Original Soundtrack

Swimf@n

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Review

Some soundtracks are strictly souvenirs of a movie; their value goes down considerably if you didn't like the movie. Other soundtracks, however, can stand on their own; they're enjoyable whether or not one has seen the movie. This CD is that type of soundtrack. Regardless of whether or not one has seen the film Swimfn -- a 2002 suspense thriller starring Jesse Bradford, Shiri Appelby, and Erika Christensen -- this is an enjoyable alternative rock compilation. Of course, alternative rock is a far-reaching, somewhat nebulous term that can mean a wide variety of things; in the '90s, the term was used to describe everyone from Soundgarden to No Doubt to Oasis to Alanis Morissette. And on the Swimfn soundtrack, alternative rock usually means bands that have the sort of post-grunge outlook one associates with Creed or Live. However, a few of the songs fall into the alternative metal category -- most notably, Sevendust's "Black" (one of the brutally heavy gems that graced the Atlanta band's 1997 debut) and Allergic's "Down in Me." Most of the artists, however, aren't as forceful or as heavy as Sevendust or Allergic. In fact, many of the songs are pop-friendly and downright tuneful, including an acoustic version of Default's "Deny," Wayne's "Slow Down," and Pacifier's "Everything." The latter is quite a departure from Pacifier's '80s and '90s output. Pacifier, you see, is actually the New Zealand metal band Shihad, which started out playing speed/thrash metal in the mid-'80s before becoming a more industrial-minded band in the '90s. And on "Everything," the former Shihad is much closer to Creed or Third Eye Blind than Ministry or Godflesh. Generally decent and occasionally excellent, this CD is among the more noteworthy film soundtracks that surfaced during the summer of 2002. ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi

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