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CD REVIEW – Angel: Live Fast, Die Never

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Angel superfans and Buffyverse compleatists, rejoice: a full hour of the gloomy, portentious orchestral music that played such a big part in making the Buffy spin-off so simultaneously grim and over-the-top can now be yours. For this CD, Australian composer Robert Kral compiled and combined his best cues from the series’s five-year run into a set of mini-suites suitable, if not for casual listening, certainly for a vampire-theme party, or entr’acte music at a lecture series for the damned.

One thing Kral’s score doesn’t convey is the show’s humor, which was key to its success. But the music is what it is – action cues and love themes for the show’s most dramatic moments.

But wait, there’s more. Christophe Beck, who scored Buffy, handed the Buffyverse’s musical reins to Kral, but not before contributing “I’m Game,” a cue from the beginning of the series whose more lyrical compositional style will ring a bell with fans of the Buffy-Angel love theme and other well-known cues from the parent series. The very competent Kral’s darker style was right for the spin-off (Angel action almost never took place during the daytime), although in the end he is not as gifted a composer as Beck.

“LA Song” is an interesting curiosity for fans, written by series executive producer David Greenwalt and sung by actor Christian Kane (Lindsay on the show). The demon Karaoke bar called Caritas being so important to Angel, it would have been nice to have more samples from that setting on this CD, even (maybe especially) the bad or funny ones. We do, however, get two tracks sung by Andy Hallett (who played green-skinned Lorne, Caritas’s owner, on the show) – Lady Marmalade and It’s Not Easy Being Green. Hallett was one of the best things about the show and fans will appreciate having these tracks available.

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About Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel is an Executive Editor of Blogcritics as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section. As a writer he contributes most often to Culture, where he reviews NYC theater; he also covers interesting music releases. He writes the blog Park Odyssey, for which he is visiting and blogging every park in New York City—over a thousand of them. Through Oren Hope Marketing and Copywriting you can hire him to write or edit whatever marketing or journalistic materials your heart desires. By night he's a working musician: lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for Whisperado, a member of other bands as well, and a sideman.
  • http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/ChrisKaneFans/ Melissa

    my friend got me a copy before it came out in the states. i love it i mainly got it for the one track sung by Chris Kane. but it is as good as the classical music i listed to.

  • http://buffy.nu/article.php3?id_article=9943 Sharon

    Strange review. I can’t tell if the reviewer liked it or not. I don’t think so. But I love it and play it quite frequently, along with my LOTR, Matrix, Star Wars, etc., CD’s. It has power, just as they do. And I’m glad they did not put in the “funny/bad” songs. They might be funny once or twice, but if you listen to a CD often, you get REALLY tired of them.

    And I don’t like having to post an e-mail address. I’m here to express an opinion, not get pen-pals.

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