Okay, let’s get the chief gripe out of the way first: the new collection of music from the Buffy, the Vampire Slayer soundtrack, Radio Sunnydale (Virgin), only contains twelve tracks from the show’s last three seasons. The series’ first soundtrack set, culled from its earlier years, had eighteen. Why the short-sheeting?
It isn’t as if there’s not a wealth of material to choose: rock – alt-rock, in particular – has been an integral part of the series’ world from episode one, when Dashboard Prophets played at the town’s hip club, the Bronze. A lot of good groups have appeared on the Bronze’s stage, playing just low enough so the Scooby Gang could carry on a conversation without shouting. So where in the Hellmouth are they?
I’ve got no issues with the songs included: the Breeders’ retake on the show’s opening theme isn’t much different from the Nerf Herder original, though the band’s guitarwork is a smidgeon more surf-ish. Frente frontwoman Angie Hart’s “Blue” (co-written with series creator Joss Whedon) has the feel of one of Julee Cruse’s vocals on Twin Peaks and immediately recalls the episode it appeared in (“Conversations With Dead People”), while the Dandy Warhols’ Stones-ish “Bohemian Like You” provides a witty backdrop to the rampage of good ol’ troll Olaf in one of the final season’s funnier episodes. A few tracks – Nikko Costa’s r-&-b track, for instance – are more difficult to pin down, though. Too bad the booklet commentary by series song selector John King doesn’t spell out where all the songs appeared on the show, huh?
I know. Most hard-core Sunnydale-ians have probably already bought this disc (despite zero push from Virgin Records) at full price. Still, it would’ve been nice – doncha think? – if the crew behind Radio Sunnydale had worked just a leetle bit harder toward delivering a more full-blooded package worthy of this matchless supernatural series’ final years.
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