Various Artists: Season 4 Music from the Showtime Series Californication

Various Artists: Season 4 Music from the Showtime Series Californication
On Californication, David Duchovny plays Hank Moody, a charming novelist plagued by personal demons including hedonism, drug and alcohol abuse, and, of course, writer’s block. In the show’s previous three seasons, it has managed to use tracks from groups like Rob Zombie, G.G. Allin, The Heavy, and Nick Cave to back up the show’s gritty tone. Out in front of season 4, Showtime releases the soundtrack showing that Duchovny apparently shows no signs of finding God and repenting in his ways in the upcoming season.
The soundtrack kicks off with Shooter Jennings‘s tune “Fuck You (I’m Famous).” The track is the perfect middle finger in the face of anyone who thought this album would be easy going. The rest of the soundtrack does not let up.The gritty songs continue with the soundtrack producers pulling Warren Zevon‘s 1970 track “Wanted Dead or Alive” and My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult‘s 1992 single “Sex on Wheelz.”
The real draw of the soundtrack are the cover selections included on the soundtrack. The soundtrack is over half covers with seven of the 13 songs being songs performed by those who did not write them. Better Than Ezra deliver a surprisingly great performance of Love and Rockets‘s “So Alive.” Lead singer Kevin Griffin gives the vocals a Marc Bolan of T. Rex feel which he pulls off miraculously. Eagles of Death Metal perform a cover of Stealers Wheel‘s “Stuck in the Middle” which seems particularly poignant now with the recent death of Gerry Rafferty.
The unfortunate part of the soundtrack is that only four of the songs on the soundtrack are exclusive to the soundtrack. Three of the four exclusive songs are covers by Queens of Dogtown. Who are Queens of Dogtown? Even the internet does not know. I went to the soundtrack’s official webpage where there are bios for all the bands except for Queens of Dogtown who just have a picture of the group performing. The band stumbles through an unadvised cover of Alice in Chains‘ “Would?” which no one asked for nor wanted. The poor covers continue with an feigned emotional take on Skid Row‘s “I Remember You.” The only cover which the band does remotely well is their take on Misfits‘ “Last Caress.” The cover might work particularly well because it is the shortest of the bunch so it doesn’t have time to build up bad feelings against it.
With the exception of Queens of Dogtown’s poor covers, the album is actually pretty good. It really encompasses the tone of the show fluxing between drugged out anthems, dirty rock songs, and some slightly more emotional content. Definitely something fans of the show might want to check out.
Rating: 6.9/10
MP3: Eagles of Death Metal “Stuck in the Metal”
Buy: iTunes