With the awkward casting of ingénue Jessica Alba as a clumsy penguin specialist, Good Luck Chuck is hard to take seriously -- even by the most lenient of romantic comedy standards. It's surprising, then, that the film's soundtrack should be anything but a run-of-the-mill collection of milquetoast pop. While Lionsgate does include some predictably unnecessary tracks here, mostly notably Olivia Newton-John's outdated "Physical," the bulk of the album reads like a hipster-approved list of who's hot in 2007. Art Brut, Shout Out Louds, and Aidan Hawken are all present to boost the soundtrack's indie cred, as are '80s goth pioneers Bauhaus (although their position in the track list -- sandwiched between "Physical" and the a cappella vocals of Andrew Gold -- is frankly bizarre). Singer/songwriter Hawken is an obvious choice, as his gently crooned "Shut Me Out" sounds tailor-made for a romantic montage, and the follow-up track by Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings (most of whom played on Amy Winehouse's "Rehab") injects some Motown soul into the album's latter half. Even the zany theme song -- executed by the Dandy Warhols in a style that's reminiscent of a Saturday morning cartoon theme -- can't sink the album, especially when the campy track is surrounded by solid, summery originals from the Flaming Lips and the Honorary Title. By avoiding the temptation to gorge on cheap filler material and cookie-cutter bands, the Good Luck Chuck soundtrack proves to be everything the movie is not -- tasteful, fresh, and worthy of additional spins.
AllMusic Review by Andrew Leahey