According to the liner notes, Whip It: Music from the Motion Picture is Drew Barrymore's "mix tape for you!" That's right, Drew Barrymore has made a mixtape just for you, and it is every bit as sweet, punchy, and girly as her 2009 directorial debut. The disc is a blend of familiar old standbys (including a glittering remix of the Chordettes' "Lollipop") and indie acts (among them Barrymore's ex-boyfriend Fabrizio Moretti's band Little Joy), achieving the kind of safely edgy balance that embodies the Fox Searchlight aesthetic (that is, it's quirky enough to appeal to the cool kids, but never strays too far from the mainstream). If this soundtrack achieves anything, it serves to push a healthy handful of relatively obscure female artists into the mainstream. "Boys Wanna Be Her," Peaches' saucy retread of AC/DC's "Dirty Deeds," the Raveonettes' frosty dream pop offering "Dead Sound," and the Ettes' angular, gritty "Crown of Age" find this soundtrack at its exuberant best. Similar to the average mixtape, Whip It has moments where it falls prey to its eclecticism, namely in the inclusion of the Ramones' "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker," .38 Special's "Caught Up in You," and Dolly Parton's "Jolene" -- these songs just sound out of place in the midst of all this hip, youthful glitz. And the inclusion of Har Mar Superstar's ploddingly faithful, utterly un-Har Mar-like cover of the Association's "Never My Love" is downright puzzling -- it's not clear why the original wasn't used in place of this uninspiring cover. Stumbles like this make Whip It a mixed bag of a mixtape -- as far as soundtracks go, though, it's every bit as harmless and feel-good as the movie that inspired it.
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AllMusic Review by Margaret Reges