Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Review: Various artists “Californication Season 4” Television Soundtrack

Now in its fourth season on Showtime, “Californication” is a sensation. The show, which stars David Duchovny as Hank Moody, has a close connection to music – this season, his teenage daughter Becca (played by Madeleine Martin) joins an all-girl rock band called Queens of Dogtown. The “Californication Season 4” Television Soundtrack features several tunes from Queens of Dogtown, along with other music from a variety of bands that “play a part in bringing to life many of the storylines of the new season).

The soundtrack features a lot of songs you are bound to be familiar with covered by artists you may be less familiar with…Eagles of Death Metal do a power rock rendition of the Stealers Wheel’s classic, “Stuck In The Middle With You”, even renaming it “Stuck In The Metal”. It’s actually a lot less metal than you might think. Better Than Ezra revamp “So Alive”, the breakout hit for alt rock godfathers, Love and Rockets. Queens of Dogtown do several cover tunes, including “Would?” (Alice In Chains), “Last Caress” (Misfits) and “I Remember You” (Skid Row). “Would?” just sounds wrong with anyone but Layne Staley singing it, but their removal of the power from Skid Row’s smash power ballad is surprisingly effective. Two songs buried in here that stood out were Cracker’s midtempo gem, “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out With Me” and the gentle acoustic piece “If I Go, I'm Goin”, beautifully sung by Gregory Alan Isakov.

Some of the originals are just silly (the Shooter Jennings contribution, “F**k You (I’m Famous)” or boring (“Second Life Replay” by The Soundtrack of Our Lives). The soundtrack ends on a pathetic note with a dreadful version of “Home Sweet Home” by Tommy Lee and a chorus of others who probably want to remain anonymous.

The “Californication Season 4” soundtrack is a must for fans of cover tunes. Personally, I’m not finding a whole lot here that I’ll be coming back to anytime soon.

iPOD-worthy: 8, 9, 12

More info here. The soundtrack is out today on CD or in digital format.