Music To, Um, Eat Pie To ...

Featuring songs by Sugar Ray, Blink 182 and Third Eye Blind.

Given that "American Pie" is a rather raw sex comedy about high school

seniors trying to get laid, the film may be a bit too crude for some of

the teen-agers who comprise the bulk of its target audience. But there

should be no such reservations about its fresh, breezy pop-rock

soundtrack -- perfect to perk up those midsummer doldrums.

With a slew of songs about young love and the hormone-saturated search

for a bedmate, the album is a nice companion to the feature. Even

better, it offers a selection of new material by current radio faves and

rising bands -- particularly Third Eye Blind, Sugar Ray and Blink 182.

Toss in amiable gal-singer Bic Runga's poignant, romantic 1997 hit,

"Sway," and you've got a solid hour or so of aural junk food for

beachfront escapades, hot August nights (apologies to Neil Diamond) and

basement make-out sessions.

Although the album opens with the flash of Third Eye Blind's jaunty,

perfunctory "New Girl," the second track -- Tonic's "You Wanted More"

(RealAudio excerpt) --

is the unquestionable knockout number on the collection. Tonic create a

wistful mood with a pretty, bittersweet refrain after getting your

attention with a percolating hook on the verse. It sets the tone for the

rest of the soundtrack.

Even the punky, whiny pop of "Mutt" by Blink 182 has an engaging

neediness that evokes the angst and desire of kids looking for a little

action. Sugar Ray try the aggressive guitar-rock tack on "Glory"; the

Loose Nuts go for goofy, hyper ska-punk on "Wishin"; and Goldfinger lean

on their own rousing, helter-skelter ska-derived sound for "Vintage

Queen."

Other than Dishwalla's churning rock ballad "Find Your Way Back Home"

and the Atomic Fireballs' demonic, album-closing swing thing "Man With

The Hex," the rest of the selections are easy on the ears. Best among

them are "Super Down" (RealAudio excerpt)

by Super Transatlantic -- marked by lush harmonies

on the chorus and a showy guitar break -- and "Good Morning Baby"

(RealAudio excerpt)

-- a dreamy duet sung and co-authored by Ms. Runga and Semisonic's Dan

Wilson.

The latter track seems to capture the bloom of summer love better than

anything else on the album. But if you're looking for the essence of

disposable warm-weather radio fodder, there are a pair of cuts by

relative unknowns that will fill the bill.

"Summertime" by Bachelor Number One mixes spry, jukey acoustic guitar

work, swelling organ and a lilting lead vocal seemingly cribbed from

Neil Finn of Crowded House. And Shades Apart's "Stranger By the Day"

sounds like its melody was nicked from generic French pop with trite

lyrics that might have been clumsily translated from another language.

That's OK. This is the kind of album that marks a special moment in

time: vacation fun, youthful romance under the stars, the transition

from kid to grown-up. It may end up in a pile of forgotten CDs by the

fall, but it'll evoke wonderful memories when it's unearthed and played

years down the line.


VMAs 2018