The second soundtrack in the OC series picks up right where the last one left off - about halfway through the first season. Don't get too excited about the fact this album has more tracks than the 1st one, each of the four soundtracks averages 12 songs per album (since the Chrismakkah album served up a paltry 9 songs).
This album is overall strong - with not a ton of standout tracks - but lots of great stuff to listen to.
The two covers, Nada Surf's "If You Leave" (from the episode where Anna leaves I believe) and Jem's "Maybe I'm Amazed" by Paul McCartney (from the season 1 finale) are excellent and worth listening to again and again - both do their own things with the songs, particularly Jem who does a rousing folk take on the original (albeit a little bit drawn out).
Quite a few of these songs actually reminded of one another, Keane's "Walnut Tree" and Dios Malos "You Got Me All Wrong", and Beulah's "Popular Mechanics for Lovers" channeled the vibe of a couple of other tracks.
There are a few slightly bigger name (yet still indie) acts on this disc - moreso then any of the other ones. Among them, the Walkmen do an almost U2-esque track called "Little House of Savages", and Super Furry Animals "Hello Sunshine" is a friendly reminder of Seth and Summer's 'first time' together. 90's alt-rock gods Eels offer the opening fun track "Saturday Morning", and current chart darlings The Killers serve up an awesome 80's-infused track (hopefully a future single) in "Smile Like You Mean It". Slightly less known (but loved by Seth Cohen & Adam Brody) band Death Cab For Cutie sings a sweet, mellow, track (like most of their music) entitled "A Lack of Colour" which I also believe is from the episode Anna leaves.
All together this is a great album - while I said some of the songs remind me of one another, and none of them truly just pop out (like on the 4th soundtrack), this is a cohesive blend of Indie tunes that each bring something unique to the table - whether it be their use of synthesizers, keyboards, acoustic guitars, or fun vocals & arrangements, this is one album not to be missed.