A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the TV show is too mature for tweens, but you can let your older kids listen to the soundtrack without worrying about the messages they're receiving.
What's the story?
Fox Television's The O.C. (for \"Orange County\") has become known as a showcase for some of the most innovative new music around today. MIX 2 features music from the second half of the first season and the beginning of the second season of this wildly popular teen drama. Instead of looking to mainstream processed pop for inspiration, the producers of The O.C. use songs by emerging indie-rock artists to populate their soundtracks and help move their plots along.
Is it any good?
The idea is simple and brilliant; the show's young audience is exposed to wonderful new acts they might never hear otherwise, and the mix CDs are a musical breath of fresh air. This one boasts three exclusive tracks: Jem's drop-dead gorgeous cover of Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed" and Nada Surf's cover of OMD's "If You Leave" were both recorded for this series; there's also a live version of the Walkman's "Little House of Savages." An Interpol song, "Specialist," is only otherwise available on an expensive import. Other notable contributors include The Killers, Death Cab for Cutie, Super Furry Animals, and the Eels, whose guitar-fueled "Saturday Morning" kicks off the whole event.
Despite cutesy death references in some of the band names, most of the song lyrics are young-TV-audience safe and not disturbing, living proof that it is possible to write interesting songs without using words you're not allowed to say at Grandma's house. Liner notes fold out into a cute little poster. It's all good.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the emerging and lesser-known musicians on the album. Point out to your kids that there is musical life beyond the Top 40, and enjoy this compilation. Then find everyone's favorite cuts and go get the latest releases from each of this CD's featured artists.