Hollywood Records (HR-62274-2)
Release Date: 2000
|1.||"All I Want" - Toad The Wet Sprocket|
|2.||"When The Water Falls" - Collective Soul|
|3.||"You Look So Fine" - Garbage|
|4.||"Keep Hope Alive" - The Crystal Method|
|5.||"Red Letter Day" - The Get Up Kids|
|6.||"It's Alright" - Big Head Todd And The Monsters|
|7.||"Glass House" - Peter Tosh|
|8.||"The Obvious Child" - Paul Simon|
|9.||"The Deep South" - The Promise Ring|
|10.||"Little Blue One" - Cowboy Mouth|
|11.||"Who'd She Coo?" - Ohio Players|
|12.||"In Harm's Way" - Face To Face|
|13.||"Want Ad" - MxPx|
|14.||"Blackbird Special" - The ReBirth Brass Band|
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|by Matthew Sheby
on December 2nd, 2004
I'm unsure why MTV and/or Hollywood Records compiled The Real World 9 roommates' favorite tunes; the album sounds like a schizophrenic mix tape. Because the songs are so different in style and tempo, I didn't want to listen to the album in one sitting; I had to force myself to do so. Though I enjoyed a few of the tracks, the album's inconsistency doesn't allow it to be easily classified. In any case, I struggled with this review for days; at best, I can simply go through the selections, alternately praising or rejecting them.
Kelley's selection of Paul Simon's "The Obvious Child" is easily the gem of the disk. The liner notes fail to mention that Ladysmith Black Mambazo and about a bazillion percussionists also appear on the 1990 album from which this song was taken, Rhythm of the Saints. This song is among the best of those appearing on a CD with the MTV logo. Also noteworthy is the Ohio Players' hit "Who'd She Coo?," which is pure, outright FUNK. Booty shaking fun all around. Cowboy Mouth, with vocals reminding me of Chris Isaak, the Barenaked Ladies, and Johnny Cash, is worth listening to. Their lead singer effortlessly glides over notes, demonstrating a very dulcet voice on "Little Blue One." One of Julie's selections, a piece from Collective Soul's first major album, is a very happy, joyful piece of music. Matt picked MxPx's rocker-in-love "Want Ad." I don't like punk. With that established, is this song any good? Will punk fans like this? Well, yeah; it's catchy. I liked it. Danny picked early 90's alterna-rock favorite Toad the Wet Sprocket. The final track on the album features the ReBirth Brass Band, which happens to play the Real World theme song. I don't know whether this was picked by a cast member or the production staff, but the band deserves respect. True musicians make up this group.
Other songs don't fare so well. Danny's Garbage selection sounds like every other Garbage song I've heard. Similarly, Crystal Method's "Keep Hope Alive" is indistinguishable from "Now Is The Time," mentioned in SoundtrackNet's The Crow: Salvation review. Julie's second pick, Face To Face performing "In Harm's Way," was forgettable rock fare with stridently loud guitars. I yawned and poked around for the remote. Neither of Melissa's two picks did anything for me. One band sounded like No Doubt covering Green Day, the other would have succeeded in playing dance-able bar rock but for the lack of vocal talent on the part of their singers.
In summary, this CD gets a mere two and one-half out of five stars. In all honesty, I was disappointed with the album. I was actually uncomfortable hearing the disc, as there was no real point of reference from which to approach the songs. The CD's liner notes contain thoughts from the roommates' feelings for picking the songs they did. However, they are so heavily edited (with multiple ellipses apiece) that it's difficult what is "real" and what has been constructed (much like the television show itself). Nor can one obtain a good feel for the New Orleans music scene, as these songs are (for the most part) pop-oriented. For any interested in a soundtrack surveying the music scene in which this season's Real World was placed, I'd recommend that of the Big Easy.
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