Girls, Vol. 1: Music from the HBO Original Series gathers musical highlights from the show's first season as well as songs to be featured in its second season. Girls won praise for its unflinching and often hilarious portrayal of four friends testing the waters of post-college life; while most of the soundtrack doesn't have quite this amount of depth, it's still a believable and very listenable backdrop to Hannah and her friends' (mis)adventures. Girls' music is a pretty even mix of hedonism and soul-searching: cheeky tracks like Icona Pop's "I Love It" and the Vaccines' "Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra)" capture living-in-the-moment thrills, while introspective songs such as the Echo-Friendly's "Same Mistakes," Fleet Foxes' "Montezuma," and Belle & Sebastian's "I Don't Love Anyone" (which had seen a few generations of twenty-somethings through their pre-life crises by the time it was included here) reflect the characters' dawning self-awareness. Like the show's characters, sometimes the song choices here tread dangerously close to cliché, but Robyn's "Dancing on My Own" expresses the push-pull of wanting to be in love while remaining independent that Girls' girls are experiencing, all within the confines of a brilliantly catchy pop song. Several exclusive songs also appear here, such as fun.'s "Sight of the Sun," Grouplove's rousing "Everyone's Gonna Get High," and Santigold's sassy "Girls," adding more dimension to the soundtrack's music. Even if Girls, Vol. 1: Music from the HBO Original Series falls just short of having enough personality to feel like a mixtape or playlist made by Hannah or one of her friends, there are enough quirky choices to prevent it from feeling like too blatant a piece of marketing.
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AllMusic Review by Heather Phares