Songs From Dawson's Creek, paced by the already established hits "I Don't Want to Wait" (Paula Cole) and "Kiss Me" (Sixpence None the Richer), not to mention its association with the popular television series, then nearing the end of its second season, was a gold-selling Top Ten hit in the spring of 1999. A year and a half later, Dawson's Creek was still leading off the WB network's Wednesday night lineup, and Songs From Dawson's Creek, Vol. 2 was released the day before the fourth season premiere. Even more than its predecessor, the album is basically a Sony label sampler, baited with a couple of familiar songs (notably, lead-off track "I Think I'm in Love With You" by Jessica Simpson), but primarily devoted to gaining exposure for developing acts on the rosters of Sony's various imprints. Among the likelier ones are a few performers already gaining attention for their debut efforts: Evan and Jaron's "Crazy for This Girl" was getting airplay on adult contemporary radio, and Wheatus had scored a modern rock radio hit with "Teenage Dirtbag" by the album's release date, while Nine Days' "If I Am" was the follow-up single to their hit "Absolutely (Story of a Girl)," and Lara Fabian's "Givin' Up on You" was drawn from the debut album that had previously spawned the dance hit "I Will Love Again." And not every participant was brand new, Shawn Colvin and the Jayhawks counting as veterans.
Even if it seems that the album contains one track from practically every new album Sony was promoting in the fall of 2000, there is some justification for the statement in the company's press release accompanying it that "the songs were chosen for their... relationship to the themes of the show." Over and over, the songs express youthful attitudes in all their earnestness and naiveté. Love is eternal: "I'm ready to spend the rest of my life with you," sing evan and jaron; the Jayhawks add, "We're gonna stay together for a million years"; and Nine Days reassure, "I will never leave you." Five for Fighting, meanwhile, depicts teen angst in "Superman," plaintively whining, "It's not easy to be me." Even Wheatus, with a good deal less sincerity, sets "Teenage Dirtbag" at the prom, and Mary Beth Maziarz's cover of the Monkees' "Daydream Believer" refers to "a homecoming queen."
The music for these songs tends toward catchy, guitar-dominated pop/rock, though the compilers, true to the TV show's early theme, "I Don't Want to Wait," have included several piano ballads with female vocals, no doubt hoping that "Givin' Up on You," "Daydream Believer," or Colvin's "Never Saw Blue Like That" can replace it in listeners' hearts. And maybe one of them will, but if not, there are other commercial possibilities here and plenty of music that's right for the Dawson's Creek demographic. (One of a dwindling number of releases with CD-ROM multimedia content, the CD features a screensaver and an uplink to the Dawson's Creek website.)