Original Soundtrack: Josie And The Pussycats (2001)

Nope, I am not messing with you.  Great album!  Well, ok, at least pretty good, certainly a whole lotta harmless fun.

Incidentally, the movie itself is hugely underrated, sly and cynical with a highly entertaining anti-commercialism dig (hey, it's got Parker Posey and Alan Cumming, how can it not be good?).  But you don't need to be on board with the movie to dig the soundtrack, a (mostly) original slew of tracks in a strictly mid-90s alternative rock punk-pop mode.  The vocals are handled by Kay Hanley of Letters to Cleo, best known for their alt.rock hit "Here And Now," and for the most part this sounds like it could be a Letters to Cleo album.  But the songs are written and performed by a number of additional artists from the era, including Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne (who'd later go on to write a lot of songs for the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend series), Adam Duritz of Counting Crows (though this doesn't sound much like them at all), power pop gods Matthew Sweet and Jason Falkner, plus Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Go's and Anna Waronker of That Dog.  So, hey, you know it's gonna be catchy.

Lead-off track "3 Small Words" is the obvious killer single here, and when the first words of the song and album are the singer's claim of being a "punk rock prom queen," the mood and attitude are plainly set.  It's the sort of insanely catchy tongue-in-cheek bubblegum alternative rock hit that most acts of the 90s and early 00s would kill for.  "Pretend To Be Nice" is a great follow-up, more straightforward fizzy alt.pop candy but just a little askew in a That Dog way.  The rest of the album continues in a similar vein; only so much you can do with those same 4 chords played rapid-fire with chirpy-cute lyrics and just enough buzz, but it's never anything less than totally fun.

The soundtrack also includes a couple tunes from the faux boy band from the movie, "DuJour," including "Backdoor Lover," an unabashed ode to anal sex that makes Spinal Tap's "Big Bottom" sound subtle, only packed into a slick mock *NSYNC synth-pop confection; you can imagine throwing this onto a top 40 "Now That's What I Call Music"-styled mix-tape and sitting back to see who's paying attention.


Here's the fake video for "3 Small Words":
And, hey, the fake video for "Pretend To Be Nice":
Here's Kay Hanley of Letters to Cleo performing "Spin Around":


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