Gen X rock buffs can revel in nostalgia with the High Fidelity soundtrack. The film centers on the romantic escapades of record-store owner and ex-club DJ Rob Gordon (John Cusack) and his full-time obsession with music. Since High Fidelity has as much to do with vinyl addiction as it does with the difficulties of love, great care has been taken with its selection of tracks, a solidly eccentric collection of heartache-heavy pop gems ranging from obscure '60s bands and groundbreaking artists like the Velvet Underground and Bob Dylan, to Stevie Wonder and Stereolab. As in the film, there's a method to the compilers' elitist rock-geek madness. Even co-star Jack Black's schlocky blue-eyed cover of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" doesn't seem out of place.
The inspired screeches of acid-fried '60s singer-songwriter Roky Erickson's "You're Gonna Miss Me" set the pace for the musing, hangdog tone of the album. Besides the joyous licks of the Kinks' "Everybody's Gonna Be Happy" and Royal Trux's hybrid of hip-hip, techno, and aggressive rock on "Inside Game," the bulk of the set is composed of moody folk-rock tunes like Dylan's exquisite "Most of the Time" and the Velvets' "Oh! Sweet Nuthin." Other noteworthy tracks include Love's "Always See Your Face," the Beta Band's "Dry the Rain," Elvis Costello's wistful "Shipbuilding," the stinging irony of Smog's "Cold Blooded Old Times," and Stevie Wonder's soulful optimism on "I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)." It's a fine, complementary batch of tunes that not only enhances the film's mood but is integral to its theme, and, as High Fidelity's Rob Gordon would agree, it'll go down as one of the top five soundtracks released in 2000.