[Various artists]

What is The O.C.? Looking at this soundtrack it becomes clear that it is another show that comes along and ruins all of your favourite songs. For those people who don’t watch Channel 10’s promo ads -“ no-one seems to be watching the actual program -“ The O.C. is this year’s Dawson’s 90210, with a Party Of Five-reminiscent orphan boy left alone in a strange land and lots of pretty rich kids. Pretty AND rich, that is. Oh well, at least it doesn’t have Tori Spelling. Anyways, the music from The O.C. is a lot better than the show. It’s pretty damn cool, in fact, a mix of indie hits from now and five minutes ago. If you’ve never heard of Jet, you probably won’t like it. And if you’ve never heard of the Dandy Warhols, you definitely won’t like it. The only criticism is the inclusion of Phantom Planet’s California, the song that had already been well-played before it became the theme of The O.C. Since then, it’s been played to its bitter, stinking death. But they couldn’t really leave it off, one guesses. Good news for fans (of this kind of music, that is) is there’s going to be one every few months, apparently. Unfortunately there’s no good news for fans of the show -“ whoever they are. Those geeks (like me) who like finding things on CDs on their computers will be completely turned on as well by this disc’s extras -“ film clips, a web link to an O.C. music geek site and much, much more.

[Royal Gigolos]

Speaking of sunny songs about California, how’s this for a crap remake of a classic? Now, this column has been critical of German pop music in the past, and there’s no reason to stray from that tradition just yet. Three words, a colleague I subjected it to said: Mama Cass. Spinning. The Mamas and the Papas captured something sad and lovely in their story of homesickness released in 1966. The Royal Gigolos’ remix sounds like something on the turntable in a Munich nightclub full of Contiki bus tourists. The single release comes with four versions and a video, and will probably be the most popular track at this year’s Sleaze.

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