Since the 1998 movie THE WEDDING SINGER was set in 1985, it was expected that the soundtrack would be a collection of new wave hits. And, by little surprise, that's very much what this soundtrack is. First off, it must be mentioned that like the movie, the collection is technically a little inaccurate- 1985 was around the time New Wave died, but the whole project sounds like it's representing the golden years of 1982 and 1983. Yet that kind of complaint would be irrelevant if the soundtrack provided a good set of songs.
When things start out, however, they don't quite go that way. The set opens with the Presidents of the United States of America updating the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star," which actually sounds very good, but still feels more tied to grunge than new wave. But thankfully, as the album continues on, it evolves into an enjoyable New Wave set, as the next ten tracks are all New Wave classics performed by the original artists, like Culture Club's "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me"; the Thompson Twins' "Hold Me Now"; the Smiths' "Love My Way"; Elvis Costello's "Everyday I Write the Book"; Musical Youth's "Pass the Dutchie"... all of these particular tracks are first-rate, and since they form the majority of the album, they easily make the soundtrack an enjoyable listen. And the Adam Sandler skits "Have You Written Anything Lately?" and "Somebody Kill Me" are actually both very good, while Ellen Dow as the movie's granny is hilarious in the opening segment of "Rapper's Delight." But even if you don't like those three particular tracks, this soundtrack is still a nice collection regardless of whether you are a fan of the movie- simply because of the classics that make up the bulk of the set. So, THE WEDDING SINGER soundtrack is essentially a record that any admirer of New Wave should take a look at.