Never Been Kissed


Java / Capitol Records, 1999

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


There are three things a soundtrack album can do for someone who hasn't had the opportunity to see its corresponding movie can do: its music can make you feel like you can follow the storyline as it unfolds in your mind, it can act as a nice collection of songs that doesn't allow you to follow the plot, or it can bore you to tears.

I've probably got my friends at Capitol shaking now, wondering what I'm going to say about the soundtrack to the film Never Been Kissed (hey, look, a story about my life up to my freshman year in college! - no, wait, forget I said that). Well, gang, you can breathe a sigh of relief; while this disc doesn't fit the formula to allow one to follow the plot, it is a wonderful collection of songs from groups that you've either heard of or will be hearing a lot of soon.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

If you don't consider yourself the adventurous type when it comes to music, you can take some comfort with the inclusion of such established jewels as John Lennon & Yoko Ono's "Watching The Wheels", The Beach Boys's "Don't Worry Baby" and (to a lesser extent) The Smiths's "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want". (I wouldn't mind seeing a rebirth of interest in The Smiths; maybe this inclusion will spark something.)

What is surprising is that one "established" group, R.E.M., fails to impress with the inclusion of the track "At My Most Beautiful" from their Up album. (After hearing this one, it kind of made me glad that I lost an eBay auction for this album a few months ago.)

While I don't want to take away from the "name" artists on Never Been Kissed, this soundtrack really is the main stage for some groups whose work you might nevber have heard before. Okay, maybe Semisonic and The Cardigans don't belong under this label (with the inclusion of their songs "Never You Mind" and "Erase/Rewind", respectively), but these particular selections rock. The first time you hear artists like Remy Zero ("Problem"), Jimmy Eat World ("Lucky Denver Mint"), The Moffatts ("Until You Loved Me") and Kendall Payne ("Closer To Myself"), chances are you'll be asking out loud, "Who are these people, and why haven't I heard them before?"

Also making an appearance is Block, with a different version of "Catch A Falling Star" than the version I remember off his debut album Timing Is Everything. If this is indeed a different version of the track, I'm sorry, but I liked the bizarre original mix better.

Despite one or two small missteps (nothing unusual for a soundtrack - hey, it's hard to cover all the bases to please everyone), Never Been Kissed is a pleasant listen that is sure to bring a smile to anyone's face. If, minimally, you gain pleasure from just this disc, so be it. But something tells me that once you hear some of the artists on this disc, you're going to want to hear more of them.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Java / Capitol Records, and is used for informational purposes only.