It is safe to say that never before, and never again, will the songs from the movie soundtrack Mr. & Mrs. Smith appear as part of the same album. But perhaps not so fast: Suppose you found yourself in a relationship with a jacked up schizophrenic manic depressive who spewed out mix tapes? Okay, perhaps then, and only then, would a compilation be produced containing such a strange combination of classic love/hate songs and odd covers.
Keeping in mind that at times a sense of humor is as important as a sense of style, Mr. & Mrs. Smith actually has a pretty strong opening run of songs. "Love Stinks" is exactly what you'd expect, followed by Poison's "Nothin' But a Good Time", which is a throwback verging on classic for a certain age group. "Tainted Love" keeps with the theme, and again, is a fun song. Alana D's version of "Baby, Baby" is so close that could be the original, so you can forgive it for not being. "Express Yourself (Moccean Worker Remix)" by Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band is new to me, and kind of funky and cool. Likewise, while more laid back "Mongo Bongo" by Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros has a cool and easily accessible sound. Unexpectedly, Magnet featuring Gemma Hayes does a really smooth cover of "Lay Lady Lay"- not too hard to smooth out a Dylan song I guess.
Okay, now we're seven songs in and suddenly things go terribly, terribly wrong. There's a cover of "I'll Melt with You" that is just dripping in deadly cheese, and the following song is another poor, cheesy, cover, this time of "Nobody Does It Better". Lots of people do it better. Not Pink Martini though, and their included "Let's Never Stop Falling in Love". A short, and confusing, reprieve in the downward tumult occurs with the film's cinematic score Assassin's Tango, composed by John Powell. Then on to more horrible mistakes with a Ska version of Guns and Roses' "Used to Love Her(But I Had To Kill Her)". Containing a guitar nod towards GNR's "Sweet Child of Mine", this cover reminded me that when Ska went away, no one went looking for it.
Let's keep it moving here: Have you been waiting for a punk/ 60's surf pop inspired version of "You Are My Sunshine?" Me neither. Then, presumably to stem the bleeding, someone's though to include the truly classic "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" by the Righteous Brothers. It's a great song, and belongs on any movie soundtrack titled Top Gun, recalling as it does the good old days before Tom Cruise went crazy crazy. The inclusion of an original artist is appreciated by this point though, and you get another one on track 15, with Air Supply's "Making Love out of Nothing At All". It would have been a decent enough time to end the album, but just as your guard is coming down the listener is hit with Atreyu's version of "You Give Love a Bad Name" which, incidentally, gives new metal/emo/screamo a bad name. I couldn't hear the soundtrack's final song "Love Will Keep Us Together" by Captain & Tennille, because my ears were bleeding from the previous horror, so you can make the call yourself on that one.
There are songs on this album that are worth owning, and others that will keep you vigilant at the skip button.