Universal Records, 1999
REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/30/1999
The early hype about the movie American Pie is that it occasionally makes There's Something About Mary look like Bambi. (I can't say that I have any desire to see a film where a kid sticks his Johnson into a pie and uses it for, aah, gratification. Gives a whole new meaning to "warm filling," if you ask me.) But when all the sex and innuendo is taken away from this film, apparently you're left with... well, you're left with a soundtrack, and not a Don McLean song to be seen anywhere.
Bringing together some of the more recent big names in alternative rock as well as some soon-to-be superstars, the soundtrack to American Pie is a lot like the dessert: pleasant enough to digest, but if you eat too much, it's fattening.
Oh, it's not that the music isn't good. I mean, anything that features tracks from Tonic ("You Wanted More"), Shades Apart ("Stranger By The Day"), Sugar Ray ("Glory") and Dishwalla ("Find Your Way Back Home") means a lot of listening enjoyment. Even Third Eye Blind, a band I'm personally sick of, gets into the act with "New Girl," and scores in the plus column.
Even some of the newer names - or at least the lesser-known names - shine in the spotlight. The Loose Nuts impress with "Wishen," while both Bachelor Number One ("Summertime") and Bic Runga ("Sway") make the most of their slots. Bic Runga makes a second appearance, backing Semisonic's Dan Wilson on "Good Morning Baby," but this track just doesn't take off like you'd expect it to.
Only a few acts disappoint on American Pie. Super Trans-Atlantic's contribution, "Super Down," starts off okay, but the sound quickly gets old. Likewise, The Atomic Fireballs try to get some ska going with "Man With A Hex," but this track seems to be the black sheep of the group, not really fitting in with the tone of the other songs. Goldfinger turns in a better performance with "Vintage Queen".
Fans of alternative rock will be snatching this soundtrack up faster than you can say "Hostess Fruit Pies", though I do have to wonder how each song fits in with the movie. You really can't figure out where the plot is going when you listen to this soundtrack - and maybe that's the way they wanted it to be.
American Pie is a nice sampler of alternative music in 1999. Go on and grab a slice.