November 30, 2005

Soundtrack Review: Veronica Mars

This soundtrack was a pleasure to listen to. It is an eclectic mix of indie talent that have a variety of styles, yet it all comes together in an album that works great as a whole. Often times soundtrack albums, especially film soundtracks, offer a good selection of songs, but when they are listened to as an album, it feels as if they were just thrown together in a haphazard fashion. This album has a great flow to it. It works as a straight up collection of songs just as well as a soundtrack.

For those who don't know, Veronica Mars is a smart and witty show about a high school student who does some detective sleuthing on the side, helping out her father. Her father is a disgraced sheriff who works as a PI. The first season had an overarching story about the murder of Veronica's best friend, Lily, and her subsequent fall from grace to the outsider status that she currently enjoys. There are other one of stories throughout the season. The show is currently in its second season, and this disk has songs used in both seasons.

The disk feels more like a play list taken from Veronica's iPod. It doesn't strike me as a concept explored for this disk release, but it would have been a interesting idea to market it as her personal play list. Perhaps for a second volume? In any case, the music included fits the show like a glove. A collection of songs from indie artists representing a free thinking, inquisitive, mature beyond her years young woman. A perfect fit. It is so much better than a collection of the latest pop artists, this helps retain the integrity of the, admittedly, fictional character, but also of the show on a whole. I am sorry, I am beginning (?) to ramble.

The album opens with the theme song, "We Used To Be Friends" by The Dandy Warhols. This a great song, it stands up as its own entity, yet it also perfectly sums up the mood of the show, besides being perfectly catchy. It is followed by a song by former Soul Coughing front man Mike Doughty, "I Hear the Bells". Doughty is a unique talent who has really come into his own as a solo artist, and this is a good example of his droll vocal style, and unique songwriting ability. We're off to a good start so far.

We then turn to the poppy style of Tegan & Sara's "I Know I Know I Know". That is followed by the Modest Mouse sounding "I Turn My Camera On", by Spoon. Move onward to the dance pop sounds of The Faders "No Sleep Tonight", and the reminiscent of U2 "Dakota" by the Stereophonics.

Other highlights include the dreamy, surreal sounds of "On Your Porch" by The Format and "The Way You Are" by 46bliss. The disk closes with Cotton Mather's melancholy "Lily Dreams On". It is fine closer, a sad yet hopeful song that played after Veronica's discovery of what really happened to Lily Kane.

Bottomline. This is a very good soundtrack to a wonderful series. It fits the tone and style of the show, all without compromising the quality of the music it contains. Even if you don't watch the show, but are a fan of indie music, this could be right up your alley. But, if you are a fan it makes a fine compliment to the series.

Highly Recommended.


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