Maybe the wait for the official Buffy the Vampire Slayer original score isn't all that long if measured by undead years but by a mortal's calendar, its appearance in 2008 -- a full five years after the show went off the air -- is a little belated. Sure, there have been other CDs released under the Buffy banner -- a 1999 tie-in album filled with end of the millennium alt-rock, a 2002 release of their famed musical episode Once More with Feeling, a 2003 Radio Sunnydale album -- but this is the first time the score, the incidental music, has popped up on CD. A long wait for the devoted who are the primary audience for this, but fortunately they're still devoted in 2008 and this rewards their patience nicely, as it contains 28 selections from throughout the series (plus one alternate take). There are a few key episodes that lend a lot to this soundtrack -- there are numerous selections from Graduation Day, Hush, Restless, and The Gift, which is appropriate as these pivotal moments provided some pivotal music -- but they're spaced nicely from throughout the series run, giving this a feel of a true retrospective, yet opening the door for another installment. But even if that installment never comes, this comes close to capturing all the best music from the series and it's as suspenseful and witty as Buffy itself.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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