When reality sets in
Westley | Stuck in my head | 10/22/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The soundtrack to "Reality Bites" was a solid hit in 1993, selling more than 2 million copies and yielding several singles. Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories, of course, scored the biggest hit with "Stay" (#1 for 3 weeks in 1994). Probably everyone knows this song, best remembered for its catchy chorus ("Cause I missed you/ I missed you") and video in which Lisa frolics with a cat. The song is inarguably great pop, but like much of the set, it feels so incredibly middle-of-the-road today. The other major hit was "Baby I Love Your Way" by Mountain (#6 in 1994) - a semi-reggae remake of the Peter Frampton classic. The listeners' tolerance for this song will likely be determined by how much they enjoy semi-reggae remakes of rock songs.
Listening to the CD now, it's somewhat hard to believe that it was ever considered fairly cutting-edge modern/alt rock. "Spin the Bottle" by the Juliana Hatfield 3 (#97 in 1994) and the Lenny Kravitz pseudo-rocker "Spinning Around Over You" are good examples of music from that era that now sound timid and self-important. Worst of all is "I'm Nuthin'" by Ethan Hawke, in which he sings that he has "a pothead mamma/ got a cokehead dad." He brings to this song all the credibility that anyone who got his start in "Dead Poets Society" can possibly muster.
Fortunately, some of the music has aged somewhat better, particularly a few songs that weren't hits at the time: "Bed of Roses" by the Indians, "When You Come Back to Me" by World Party, and "Locked Out" by Crowded House. In addition, "Tempted" by Squeeze is such as classic that it buoys the entire CD. The soundtrack also had the (somewhat dubious) distinction of making the Knack's "My Sharona" a hit again (#91 in 1994). Of course, no soundtrack of this period would be complete without the requisite U2 song; unfortunately this CD has "All I Want is You" - a self-important arena rock-style song that ends with an extended orchestra break (it was a minor hit in 1989, peaking at #83). Overall, this soundtrack is a decent collection of early 90s college rock. If you listened to this type music at the time, you'll probably enjoy it. Otherwise, subtract a star.
Not having this "bites".
H3@+h | VT | 09/24/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Some people don't like the fact that this is so 1994. That's exactly why I like it. Of course with every movie soundtrack, it helps if you liked the movie too, which I did, I mean come on, Winona! But anyway. I can actually say that in some way i like every song here. You got the more well known bands like "The Knack", "U2", and "Lenny Kravitz", all with good songs. But I like the stuff from "Dinosaur Jr.", "Crowded House", and "Juliana Hatfield" just as much. Now that I think about it, I believe "Stay" was the big song off this. Even the "Ethan Hawke" song is decent. Basically this is just a great thing to put on whenever you're in your grunge/slacker mood."