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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    CD Reviews

    The latest in the prolific soundtrack series from “”The O.C.”” features one cover too many. Well, in all honesty, about nine covers too many.

    Music From The O.C.: Mix 6 – Covering Our Tracks is a compilation of 12 covers, mostly of the indie-rock persuasion, that have been featured in the show.

    What could have been a unique take on the TV soundtrack fails in its execution due to poor performances of songs that just didn’t need to be revamped, period.

    Los Angeles quintet Goldspot’s version of Modest Mouse’s “”Float On”” is a complete mess with its slow tempo, softly sung verses and lack of intensity. The way it’s done, the uninspired tune almost sounds like it belongs on a Kidz Bop commercial.

    Mates of State’s cover of “”California,””, the show’s theme song, is dull and lackluster from beginning to end and doesn’t hold up to the likability of the Phantom Planet version.

    Score:4/10

    But there are a few highlights on the album. The lead singer of Rock Kills Kid delivers the chorus of Spoon’s “”I Turn My Camera On”” with a raw, sexy feel similar to the original. Electric Light Orchestra’s “”Can’t Get It Out of My Head”” is turned into a sensual song thanks to the vulnerable, shaky vocals of John Paul White, as well as the slower pace and string accompaniment.

    Overall, the soundtrack is missing what edge the show emits weekly. Although there are a few well-performed covers, the album just isn’t that good. Let’s hope that Mix 7 will deliver a better performance.

    – Jamie Ross

    How does a band release an album that’s already been on the market for months? That’s a question that members of New Mexico indie quartet The Shins are going to have to figure out when they release their newest record, Wincing the Night Away, Jan. 23.

    With the album leaking a full three months before the official release date, die-hard fans have already had plenty of time to digest the band’s newest offering. With the album taking its name from a band member’s bout with insomnia, it would be a shame if the leak did impact record sales, because while Wincing may not be a life-changing set, it does certainly spark the imagination.

    Tracks like “”Sleeping Lessons”” – which builds upon a trickling keyboard line before bursting out of its shell halfway through into an energetic guitar romp – and “”Black Wave”” have a slight intangibility to them, like looking up at a streetlight on a foggy night. The balance of atmospherics and pop blend together like Joy Division channeling Brian Wilson.

    Certainly, the lyrics often reflect the Beach Boys’ tried-and-true themes of innocent love and longing. “”Girl, if you’re a seascape/I’m a listing boat, for the thing carries every hope.””

    Songs like “”Sea Legs”” showcase singer and guitarist James Mercer’s crooning vocals, which, despite the vaguely gloomy lyrics, keep the songs from digressing too far into the melancholy with cheerful melodies. The album contains traces of strings and keyboards that, with the exception of a song or two, are thankfully

    Score:7/10

    restrained to supportive roles, leaving the songs tight and concise.

    So are The Shins going to “”change your life,”” as Natalie Portman so famously proclaimed in that one movie everyone loves to hate (or is it hates to love)? The answer, of course, is no, but music doesn’t have to be life-altering to be enjoyable.

    – Derek Jordan

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