. "Rip Her To Shreds" follows in a similar vein. Brother-Sister duo Boomkat deliver his bad girl rave up, which sounds like the long-lost offspring of Sheryl Crowe and Cindy Lauper, and is one of the standout tracks on the album. "Built This Way" was built wrong. It sounds like a song written for a movie soundtrack, and is generic filler. It might be fine as incidental background music in a movie, but it doesn't stand on its own.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The next track is one of the most listenable on the disc, but more than a little out of place on an album targeted to adolescent girls. "Operate" by Techno-Porn queen Peaches seems a little risqué for this audience. Granted it's cleaned up, but I can just see 12 year old girls digging the track and then asking mommy if they can buy Peaches' latest CD, "Fatherf*cker" where the track originally appeared. It's a cool piece of electronica, but probably not appropriate for the target group.

"Mathlete Rap" is a direct lift from a scene in the movie, dialogue and all. Pure filler and another throwaway track. Perhaps the scene in the movie is funny, and the track will illicit a chuckle from someone who's seen the film, but it falls flat here. Blondie's classic "One Way Or Another" is definitely the highlight of the album. What can I say about this song that hasn't been said already? It's a stellar piece of 80's punk-pop, a classic that will survive the next ice age. Blondie rules, 'nuff said. Nikki Cleary is up next, and she could learn a thing from Debbie Harry, as her angry-teen-girl pop "Hated" fails to impress me. This track starts out ok, but doesn't have staying power. Another generic pop tune that tries to get some sort of angry-girl groove going, but the doesn't deliver much.

Anjali's "Misty Canyon" is a pleasant enough bit of ambient trance-pop, but doesn't really go anywhere, and I don't think the target audience for this disc will care for it. I hear those iPods hitting skip again. I bet their mom's would like this song though. Last, and probably least, the album closes with a poorly realized rendition of "Jingle Bell Rock" performed by the cast.

Teenagers should find this enjoyable enough. For the most part the original songs are ok, and will appeal to fans of the movie. As an album, though, it's fairly forgettable.

Rating: C-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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