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My Dream Date (7/13/2001) Write to CD Shakedown
ShrekSoundtrack to Shrek (Dreamworks 2001) - Shrek is the animated hit of the summer, a fractured fairy tale complete with blind mice, a big bad wolf, and three homeless pigs. The film stars the voices of Mike Myers as the lovable ogre, Cameron Diaz as the princess-with-a-past, and Eddie Murphy as Shrek's talkative donkey sidekick.

Though not a musical, the songs are integral to the film. And the music captures the tone of the film: trendy, irreverent, and fun.

ShrekThe soundtrack opens with "Stay" by Self, and includes two tracks by hit-makers Smash Mouth: their massive, "All Star," and a hepped-up cover of The Monkees, "I'm a Believer."

Also included is "Like Wow!" by 14-year-old Leslie Carter (sister to Backstreet Boy Nick Carter and boy sensation Aaron Carter), and Jason Wade (of Lighthouse) on "You Belong to Me" (a prior hit for such artists as Gene Vincent, Dean Martin, and Santo & Johnny).

On the more subdued side, you'll find modern rocker Eels with "My Beloved Monster" (from 1996's Beautiful Freak), The Proclaimers with "I'm On My Way" (from their 1988 gold album, Sunshine On Leith), and Rufus Wainwright (son of performers Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle) with a glorious cover of Leonard Cohen's, "Hallelujah" (produced by Patrick Leonard).

ShrekThe album also includes "True Love's First Kiss," a melody of excerpts from the score produced by Englishman Harry Gregson-Williams and John Powell [who previously teamed for the animated features Antz (1988) and Chicken Run (2000)].

Shrek is a positive summer soundtrack, with bouncy hits for the younger crowd.

Vitamin CVitaim C, More (Elektra 2000) - Vitamin C (aka Colleen Fitzpatrick) dials in her sophomore effort, More. With a contemporary pop sound, Vitamin C continues the winning ways reflected on her hit single, "Smile."

Colleen's success with her debut release helped launch her onto magazine covers, radio, and movies (Colleen has screen roles in both Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000 and the Ben Foster/Kirstin Dunst flick, Getting Over Allison). Says Vitamin C, "It's all been an incredible experience. I feel good that I've been able to accomplish a lot of things that I originally set out to do."

Colleen FitzpatrickWith More, Colleen continues her blend of innocence and come-hither sensuality. With tracks like "Sex Has Come Between Us" and "I Know What Boys Like" (the old Waitresses' song), Colleen shows her bad-girl side.

Colleen shows her good-girl side on the ballad, "As Long As You're Loving Me," and the album's best track, "She Talks About Love" (with synthesized vocals).

Colleen has a terrific production staff, and makes music in the vein of the early Madonna. Catch this rising star.

ManateesThe Manatees, Snackin' With (Orange Recordings 2001) - Here's one I didn't see coming. Hailing from Seattle, The Manatees have a psychedelic beach sound, complete with theremin and wave-breaking surf guitar. Eighteen tracks of guitar-oriented instrumental rock, carrying on the proud tradition of The Ventures, Link Wray, and Dick Dale. How can you go wrong?

Our heroes arose from the ashes of Seattle's own, The Dehumanizers. The foursome consists of Phil Manatee on guitars, theremin, and lap steel, Ed Manatee on drums and percussion, Mark Manatee on guitars, and Dan Manatee on bass.

ManateesYou can tell these guys are heading places when you learn that Phil Manatee played bass for the "Vampire Lezbos." Another amazing fact: The Manatees played at Mark Manatee's children's elementary school in 1999; Mark performed as a bunny, Ed was a wizard, Dan dressed as a devil, and Phil played the clown.

But enough about their storied pedigree. The jam comes with the music, from the surf sound of "The Model" through the bouncy surf sound of "El Manatee" through the surf-pounding, "Instant Curry."

ManateesYes, my friends, there you have it: surf guitar rock, in all its glory. Hang ten with Snackin' With.

And in true DIY style, The Manatees boast that "the recording of this album took place in a dark and musty garage affectionately known as 'the Collaboratory,' over three days with no one song performed more than three times. What you hear is the real Manatees."

Geggy TahGeggy Tah, Into The Oh (Virgin/Luaka Bop 2001) - Geggy Tah is a four-piece combo from New York City that plays experimental rock. With a sound that is by turns melodic, experimental, and elegant, Into The Oh goes into modern territory.

Geggy Tah consists of Tommy Jordan on vocals, guitars, and various found sounds, Greg Kurstin on Wurlitzer, mini-moog, and other keyboards, James Gadson on drums, and Pamela Stickney on electric bass, theremin, and hammered dulcimer. Also appearing are Annie Church and Carson Church on "Alien Vocals" and John Pfiffner on lap steel and Larry Millstein on Moroccan tablas (both appear on the concluding "Love Is In Love").

Tommy JordanOn tracks like "I Forgot," with its "Pakistani Pocket Trumpet," the band shows hints of Cake. And "Holly Oak" is a smooth, soulful number that brings to mind Lenny Kravitz.

Into The Oh is experimental rock, the eclectic sound that Soul Coughing and G. Love work with. Says Tommy Jordan, "We started out to make a party record and ended up making our most personal record yet." Also making a guest appearance is Laurie Anderson, who delivers "A Postcard From a Strange Cloud" on "Aliens Somewhere."

Into The Oh is a moving target, one with many complexities. But when the band settles into a groove on tracks like "Holly Oak," you know there's a hit waiting to happen.

- Randy Krbechek © 2001

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