February 2, 2006

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Various artists, Smallville, Metropolis Mix

Hollywood Records, 2005

C-

Smallville has always been torn.

Between mainstream and geek-hip. Between the sexy, evil Lex and the imbecilic, annoying Lana. Between its Remy Zero theme song and, for example, the entertaining little “Superman” track on this album from the Stereophonics.

There’s plenty of this tug-of-war for the soul of this entertainingly cheeseball WB show evident on this album. There’s the painful cover of “Hungry Heart” from Minnie Driver. There’s the dancy fun of The Dandy Warhols and their “All the Money or the Simple Life Honey.” There’s the make-it-stop of Josh Kelley’s “Almost Honest” and the smooth and listenable “Precious” from Depeche Mode. And in the middle, there’s a bunch of modest, angsty-in-a-mainstream-way (Breaking Benjamin’s “Forget It”) or rocking-in-a-mainstream-way (Rascal Flatts’ “Feels Like Today”) tunes that you won’t mind listening to but won’t remember either.

— Amy Diaz