Original TV Soundtrack

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Album

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the ultimate cult television series of the '90s, eclipsing even The X-Files in some ways, because it's about teenagers and demons -- the perfect subjects for cult audiences. Like most cult shows, Buffy built up its audience steadily over several seasons, reaching some sort of critical mass in 1999, as it launched a spin-off series in Angel, and its stars -- Sarah Michelle Gellar, David Boreanaz, Seth Green, and Alyson Hannigan -- became inescapable, appearing in the movies and on magazine covers. If any further proof of Buffy reaching a zenith in 1999 was needed, there is the fact that a soundtrack was released in the fall of that year, as well. Appropriately, almost everything on the album matches either the gothic atmosphere of the show or its indie cred. Unlike most TV soundtracks, there isn't an abundance of major artists here -- only Garbage, the Sundays, and (inexplicably) Alison Krauss, plus such cult sensations as Guided by Voices and Face to Face jump out among the 18 tracks. That's fine because several of these songs were actually in the TV show -- another thing that separates Buffy from other TV soundtracks. Also, the goth rock of Rasputina, the vague trip-hop of Velvet Chain, the folky pop of Hepburn, the aggressive post-PJ Harvey rock of Furslide, and Bif Naked's singer/songwriter alt-rock all fit the show like a glove. There may be no real standouts on Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Album, but it creates and maintains a specific mood that matches the show itself, which is a rarity among '90s soundtracks. And that's exactly what a show like this deserves.

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