Various Artists

Smallville: The Metropolis Mix

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Unlike the OC mixes, Smallville's soundtracks aren't very concerned about hip factor. Instead The Metropolis Mix and its predecessor, 2003's Talon Mix, favor a mix of tasteful, non-threatening adult alternative sounds tinged with a few slight risks. Breaking Benjamin's too-slick "Forget It" is named appropriately, Lifehouse makes an encore Smallville appearance with an acoustic, string-tinged rendition of their 2005 single "You and Me," and Stereophonics' "Superman" is only slightly more memorable. Fortunately the chilly electro-pop of Depeche Mode's "Precious" is along to lend some character, and Brendan Benson's "Cold Hands (Warm Heart)" is pretty irresistible. "Girl's Attractive" from Diamond Nights never really gets going, but it has a line about dipping hips and alcohol, and that counts as naughty on the WB. Then there's the Dandy Warhols, who've never had any problems pimping out their best tracks to TV soundtracks (see the Veronica Mars theme song, Music from The O.C.: Mix 1); the appearance of their "All the Money or the Simple Life" is no surprise. Metropolis has its share of soundtrack kryptonite, middling offerings from All-American Rejects and Flashlight Brown that could be by anyone. But then there's a little quiet gem like KT Tunstall's "Other Side of the World," a song that suggests Texas, Coldplay, and Don Henley's "Heart of the Matter" all at once. So all is not lost with Smallville: The Metropolis Mix. And yet, like Tom Welling's Clark Kent, it would rather be nice than take risks.

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