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CD Review: Rollergirls Soundtrack

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I miss John Hughes soundtracks.

Remember Hughes, the director of Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles and Some Kind of Wonderful?

While the movies were teen flicks and somewhat predictable he did something
extraordinary which I wish other directors would do – he took particular care to ensure the soundtrack had as high a quality as the films.

Listen to the soundtracks for Pretty In Pink or Some Kind of Wonderful and at least 50 percent, and more likely 75 percent, were keepers, songs you would listen to even if they were not on the soundtrack.

Most soundtracks these days, though, are the opposite, containing filler, flops and other material. You are lucky to find one or two songs on it that stand out.

The biggest exception in recent years is Lost In Translation, which manages to be more entertaining than the movie with its lush atmospheric sounds.

Rollergirls, a soundtrack for the television series, fits the usual pattern. Out of 12 songs, only 4 stand out.

The first song on Rollergirls is the theme song, “Play My Game” by The Donnas. Has anyone else noticed that all of their songs sound pretty much the same? So, yeah, nothing impressive there.

The second song, “Ready to Rise” by Vaughan Penn, is pretty good. Catchy lyrics with pop melodies.
Here’s a sample verse:

Rise up off the ground where you lay
You’ve been laying there so long that you just about have forgotten how to live your life
Well, you can’t find where you belong
No, you can’t find where you fit in
Don’t’ you think it’s time you gave your life a chance again

The worst songs are the ones by the guys. You can interpret that as a feminist statement or as just bad selections.

“Rollerskate” by Angie Heaton is catchy and she has quite the knack for rhyming words. And she gets bonus points for rhyming with masturbate.

“Five Years” by Jaime Paxton is similar brain candy with thoughtful lyrics over mellow music.

“Badass” by Kacy Crowley is also a real find. She has a great, gentle voice – like early Mary Lou Lord.

So I’m going to keep my eyes and ears out for Kacy Crowley, Angie Heaton, Jaime Paxton and Vaughan Penn.

The rest I can live without hearing from ever again.

Normally I like most of Ani DiFranco’s material but her cover of “Amazing Grace” is pretty unamazing.

So if you want a spotty CD, get this.

If you want something more consistent get Lost in Translation or one of Hughes soundtracks.

1. The Donnas- Play My Game
2. Vaughan Penn- Ready To Rise
3. Dale Watson- Way Down Texas Way
4. Angie Heaton- Rollerskate
5. Kacy Crowley-Badass
6. Red Meat- The Girl With The Biggest Hair
7. The Addictions- Rollergirl
8. Jaime Paxton-Five Years
9. The Sweethearts- Never Give Up
10. Jean Shy- Rollerderby World
11. Bob Log III- Log Bomb
12. Ani DiFranco- Amazing Grace

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About Scott Butki

Scott Butki was a newspaper reporter for more than 10 years before making a career change into education... then into special education. He has been doing special education work for about five years He lives in Austin. He reads at least 50 books a year and has about 15 author interviews each year and, yes, unlike tv hosts he actually reads each one. He is an in-house media critic, a recovering Tetris addict and a proud uncle. He has written articles on practically all topics from zoos to apples and almost everything in between.
  • http://www.livejournal.com/users/cmpwrite Connie Phillips

    Editor’s note: This article now has another venue for success – and more eyes – at the Advance.net Web sites, a site affiliated with about 12 newspapers.

    One such site is here.

  • Scott Butki

    Thanks!