Kevin: It’s almost impossible to hear the Bee Gees’ “Staying Alive” without thinking about John Travolta cutting it up on the dance floor in “Saturday Night Fever.” When “What a Feeling” comes on the radio, you picture Jennifer Beals’ obvious body double wowing the judges with her breakdancing moves. “Highway to the Danger Zone” evokes instant memories of Tom Cruise giving the finger to whoever we were fighting against in “Top Gun.” And anytime “I Will Always Love You” is played you imagine Kevin Costner carrying Whitney Houston away from danger (but unfortunately not from Bobby Brown).
The best movie soundtracks not only make us feel the beat, they are also a nostalgic reminder of films we loved and the era they represent.
And on the complete opposite side of the spectrum, there is the music for the 2003 superhero flick “Daredevil,” today’s winner of “Worst Soundtrack”:
In case you have forgotten, “Daredevil” is a film in which Ben Affleck plays a blind costumed crime fighter who can leap and somersault off tall buildings and defy gravity just like a certain Marvel webslinger. It’s a film in which Jennifer Garner plays a Greek character whose name sounds like “Elektra Nachos.” It’s a film in which Affleck and Garner have a playful wire-fu fight on a jungle gym. It’s a film with a would-be powerful sequence in which Garner massacres a room full of innocent sand bags, with no regard for the housekeeper who will have to clean up that mess, set to the strains of Evanescence’s “Wake Me Up Inside”:
And on that ear-splitting note, in the same way that “Daredevil” the film contains every bad instinct in superhero movies during that time, its soundtrack also perfectly captures every horrible trend in music from the early 2000s. It’s as if the executives at Fox watched Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” and somehow concluded that its box office success was entirely due to the inclusion of Nickelback’s “Hero” over the end credits, and therefore that “Daredevil” would be an even greater success if Nickelback was played EVERY 10 MINUTES throughout the film.
While the resulting soundtrack is not that horrendous, it should still be placed under glass and broken out only in case of emergency to settle a debate about what was the worst period in music in American history. Think I am exaggerating? Well let’s go through the album song by song and see if by the end we’d at least like to be deaf if not blind:
1) “Won’t Back Down” by Fuel
As the opening track this is an apt choice to represent “Daredevil,” since like the movie itself it is loud, annoying, and obvious. The line “I’ve come to bring you down” is repeated multiple times, and yes indeed the character of Daredevil does bring multiple bad people down.
2) “For You” by The Calling
Due to its emo rock nature this video leans heavily on the Daredevil-Elektra romance. Once again its lyrics are at least consistent with the movie’s themes, containing phrases such as “Although I was blinded” and “I can be the man who saves the day.”
3) “Bleed for Me” by Saliva
Not a big connection between the lyrics and movie on this one, and no official video either, although based on the photo of the band in the above clip it appears that Guy Fieri was a young member of Saliva before conquering the food world. Apparently the band reformed a few years ago with a new singer, and have obviously updated their look to fit the times:
4) “Hang On” by Seether
The lyrics keep repeating “I take my life away” but Daredevil doesn’t die in the movie, so perhaps it’s supposed to be about Elektra, who did “die” only to come back in a spin-off no one asked for in 2005. While “Daredevil” was in theaters, Seether was touring as the opening act for Evanescence, kind of like how Guns n’ Roses was at one time opening for The Rolling Stones except really shitty and embarrassing. Their lead singer recently railed about the vapidness of reality and social media stars, which is super original and timely.
5) “Learn the Hard Way” by Nickelback
Let me just quote the opening lyrics: “Hey there little darling, where’d the old man gone?/Why don’t we get out of town and do it all night long?/We can lie out in the field til the morning light/Then me and your old man are gonna have to fight.” Have no idea what this has to do with Daredevil, nor do I remember any scene in the movie where he “Stuck the sugar in your gas tank by myself last night.” Either way these are pretty bold statements for a lead singer who looked like this:
6) “The Man Without Fear” by Drowning Pool featuring Rob Zombie
After a few songs that had little connection with the movie, this one is almost too on-the-nose, as Daredevil is known as the “Man Without Fear” and the lyrics not only contain phrases such as “justice is blind,” but occasionally they also yell out “Daredevil!” just for the hell of it. In the competition between what is worse, Rob Zombie’s music or his films, at least his songs don’t force his talentless wife Sheri Moon Zombie on you at all times.
7) “Right Now” by the Nappy Roots
This is officially my favorite song on this soundtrack if only for this one lyric: “Now if the world was my oyster/Baby girl everyday could be Red Lobster.”
8) “Evening Rain” by Moby
Sorry, I fell asleep about 30 seconds into this one, but yeah it’s Moby so I’m sure it was great.
9) “Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence
I debated whether to include this song again as I’m sure anyone who was alive in 2003 is already getting PTSD at the thought of being subjected to this thing one more time.
Folks we’re not even halfway through this album, there are still more than 10 songs to go from the likes of Hoobastank, finger eleven, and BOYSETSFIRE. For the sake of all our sanity I am going to conclude for now and come back for a Part 2 if I still have the will to live.