American Pie 2
Music From the Motion Picture
Could this soundtrack be much more predictable? Surprise — nearly every artist here is somehow affiliated with Universal Records, according to the copyright statements, and the record becomes little more than a Universal alt-rock sampler. While that•s not in and of itself a bad thing, it does seem like another example of crass marketing winning out over any originality, especially when most of the songs are previously released (and the original albums are even plugged in the liner notes), and the bands include such flavors of the week as American Hi-Fi (yes, pun intended), 3 Doors Down, Alien Ant Farm, and Oleander, making for an overall bland listening experience that•s no different than listening to •alternative• radio or watching an hour of MTV 2 (you know, where they still play videos). That•s not to say that there•s not good stuff here: The Exit, whose Sing Four Favorites EP is one of the year•s best records, appear with a reworked version of their •Susan• (an odd choice for a teen sex romp, given that the song seems to be about date rape, but I•m just glad to see the band get the exposure), Green Day•s •Scumbag• is a great Warning outtake, and while Sum 41•s •Fat Lip• has become nothing short of ubiquitous, it•s too darn catchy to deny. Fenix*TX•s tribute to the original queen of teen sex romps, •Phoebe Cates,• is a deliciously self-aware choice for this record, and Flying Blind•s poppy, melodic •Smokescreen• stands out from the pack with its glossy harmonies and •80s rock vibe. I just wish that the whole thing didn•t seem so blatantly calculated to sell a couple million copies to people in their late teens and early twenties. Yeah, I realize you could say something similar about the movie, too, but the first Pie did have its gentle charms among the grossout stuff, so I•m inclined to give the second an opportunity to prove itself. If I felt that this soundtrack had half the heart of the first film, I•d feel a lot better about recommending it as an introduction to a few new bands, or at least of a document of what•s hitting alt-radio these days.