Covers have always been an important part of The O.C.'s musical language -- particularly Jeff Buckley's version of "Hallelujah," which became one of the show's most enduring motifs. Though Imogen Heap's cover of that song isn't here, The O.C. Mix 6: Covering Our Tracks includes plenty of songs that have already appeared on the show, reworked by other artists whose music has also been featured on the series and soundtracks. This concept could have resulted in a lot of cookie-cutter, indie rock karaoke, but most of these covers are creative, and occasionally, they're inspired. Goldspot's take on Modest Mouse's "Float On" sounds remarkably different, with a loping beat and mellow atmosphere. Meanwhile, Tally Hall's cover of the Killers' "Smile Like You Mean It" adds choirboy harmonies that make the choruses even bigger and more bombastic. Pinback turns Black Flag's "Wasted" into a more O.C.-like bittersweet rumination, and John Paul White gets to the weepy heart of ELO's "Can't Get It Out of My Head." Some of the covers that seem like they wouldn't work on paper end up being standouts: the usually delicate Rogue Wave borrows some of the Pixies' muscle and bite for a cover of "Debaser," but don't sound like they're just imitating Black Francis and company; and Lady Sovereign gives some snarling new life to the Sex Pistols' "Pretty Vacant." Not everything here works completely -- Rock Kills Kid tries to make Spoon's "I Turn My Camera On" into something flowing and atmospheric, and the result is a bit formless -- but the album manages to be more than just a self-reflexive soundtrack.
Music from the O.C., Mix 6: Covering Our Tracks Review
by Heather Phares
||Rock Kills Kid||03:41||Amazon|
|4||Mates of State||02:31||Amazon|
|6||John Paul White||04:03||Amazon|
||Band of Horses||03:33||Amazon|