Twenty minutes ago, my Post Office delivery person just hauled her lazy ass up the stairs, rang my doorbell, and absolutely made my day. Now my copy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Once More, With Feeling” whirs gently in my CD player…Spike raging to metal chords, Giles velvet lament, Sweet’s smoking jazz grooves, Tara’s bright song of love.
Buffyphiles have had the MP3s for months now, but they’re ripped directly from show recordings, including all the grunts, clangs, footsteps, and random dialogue. At best, they’re distracting to listen to as the scenes play themselves out in your mind’s eye while the music plays. The CD has the original cast recordings, studio pure and, if possible, even more gorgeous than the first time you heard them.
It hardly seems fair that Joss Whedon should be this talented. The music suffers not at all for being composed by a writer of clever television and movies. The cast members, most of whom are vocally quite gifted, give it their all…a side effect, I suspect, of their long and fruitful association with Whedon.
I can’t accurately judge if this CD will appeal to non-Buffy fans. I suppose it depends on how eclectic your musical taste is…there’s fluffy pop, Broadway style vignettes, outright show tunes, jazz-influenced numbers, even a metal ballad. The only song that didn’t hold up for me was the rather eclectic fusion-y exposition number, “Something to Sing About.” I didn’t like the heavy guitar chords and wacky timing the first time I heard it and I don’t like it any better now.
Bonus tracks include suites from “Restless” and “Hush” (two of the more powerful Buffy episodes), the final haunting melody from “The Gift” (season 5 finale), and the demo track for “Something to Sing About,” performed by Joss and his wife, Kai Cole. For the record, the screwy time changes in this song work so much better in their rendition.
If you’re any kind of a Buffy fan, this is absolutely a required purchase.