It was such an obvious pairing that you might not have thought about it -- that is, ragga superstar Shaggy singing the Scooby-Doo theme, here entitled "Shaggy, Where Are You?" It opens up the soundtrack to the big, glossy summer blockbuster Scooby-Doo, featuring a CGI Scooby; the powerhouse pair of Freddie Prinze Jr. and Matthew Lillard (appearing in no less than their fourth film together); Freaks & Geeks refugee Linda Cardellini; and, of course, Sarah Michelle Gellar, who has graduated from Buffy's Scooby gang to leading the real thing. Who knows what this means for the film, but the soundtrack is equally colorful and knowing, sliding in in-jokes (which anybody raised on '70s television will get) and not being afraid of being silly, which is kind of refreshing after such sour, serious soundtracks as Spider-Man. Sure, that means that some of this is disposable, but cheerfully, engagingly so -- and they help set the stage for curveballs of inspiration, such as OutKast's brilliant "Land of a Million Dreams" (as bracing and deliriously inventive as Peter Gabriel's forgotten "Out Out" on the Gremlins soundtrack); or how Solange with Murphy Lee folds the Scooby theme into "Thinking About You"; or a good cover of Whodini's "Freaks Come Out at Night" with Uncle Kracker and Busta Rhymes; or another wonderful slice of Euro-disco from Kylie Mingoue, "Whenever You Feel Like It." Plus, a good mainstream soundtrack in 2002 wouldn't be the same if it didn't have a good Sugar Ray or Smash Mouth song -- no Smash Mouth, but Sugar Ray's "Words to Me" is yet more proof that this band crafts cheerful, mainstream pop better than most of their peers. It all adds up to a soundtrack that takes you by surprise and is actually a breezy slice of summer fun. Hopefully, the movie will pull off the same trick.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine