Unsolicited “Californication” Soundtrack Review

californicationVarious Artists
Season 3: Music From The Showtime Series Californication
Lakeshore Records
2009

So, they’re putting out soundtracks for individual seasons of TV shows now? Is this how the record industry is going to save itself? Is the music from “Californication” really that popular? Are David Duchovny fans clamoring for that much physical product dedicated to/extended from their hero?

I’m sorry, give me a second here. I think I’m developing a migraine.

Just in case you forgot “Californication” is the show where real life sex addict Duchovny mindlessly rubs his grubby naked body and stubbly visage against an endless array of nubile young starlets, this collection opens with Rob Zombie’s suggestive cunnilingual anthem “Pussy Liquor.” If that slinky, sleazy bass line doesn’t uncomfortably enhance the lusty, Manson-esque stare Fox Mulder is giving you in every promotional ad for this program, you’ve probably lost all your hormones. Seek medical attention immediately.

There are actually a few great entries on the awkwardly titled Season 3: Music From The Showtime Series Californication. Pop chanteuse Danielle Duval grinds the silly Grease classic “You’re The One That I Want” down to a sexy crawl, making the protagonist sound truly afflicted by love/desire. Deceased hate rocker GG Allin makes the most surprising posthumous cameo of his career with the Criminal Quartet on the accordion-driven sing-a-long “Carmelita.” The rock remix of Spider Problem’s “Cha Cha (Be My New BF)” will most likely induce head bobbing and, in serious cases, Stevie Nicks-style swaying. And hey, how about that kiddie piano cover of “I Want You To Want Me” by Damhnait Doyle? That song is good no matter how stupidly you play it!

Tempering the good here is a solid slice of pointless crap, such as Widespread Panic’s useless rendition of “Werewolves Of London,” the two-short-to-be-effective Monks track “Boys Are Boys And Girls Are Choice,” and a variety of unnecessarily serious “introspective” pieces by the likes of John Neal and Blind Pilot. We get it—“Californication” is strictly for adults, adults who can identify with a smarmy unshaven West Coast writer who seduces girls nearly half his age with nothing more than a deadpan mumble and a résumé that boasts Zoolander and Red Shoe Diaries. The soft acoustic arpeggios that keep popping up on this CD are a firm (albeit soothing) reminder of that.

But I kid Duchovny. I’m glad he’s found a successful post-“X Files” vehicle. However, I must wonder aloud how much more successful “Californication” would be had they dropped Gillian Anderson into the role of Hank Moody. Surely we’d have a new “Sopranos” on our hands if each week it were the supple and red-headed Anderson bedding women barely out of their teens while cracking wise about literature with a Lucky Strike dangling from her lips. World class entertainment like that seems like a no-brainer; alas, perhaps Gillian was unavailable to shoot the pilot.

There are, in fact, soundtracks covering music from the first two seasons of “Californication” floating around out there. If alt-adult contemporary is your bag, hunt those suckers down and let your ears feel the complete sexual energy of premium cable’s favorite actor with a terminal head cold.

FINAL SCORE: Two and a half Duchovny five o’clock shadows (out of four).

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