Original Television Soundtrack

Our Little Corner of the World: Music from the Gilmore Girls

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Even though independent and underground rock and pop play a significant role in the critically acclaimed WB TV show The Gilmore Girls, it's still surprising just how much hip and diverse music is on Our Little Corner of the World: Music From the Gilmore Girls. In fact, the soundtrack -- released in conjunction with the beginning of the show's third season -- feels more like an hour of free-form college radio programming or a mix tape than a prepackaged compilation and rivals film soundtracks like High Fidelity and Trainspotting for the sheer amount of quality, off-the-beaten-path songs it features. The album maintains strong ties to the show that spawned it, featuring a re-recorded version of Carole King and Louise Goffin's theme song for the series, "Where You Lead, I Will Follow"; having a mother-daughter team of renowned singer/songwriters perform the theme to a show about a musically hip mother and daughter is just one of the details that makes the album (and of course, the series) distinctive. Singer/songwriters do indeed play a large part on the soundtrack -- Grant Lee Phillips, who has also appeared on the show, contributes "Smile," and three Sam Phillips songs, including "Tell Her What She Wants to Know," are also featured. But even the songs not specifically tied into the show share its uniqueness: Big Star's "Thirteen," XTC's "I'm the Man Who Murdered Love," and the Shins' "Know Your Onion!" offer different yet related takes on bouncy, bittersweet pop, while the Free Design's "I Found Love" and Claudine Longet's "God Only Knows" are relatively obscure but delightful retro confections. The relatively dark mood cast by Black Box Recorder's "Child Psychology" and "One Line" doesn't quite fit with the sweet, cuddly vibe of the rest of the soundtrack -- exemplified by Joey Ramone's "What a Wonderful World," John Lennon's "Oh My Love," and Yo La Tengo's "My Little Corner of the World" -- but both songs are so good that it's hard to quibble with their inclusion. The soundtrack's emphasis on female artists and female-fronted bands is a plus too, with Elastica's "Car Song," Björk's "Human Behaviour," Slumber Party's "I Don't Mind," and Yoko Ono's "O'Oh" chief among them. Simply put, Our Little Corner of the World is almost too good to be true, and one of the best television soundtracks released in recent memory.

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