One Tree Hill is a comfortable mix of music from the WB series and related exclusive material. Fans will recognize Gavin DeGraw's opener "I Don't Want to Be" as One Tree Hill's theme song; however, it appears here in a more rousing, loose-limbed live version. L.A.-based singer/songwriter Tyler Hilton, who plays musician Chris Keller on the show, contributes an acoustic "Glad" and also teams with actress Bethany Joy Lenz (Haley) on Ryan Adams' "When the Stars Go Blue." Like the Corrs' and Bono's 2002 version of the song, Hilton and Lenz' reading is softly-rocking and ready for Hot AC (adult contemporary) radio. In other words, it's nicely done, but maybe a little too safe -- which also describes Jimmy Eat World's "Kill," the Get Up Kids' "Overdue," and "Sidewalks" from emo up-and-comers Story of the Year. Still, safe is probably just fine for a fresh-faced and wrinkle-free series like One Tree Hill. And the album does take a few minor detours. The U.K. trio 22-20s get a nod with their Starsailor-ish "Shoot Your Gun," and Sheryl Crow's acoustic version of "First Cut Is the Deepest" has a nice, reedy quality to her vocal. The Wreckers unites Michelle Branch with Missouri-based singer/songwriter Jessica Harp; their "Good Kind" is simple enough, but it's fueled by great harmonies and a quiet cynicism that gives it some grit. Best is "Lie in the Sound," a languid, light-refracting number from Californians (and KCRW darlings) Trespassers William that suggests everything from Mazzy Star to Red House Painters, and should give more curious listeners plenty of musical ideas to explore. Some of One Tree Hill's competing programs might take a few more chances musically. But this set does give fans plenty of sounds they'll recognize, as well as a few nice surprises.
AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus