Case in point: the new installment from everybody's favorite nighttime soap, The O.C.
I bought the album and listened to the first few tracks, then I threw a few episodes of the O.C. up on my TV via TiVo. I immediately fell for track one, The Subways chiming "Rock & Roll Queen." We meet this latest installment of my favorite soundtrack series with a tentative power chord. Lead singer Billy Lunn bellows out the lines
You are the sun
You are the only one
My heart is blue
My heart is blue for you
I always judge an album by the enthusiasm that the first track brings to the table. Here the Subways succeed in capturing my attention and encourage me to continue on the musical journey that is The O.C. Mix 5.
Track two comes from one of my picks for 2005, Kasabian. I picked up their self-titled effort when it was released on the iTunes Music Store earlier this year. I immediately took to their big hit song, "Club Foot." I don't know if you watch Alias, but I usually tell this story about Sydney being chased by a miniature helicopter for the duration of that very song: it was the most absurd thing I'd ever seen on television ever. But anyway, I knew I'd like "Reason Is Treason" since I already had the album.
I skipped over "I Wish I Was Dead," although the track is very sugary and ethereal. Instead, I prefer LCD Soundsystem's "Daft Punk Is Playing At My House." The title explains the song pretty well: daft punk is playing at their house. The thing I like about the O.C. soundtrack series is that you get a lot of songs that you may have never heard before. Though I downloaded their album the day it came out, I also found out that LCD Soundsystem was nominated for several Grammy's after the release of this track as a single.
Moving along to the next track by Rogue Wave... I give snaps to anyone with the word "rogue" in their title but then must take them away for using the words "miracle mile" in the first verse of the song. I hit the FFW button on this track every time.
Youth Group's "Forever Young" sometimes plays on the speakers at work and I always sing along to it. (Watch me, I'm serious.) It feels like a track right out of the 80s but it's totally not. It was playing in the car once when I drove Don somewhere and he swore it was a remake of the Rod Stewart classic. I think not.
When I listen to Of Montreal's "Requiem for O.M.M.," I wish I still talked to DJHens. He would totally love this song: sounds like Belle & Sebastian with a twist of the Decemberists.
I know there's probably a lot of music fans that like the Gorillaz. I can almost stomach "Kids With Guns," I can even appreciate the idea of a virtual band that only exists in animation, but I'm not compelled to listen to this track more than once.
While the Gorillaz leave me feeling tired and unmotivated, one of my favorite bands of 2005, the Kaiser Chiefs arrive on the scene to reignite my love for this O.C. soundtrack. You may remember my review of their debut album in May. I still remember how excited I was about them. I downloaded some rarities and B-sides (Seventeen Cups, Another Number, Not Surprised) and they are still in heavy rotation. I still dance around to "Na Na Na Na Naa" and laugh about thinking about AJ laughing at SJP.
I love the opening line of "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead" by the Stars. Then some guy starts singing and then some GIRL starts singing and you realize two things: 1) the song isn't really good and 2) this is the first female voice we've heard on the album.
Phantom Planet recorded an acoustic version of their song "California," maybe better known as the O.C.'s opening theme. I am one of those people who can listen to a good song five hundred times in a row, but if you're not, you might need to skip this one. I am a sucker for hand claps in musical arrangements and boy does this acoustic version of Phantom Planet's biggest hit deliver! Clap along if you dare (I turn the sound all the way up and sing along).
The most haunting song in the world brings this fifth installment of the O.C. Mix 5 to a close. Imogen Heap (she was featured on Mix 4 and I've recommended her as the lead singer of Frou Frou back when I was listening to the UK radio over the net) arranges one of my favorite songs ever. I downloaded her new CD when it was released last month but had not been able to sit down with it. After being impressed with the rest of Mix 5, I readied myself for her shining close to the album as the only headlining female vocal on the album. If you're an O.C. fan, you'll immediately relive the moment where Marisa shot Trey at the end of season two. This was the song that was playing--the haunting, synthesized, a capella blur that somehow perfectly captured the despair, urgency, unbelievability, and surreal-ness of those closing scenes when Marisa picked up the gun, fired, and watched in horror as Ryan stood up while Trey fell to his knees, blood first dripping then pouring through his shirt and his mouth. This album is worth it for any O.C. fan if just to relive those moments.