While making perfect sense on screen, the songs make insane bedfellows on record.
Chris Long 2007-12-14
The decision to reinvent St.Trinian's for a new generation is an odd one. After all, the original films were, at best, purile, and the less said about the last attempt to bring the image up to date, back in 1980, was nothing short of hideous. Quite how bad the original naughty schoolgirls' return to the silver screen is will soon become clear, but if the soundtrack is anything to go by, it may well be the worst idea since Carry On Columbus.
Film soundtracks are often very odd things, forcing songs together that, while making perfect sense on screen, make insane bedfellows on record. But even taking that into account, this collection is simply awful. Unsurprisingly, given the film's content, the theme tune was handed over to Girls Aloud, who manage to suck any life and fun out of "Theme To St. Trinian's" and are only saved from complete embarrassment by the inclusion of a cast-sung version delivered with all the horrible bells and whistles you'd expect from an end-of-year stage school pageant.
The ensemble fair little better on a cover of Shampoo's ''Trouble'', which sounds confused and utterly dull – an impressive feat to achieve when you consider the original's excitable two-fingered salute to parents everywhere. And the less you linger on Rupert Everett and Colin Firth's dire re-reading of ''Love Is In The Air'', which makes absolutely no sense outside of the film, the more chance you have of actually getting to the end of the album.
It's not only the cast who are at fault. Current hot tip Remi Nicole takes on The Undertones' ''Teenage Kick'' and renders it banal, Sophie Ellis-Bextor supplies ''If I Can’t Dance'', a track that would never make you want to, and there's space found for the dullest of Mark Ronson's Versions, the Lily Allen-fronted plod through Kaiser Chiefs' ''Oh My God''. In fact, the only saving grace is Lady Sovereign's rough-shod ride over The Ordinary Boys' ''Nine2Five'', with its brilliant references to Jordan's chest, Red Bull and drunkenly getting off with mingers.
Actually, it’s appropriate that little Lady Sov should stand out. Her whole approach is, after all, the one that's closest to the devil-may-care attitude of the original St. Trinian's. If only the film's producers had had the sense to hand the whole soundtrack over to her; it might just have made it worthwhile.