Review Summary: Get it if you see it at a thrift store or whatever, but don't go out of your way.
**NOTE: I've never done a review for a various artists album, and wasn't quite sure how to approach it. I tried my best not to make this too long, but didn't necessarily succeed, lol.
Haha. Bet you didn't expect this one to pop up on the side of your screen! Ah yes...The Cable Guy: a dark comedy about a regular Joe played by Matthew Broderick gets tortured and stalked by his cable guy who has some sort of weird lisp and apparently no friends, played by Jim Carrey. Great idea for a movie; I still watch it when it comes on E! from time to time. But whether you liked the movie or not, we're not here to talk about the movie; we're here to talk about the music on its accompanying soundtrack, some of it used in the movie, some of it not. So...where do we begin?
First off, this is a "white boy" record, but that's to be expected since this is a Jim Carrey movie, not Soul Food or Friday, or what have you. These are mostly 90s modern/alt rock songs with one rap song (Cypress Hill) and a couple other tracks that fit into other categories. Also of note is almost all these songs seem to have been previously unreleased. Well, we have some very interesting stuff to look at, so let's get to it...
The album starts off with a half-minute track featuring dialogue from the movie. Sometimes non-music tracks can be annoying, but this one is just the right length and really gets the listener in the mood. It sounds petty, but I can't help but commend the producer for not screwing up such a piece.
The second track and first song on the album is "Leave Me Alone", which is a milestone marking the solo debut of Alice in Chains songwriter/guitarist Jerry Cantrell. The song is basically what you'd expect from the grunge mastermind. It's a decent song, no surprises; sounds like AIC without Layne Staley, which is basically what it is. Very sludgey and grungey and dark. No surprises.
The third track may be the star of the show. It is the first release of the #1 modern rock hit (*clears throat*) ahem...get ready for this..."Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in MY Hand" by Primitive Radio Gods....whoo. It was contemporaneously released with the band's album, but not til a month later. Though many people do not remember this song, it was indeed a number one single and often gets played on my local rock station for 90s weekends they sometimes do. If you've never heard the song, do check it out. It is a weird, catchy, kinda prog-rock song like nothing you've ever heard!
Next up, we have the song "Blind" by Australian post-grungers Silverchair. The song features an interesting hook and lots of distorted, angry guitar; so that sounds good to me.
After that is "Oh Sweet Nuthin", a Velvet Underground cover by Ten Thousand Dollar Gold Chain, a side project of Mike McCready (Pearl Jam). Let me just say that I am MORE than not a fan of Velvet Underground. I'd just as soon listen to 4 minutes of nails being dragged across a chalk board than listen to a VU song. THAT SAID...this song, at least this version, is INCREDIBLE. Much like McCready's other side project Mad Season, we get to see his bluesy, soulful side here and it is fantastic! The song is very soothing and features some great backup singing via "Sweet Home Alabama" style. Great song.
Next we have a Hendrix knockoff in the form of "End of the World is Coming" by David Hilner. The song is generic blues-jam, but is quite catchy, though still cheesey.
Mid-way through the album, we have (for some reason) yet another V.U. cover in "Satellite of Love", performed by Perry Ferrell's OTHER band, Porno For Pyros. Again, I don't like V.U., I think they're very pretentious and obnoxious, BUT this is a great version of the song. Ferrell's voice is more soothing than ever and we see some relaxing, heavy jazz influence. I highly recommend this track.
Track #8 sees a half-hearted attempt by popular 90's act Cracker. Not terrible, not great. If you're a big Cracker fan, you'll want to add it to your collection.
The next song is PURE GOLD: Jim Carrey's version of "Somebody to Love" from the movie. Wow...This is both highly entertaining and amusing enough to put a grin on anyone's face. Gotta love the way he sort of stutters when he says "looooooove", haha. Perphaps the funniest thing about it is it actually SOUNDS GOOD.
Following that mind-blowing track, we ironically have one that'll put you right to sleep. "The Last Assassin" by Cypress Hill may not be the worst song I've ever heard, but its boring enough to drag down what up to this point had been a good album. This seems to be the musical version of Affirmative Action, as this track was only put on here for the sake of adding divserity to a mostly white, rock album.
The soundtrack's next offering is that of "This Is" by Ruby, who I really dont' know much about. It's a techno-ish pop song with jazz/blues style female vocals. It an interesting mix. The song's not nearly as good as it COULD have been, but there was potential here. Whether or not that potential materialized in their subsequent releases, I don't know.
As we near the end of the album, our next subject is a song that was already an established hit before the production of this album; yet another song with a long title, it's "Hey Man, Nice Shot" by industrial alt-rockers Filter. It's an intense, innovative song. Most of us have heard it, though the band may be slightly more known for "Picture", its 1999 single. An interesting pick for a movie that often at times does get very intense. This track should be a welcome addition by rock fans.
Staying with its pattern of mid-90's post-grunge music, we next have The Toadies with their song "Unattractive". Well, regardless of its title, I think this song is *very* attractive. Its sudden change of tempo and loudness for the chorus and post-chorus, along with intense screams, make for an interesting listen. This band is known almost exclusively for their 1995 song "Possom Kingdom", but regardless what the mainstream may think of them, this song offers solid proof that they're more than just a one-trick pony. As always, they showcase REAL vocals and some very competent guitar playing.
Closing in on the end of the album, we have "Download" by Expanding Man, a band that's not really known for anything. This song sounds like something Shinedown would do, though a bit faster. The intro is what provides the hook for this song; it's a bit generic sounding, but I won't say that you WON'T enjoy this song, it's pretty good.
Finally, we have the last track. It doesn't really have a proper title. Yes, on the CD case it's identified as "This Concludes Our Broadcast Day", but that's just taken from a short line of dialogue taken from the movie that plays right before the song starts. There's no proper title, but it is an orchestra composition by film score vet John Ottman. It is incredibly inspired, very beautiful, and just a plain damn good listen.
I'm not saying you should do everything you can to get this album right away, especially since it's not even on Amazon or iTunes, BUT...If you see it at the pawn shop or a thrift store or wherever, do get it. It's worth the $2 or $3 you'll have to pay.