Album Reviews

13 Going On 30 OST – Various

(wea) UK release date: 2 August 2004


I haven’t seen this film. I hopefully never will. It is a film aimed for teenage girls to drag their unsuspecting first boyfriend to the cinema for a bit of fumbling on the back row. In multiplexes all over the country, children for pity’s sake, are being subjected to Whitney Houston and Rick Springfield. There should be a law against such things.

The thing I can’t work out about this compilation of songs is why they have chosen the tracks that they have. Why not one of the “better” Belinda Carlisle or Liz Phair tracks? Why choose Pat Benatar‘s Love Is A Battlefield? Is Vienna really the best Billy Joel song they could get the rights to?

My only thought is that they must tie the film together in a way only these songs could – either this or the director, Gary Winick, has a really bad taste in music.

Ok, so you do get Ice Ice Baby which all twenty-somethings will appreciate on a nostalgic level. Madonna‘s Crazy For You, a slow dance favourite at all Grade 7 discos (I bet that this very scene is in the film), makes a showing. So there is a little bit to keep your attention, but not enough.

If you haven’t seen the film and felt some connection with it and the music in it, then this album probably isn’t for you. The pink cover with the bubblegum Hollywood starlet playing a rich, spoilt 14 year old about says it all. There are better, no, much better compilations out there that do this genre tens times better.

If the songs were not in the film then I would say that this collection has been rushed. There are no sound bites from the film, an addition that Tarantino uses so successfully and normally does at least remind you that this is a soundtrack, not a really bad mix tape somebody made for their girlfriend.

I won’t write it off completely because it does have Soft Cell‘s majestic of Tainted Love, which at high volume is quite special. Then of course there is the classic Burning Down The House from Talking Heads, again not the best Heads song they could have chosen, but at least it holds this album on to the edge of the hole that it otherwise would surely have fallen into.



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