Soundtrack Review: WHIP IT

Allison Loring

by: Allison Loring
October 6th, 2009


Rating: 6/10

Too often, teenage rebellion is chalked up to kids wanting to “stick it to the man” or drive their parents crazy when the truth is, most teenagers are just trying to figure out who they are and where they fit in this crazy world. Unfortunately, when you’re a teenager, you’re most likely still living at home and constrained by parents and rules. This struggle to break out, be your own person, but not turn your back on those you love, is reflected in WHIP IT’s soundtrack that captures the tone of Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut.

Playing like a well-constructed and thoughtful mix tape, this collection gives you classics (“Sheena is a Punk Rocker” by the original kings of punk and rebellion, The Ramones) to new favorites (“Breeze” by Apollo Sunshine). I personally “got caught up in” the electric beats of .38 Special’s “Caught Up In You” and any track by Peaches (in this case, “Boys Want to Be Her”) makes me turn up the volume to 11 (wink, wink) and rock out. However, I also loved “Blue Turning Grey” by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, which was a simple and intoxicating break in the mainly rock collection with its lyric-less melodies.

One of my favorite scenes in the film has our main character, Bliss Cavendar (Ellen Page), wander into a room full of vinyl records and sit down to choose one to play. How ironic that the Little Joy song she chooses when she has her first “real” conversation with her love interest, Oliver (Landon Pigg) is titled “Unattainable,” as this turns out to be oh-so-true later on in the film and I love this little nod of foreshadowing. The idea that their relationship begins over a shared interest in music made my music-centric heart melt a tiny bit.

Oliver is the lead singer (naturally) of his brother’s band in the film, The Templetons. Even though The Templetons is a fictional band in the film, Landon and Co. (officially coined Landon Pigg, featuring Turbo Fruits) get a track on this album, “High Times." The tune has you singing along within the first few lines and reminds you that those boys in bands sure do know how to sing a catchy and dance-worthy tune, before they break your heart.

I loved that the film utilized its soundtrack and the songs did not simply play over poignant scenes, but also had the characters interact and be involved with the music. This can be seen as you watch Bliss and Oliver’s relationship beginning when she sees him performing for the first time. Or when Bliss and her best friend Pash (Alia Shawkat) are dancing in the car to the Ramones or singing around the diner to Dolly Parton’s “Jolene." These interactive moments help these songs to stand out and give them new meaning.

This soundtrack reminds me of the songs you would find after raiding your cooler older sister’s record collection. To that end, thank you to “big sister” Drew for bringing together a perfect mix of hard-hitting punk and less abrasive indie rock songs. Growing up can be like taking a bad hit on the roller derby track, but songs like these remind you that you can make it through, bruises and all.

This soundtrack is available through Rhino Records.

1. “Pot Kettle Black” – Tilly & The Wall
2. “Sheena is a Punk Rocker” – The Ramones
3. “What’s the Attitude” – Cut Chemist, featuring Hymnal
4. “Bang On” – The Breeders
5. “Dead Sound” – The Raveonettes
6. “Blue Turning Grey” – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
7. “Your Arms Around Me” – Jens Lekman
8. “Learnalilgivinanlovin” – Gotye
9. “Boys Want to be Her” – Peaches
10. “Jolene” – Dolly Parton
11. “Caught Up in You” - .38 Special
12. “Never My Love” – Har Mar Superstar, featuring Adam Green
13. “Black Gloves” – Goose
14. “Crown of Age” – The Ettes
15. “High Times” – Landon Pigg, featuring Turbo Fruits
16. “Unattainable” – Little Joy
17. “Lollipop” (Squeak E. Clean & Desert Eagles remix) – The Chordettes
18. “Doing it Right” – The Go! Team
19. “Breeze” – Apollo Sunshine

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  • Name

    Alison, I absolutely love your article! I kinda got chills when I read this cos I can truly attest to so much of what you described about being a teen and growing up and how music really can help reflect mood. Kudos to your writing, I really enjoyed reading this!

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  • allisonloring

    Thank you so much! :)

  • allisonloring

    Thank you so much! :)

  • Anonymous

    You like the soundtrack yet you rate it only 6 out of 10? Just a bit confused here. And as for myself, I just adore the soundtrack, it’s simple but amazing. 

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