Given that the pupils of St Trinian’s are the “defenders of anarchy” – so claim the lyrics to this soundtrack’s opening theme – you could be forgiven for expecting a few anti-authority numbers amongst the predictable-enough pop gas comprising necessary filler. But no such luck. Instead, this disc collects the well known (Girls Aloud, The Saturdays), the overrated (Florence and the Machine, Noisettes) and the whoaretheyagain? (Dragonette, Girls Can’t Catch, the formed-for-this-release Banned of St Trinian’s) to present an end product that’s every bit as inoffensively average as the accompanying flick inevitably is.
The only interesting aspect of this set is that it marks the solo debut of Sarah Harding, the one-fifth of Girls Aloud that men of all persuasion could probably enjoy a pint or two with, safe in the knowledge she could probably beat them at any pub game of their choosing. Having previously collaborated with electro trio Filthy Dukes, she’s stretched her solo wings before, but never without a little guidance; here, she dares to be listed alone, no ‘feat.’ preceding her name. A brave move, but given bandmate Cheryl Cole’s recent success, a timely one.
Harding’s three tracks don’t stray far from expectations, each a slight dilution of something you’d find on a Girls Aloud album. Too Bad’s high-energy beats are initially bracing, but the production is cheap and tinny, the repeated flange effects annoying. Significantly better is Make It Easy, which comes across as Garbage reincarnated as a bona-fide pop proposition, even if its chorus breaks the menacing atmosphere with ill-fitting breeziness. Both are the work of Xenomania. Harding’s third number is a fairly straight cover of David Bowie’s Boys Keep Swinging – her version is neither the best nor worst to have been recorded since the song was first released in 1979.
A listen to this soundtrack won’t have you racing down to your local multiplex to catch St Trinian’s 2, but if young fans enjoy the film enough to pick this up, who knows what might happen? If they sensibly steer clear of the likes of Florence – worryingly representing the 'credible' end of this selection – then they might just end up at Lodger, and subsequently “Heroes” and Low. Stranger things have happened – the production and release of a sequel to a critically derided contemporary reinvention of a comedy film series already of questionable quality, for example. --Mike Diver
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