This season on the WB show One Tree Hill, one of the focuses has been on the creation of a benefit show and a subsequent album for breast cancer. The CD, “Friends with Benefits,” is filled with a plethora of alternative rock artists whose songs create the soundtrack to the show.
“Friends with Benefits” includes big name artists like Fall Out Boy, Audioslave, Gavin DeGraw, Jimmy Eat World, Citizen Cope and One Tree Hill fan favorites Tyler Hilton and Haley James Scott.
Scott is the character on the show played by Bethany Joy Lenz. Like the CD, Scott’s singing ability and career were worked into the show.
Starting with a song by Feeder called “Feeling a Moment,” the album is an anthem of teenage and high school life. The second song is “The Mixed Tape” by Jacks Mannequin, and the song’s title explains it all.
The song sounds like high school; it is fast paced and upbeat, and the lyrics have a necessity that comes with high school relationships.
The songs are about learning, growing, and the trials and tribulations that all the characters on the show go through each week and that the average teenager goes through each day.
The Audioslave track “Be Yourself” grasps the theme of the album best. “Be yourself is all that you can do” is the chorus and it is repeated many times throughout the song.
Fall Out Boy, a band that already has appeared on the show twice this season and is a member of the benefit concert, has the songs “I’ve Got a Dark Ally” and a “Bad Idea that Says You Should Shut Your Mouth (Summer Song)” on the CD.
The lyrics of the song fit in with the theme of teenage life and reputations. It is perhaps the best song from the group that appeared on the show to represent One Tree Hill’s own plot.
A disappointment on the album is the Gavin DeGraw track “Jealous Guy.” It does not seem to fit with the rest of the tracks on the CD and the lyrics are mediocre. Most of them are “I’m just a jealous guy,” repeated over and over again. The track does not showcase DeGraw’s talents that he showed on his debut album either vocally, lyrically or instrumentally.
The Tyler Hilton cover of John Waite’s “Missing You,” though it will please any Hilton fan, would make a Waite fan change the station. It is not that the song is bad, but it does not hold up to the original. Hilton had a recurring long role on the second season of One Tree Hill as Chris Keller, another singer who convinces Scott to leave Tree Hill.
Scott’s song “Halo” is a pop song resembling the works of fellow singer Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway” album. It has the harder backbeat and the lyrics to match the mood of the song; “I wear a halo when you look at me/ But standing from here/ You wouldn’t say so if you were me.”
It is a promising start for Scott, whose character has had many other songs on the show in the past seasons.
The CD has the right mix of fast paced and slower songs. It keeps the listener jumping around long enough for the album to slow its pace without the listener being bored.
Although the CD is being sold in stores as the One Tree Hill Soundtrack Volume 2; on the inside it is purely the creation of Tree Hill, from Scott’s byline to talks of Peyton’s art work.
No matter how it is advertised, the “Friends with Benefits” CD will not disappoint, whether you are a fan of the show or not.