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"Californication: Music from the Showtime Series, Season 6" (CD)

 - "Californication: Music from the Showtime Series, Season 6" CD cover image

"Californication: Music from the Showtime Series, Season 6" track listing:

1. Steve Jones – "Suffragette City" (David Bowie cover)
2. Marilyn Manson – "Personal Jesus" (Depeche Mode cover)
3. The Blind Pets – "Fever"
4. Johnny Thunders – "You Can't Put Your Arms Round a Memory"
5. Lissie – "Nothing Else Matters" (Metallica cover)
6. Ryan Adams – "Wasted Years" (Iron Maiden cover)
7. Warren Zevon – "For My Next Trick, I'll Need a Volunteer"
8. Tim Minchin – "So Long" (As We Are Together)
9. Hi Ho Silver Oh ft. Leslie Stevens – "Time To Move On" (Tom Petty cover)
10. Joe Walsh – "Funk 50"
11. The Litter – "Action Woman"
12. Mark Lanegan- "Strange Religion"
13. The Soundtrack of Our Lives – "What's Your Story"
14. Beth Hart – "My California"

Reviewed by on March 8, 2013

"With “God Hates Us All” lit up behind a leather-jacketed-and-booted-up Hank Moody, metal fans can expect more than just a not-so-subtle Slayer reference from this season’s soundtrack."

Celebrating the character Hank Moody is the same as celebrating heavy metal, with only minor differences. One is an unapologetic fictional badass whose love of self-indulgence, being loud, and expressing himself through writing about his life leads him to sex, constant entertainment, and the winding road to fulfillment. The other is a genre of music full of unapologetic badasses just like Hank. Hank also named his most popular (and controversial) novel “God Hates Us All,” which was turned into a romantic comedy in a spin that only Hollywood could pull off.

Now in its sixth season, Californication isn’t too concerned with offending anyone anymore, as those who would have taken offense have long since stopped watching. With “God Hates Us All” lit up behind a leather-jacketed-and-booted-up Hank Moody, metal fans can expect more than just a not-so-subtle Slayer reference from this season’s soundtrack.

With a cut from 1989’s post-Sex Pistols “Fire and Gasoline,” Steve Jones kicks off the album with his David Bowie cover, “Suffragette City,” immediately dropping us into the feel of season 6 to get an idea of what his cameo appearance will be like. Marilyn Manson follows with a sexy industrialized metal cover of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus,” remaining faithful to the original but adding a bit of creepiness and sleaze to go along with his appearance in this season for good measure. With the cast of eccentric, vivacious, and often damaged characters surrounding Hank in the series, it’s not a stretch to imagine that each of these songs could be anybody’s theme song.

Iron Maiden’s “Wasted Years” gets a stripped-down folky re-working by rocker Ryan Adams, getting at the core of both the song and the plight of Hank Moody. Maiden fans may balk at the acoustic treatment given the song, but must realize that Adams has been performing it respectfully for years at his shows to warm crowds. Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” is also tackled by Lissie, whose dialed-back approach isn’t going to impress fans of the original, although her jaded-and-downtrodden-bar-fly vocal style adds a bit of oomph to the lyrics. You can almost see Hank’s daughter Becca playing this, as she has done with so many other songs throughout the last few seasons.

Contributions from Warren Zevon, Johnny Thunders, The Litter, Mark Lanegan, and Tim Minchin as Californication’s new batshit crazy rocker character 'Atticus Fetch' make for a rock n’ roll album through and through. Lackluster songs like the heavily pitch-corrected “My California” by Beth Hart, the strange drum machine-fueled “Funk 50” by Joe Walsh, and Hi Ho Silver Oh’s twee re-working of the Tom Petty classic “Time to Move On” are not too damaging, but could have been left off. Not every episode of a television series can be a hit, and so too its accompanying soundtrack. However, it’s Hank Moody through and through, except that it’s not going to try and sleep with you.

Highs: Marilyn Manson’s “Personal Jesus” and Ryan Adams’s “Wasted Years”

Lows: Inconsistent in style, although consistent in fitting the characters of the series.

Bottom line: A true character study set to music, befitting of a season of sex, rock n’ roll, and a candid novelist.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)