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Music Review: Various Artists – The Perks of Being a Wallflower [Soundtrack]

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I have not yet seen The Perks of Being a Wallflower but wanted to review the soundtrack because I knew there were some songs on it I love, and some songs that were interesting but unfamiliar.

Maybe if I had been a teenager in the ’90s, I would have loved all of these songs, and they would make me nostalgic now. But, I was the mom of teens in the ’90s instead, and they were not into alt-rock or new wave. So, frankly, I found most of the songs on this CD pretty boring.

I do love “Come On Eileen,” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners, “Low,” by Cracker, “Heroes” by David Bowie, and “Teenage Riot” by Sonic Youth, which are all part of the soundtrack. But the rest of the songs are slow and depressing for the most part, which probably suits a movie about a 15-year-old misfit trying to deal with his best friend’s suicide, mental illness, and first love. But for listening pleasure, about half the CD is a bummer. This includes The Samples’ “It Could Be Another Change,” “Tugboat,” by Galaxie 500, and “Evensong” by The Innocence Mission.

New Order’s “Temptation” is less depressing but nothing special in any way to me. XTC’s “Dear God” and The Cocteau Twins’ “Pearly Dewdrops’ Drops” are more interesting, but here they just sound murky and muddled.

In fact, all of these songs may be better than I think they are because here, they are presented in the form of an ’80s-’90s mixtape, and thus, they all sound distorted to me.

Also included on the soundtrack is a Michael Brook cut called “Charlie’s Last Letter,” which I assume is from an integral part of the movie. This seems like a pointless and unnecessary addition to the CD.

The bottom line here is that The Perks of Being a Wallflower may be a great movie, but the soundtrack is only great listening for fans of mixtapes or those nostalgic for the drama of their late ’80s or early ’90s teenage years,

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About Rhetta Akamatsu

I am an author of non-fiction books and an online journalist. My books include Haunted Marietta, The Irish Slaves, T'ain't Nobody's Business If I Do: Blues Women Past and Present, and Sex Sells: Women in Photography and Film.