Since it's been popping up everywhere for some reason, we've decided to do a track-by-track review of the truly delightful Josie and the Pussycats soundtrack.
That movie is a masterpiece of early 2000's cinema. It was so absurd, it actually stopped being absurd and ended up being awesome. And it has a killer soundtrack.
3 Small Words
S: Long before I started listening to Something Corporate and declared myself a "Punk Rock Princess", I had Josie telling me that I could be a "punk rock prom queen". These were powerful words to hear as an eleven year old girl (side note: THIS MOVIE HAS BEEN OUT FOR 14 YEARS, WHY ARE WE SO OLD?!), and I constantly find myself singing them. This song, which is the first we hear from Josie and the girls in the movie, is soooo pop-punk and was probably instrumental in turning me into a pop-punk fan, which I never realized until just now. The girls are so badass and rockstar-y, and it has such a catchy beat.
J: I listened to both those songs yesterday and I JUST MADE THE COMPARISON. WE SHARE A BRAIN SAM! This song is the best, it's got a total Blink-182 feel (kinda like "First Date"), it's totally kickass and it always gets me up and dancing. What a way to introduce our girls.
Pretend to Be Nice
S: As much as I love "3 Small Words", I'd have to say "Pretend to Be Nice" is my favourite Josie song. The way it sorta slows down in the pre-chorus bridge, the actual chorus...everything about it is infectious and makes me want to dance. It's totally jerkin', is what I'm trying to say.
J: I love this song, but I don't think it's my favourite. It's still amazing and it makes me want to air-guitar so hard. SO HARD.
S: It's funny listening to this song off the soundtrack because I always expect Alan M. to interrupt halfway through: "Even though you don't feel the same way about me as I do about you...I love you!" Of course, that just means I have to yell that part myself. The girls play this song at their big stadium show, and it does have an anthemic quality to it, which makes it easy to imagine an actual (i.e. real) band playing this toward the end of their set.
J: They could have easily done "3 Small Words" as their stadium track but I'm so glad they used "Spin Around." The way it starts, all soft and slow, and you think you're moving into a ballad but then BAM you're into a total badass anthem that is totally jerkin' and rockin' and every possible awesome adjective you can think of.
You Don't See Me
S: This is a lovely ballad, even if it is full of subliminal messages. Despite being slower, it has the same "vibe" as the rest of the songs, so the shift in sound isn't completely jarring (like the way "Therapy" works with the rest of All Time Low's catalogue).
J: I have done much shower ballading to this song. I probably sing it too much, but that's neither here nor there. It's the only ballad on the album or in the movie and it's a beautiful shift from the pop-punk-rocky kind of stuff that we'd been hearing throughout the rest of the movie. This song is super beautiful (and we're going to ignore the fact that it's this song that brainwashes Josie).
You're A Star
S: We move from the ballad-y "You Don't See Me" into the once more pop-punky "You're a Star", chock full of catchy "na na na's" and "yeaaaahs" which are always fun. Plus, I love a good makeover scene in a movie, and it's even better if it's accompanied by a fun song.
J: This is the perfect montage/closing credit song. I love the use of it during the makeover scene (though seriously, how different did they look by the end of it? All three started off gorgeous and ended gorgeous.), especially the 'na na na' part in the hair salon chairs. Josie gives such an epic 'fuck yeah' look to the camera that is inspired.
S: I completely forgot about this song! Like "3 Small Words", it's close to stuff I actually listen to - all pop-punk, all the time. It wasn't my favourite song to begin with, mostly because I didn't remember it, but I can see myself jamming to this a lot more now that I've rediscovered it.
J: I love this song. I don't really know what it is about it, but I find it super entertaining. The opening riff is killer and any chorus that ends with the words 'whatever, dude' is awesome in my books.
I Wish You Well
S: I love how aggressively this song starts before the vocals kick in. It has a pretty sick bass line, which is something I enjoy, and I can imagine Valerie rocking out while playing this (I can't remember if/when we hear it in the movie).
J: It does start off super strong (and now I'm racking my brain as to when this song appears in the movie) and again, this song is just pure fun and light.
Real Wild Child
S: I'm sort of meh about this (which I just learned was a cover, thanks to Jane, so fail on my part). It's fun and boppy but it doesn't really add anything to the soundtrack. It's really more "filler" than anything else.
J: The first of two covers. I really don't care for this song that much (though it works in context in the movie). I really have very little to say about it.
S: For some reason, this song made me think of the epic movie that is 10 Things I Hate About You, so after googling it, I realized that the woman who sings as "Josie" is Kay Hanley from Letters to Cleo aka the band that plays the prom in 10 Things I Hate About You!! I don't think I knew that before because I was pretty surprised, but delighted.
Anyway, it's a good song and has a bit of a No Doubt vibe (I'm thinking "Just a Girl" in particular), but overall, it isn't my favourite.
J: I remember when I learned it was Kay Hanley who was the voice of Josie and the movie suddenly was that more amazing. I adore this chorus because I do totally 'scream and shout' as instructed. God this album is so solid.
Money (That's What I Want)
S: Another cover; again, I'm very meh about it. It's a great scene in the movie, but it doesn't really do much for me.
J: The second of two covers. I don't like this either (though, again, it works in context in the movie). That's it. Let's move on.
Dujour Around the World
S: I'm not normally a big fan of "boy bands", but I'd listen to Dujour. They're your average boy band, and dang, they're catchy. Plus Dujour means friendship, so this is the type of song that you want to listen to, surrounded by your closest friends as you belt out the words. Let's all have a moment of silence for the late, great Dujour.
Side note: how has Donald Faison not aged?! He looks the exact same now as he did in Clueless.
J: This song is so unbelievably perfectly boyband, it's incredible. The writers nailed the over the top, outrageous popular tune that I was all about when I was growing up. This is pure brilliance, honestly.
S: Best intro to a movie ever. Everything about this song is so over-the-top and ridiculous, but soooooooo boy-band-y. Whoever wrote this deserves all the awards, because this is exactly what you hear on the radio: it sounds innocent until you actually think about the lyrics. Bonus: the video, which shows the guys hanging out on their private plane. It's perfect.
J: THIS. SONG. IS. BONKERS. It's kind of insane that we basically get a Dujour short before the real movie begins and this song is just the icing on the cake. The crooning, the blatant innuendos, the ridiculous voices, it's all just so perfect.
Josie and the Pussycats Theme
S: Super cute cover of the cartoon theme song. Not really much to say about it, though I imagine they had to write more lyrics to turn it into a full song? Either way, it's adorable.
J: Josie and the Pussycats! Long tails, and ears for hats! That line always makes me laugh. This song is fine and it was good to include it but that's about it.