Various Artists

Killing Eve: Season One [Original Series Soundtrack]

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Along with Jodie Comer's and Sandra Oh's performances and Phoebe Waller-Bridge's subversively feminist wit, Killing Eve's flawless music made its first season stand out from the rest of the Peak TV pack. Killing Eve: Season One [Original Series Soundtrack] is dominated by the work of Unloved, the trio of vocalist/songwriter Jade Vincent and producers/composers Keefus Ciancia and David Holmes. Though Unloved began working on most of these songs years before Killing Eve went into production (and many of them appeared on the albums Guilty of Love and Heartbreak), their seductive, volatile mix of mid-20th century pop and atmospheric electronics feels like it was tailor-made to express the state of mind of Comer's Villanelle, the series' flirtatious, startlingly witty psychopathic assassin. "Sigh"'s lurching strings punctuated some of the first season's more outlandish twists, of which there were plenty; "Danger"'s lurid strings and trumpet squalls add a campy edge that only adds to its feeling of peril; and on "Crash Boom Bang," even disaster seems glamorous. Unloved revel in a particularly feminine kind of malice on "Devil's Angels," where Vincent's snarls and purrs ride atop a beat made from a revving engine, and on the mix of sugar and venom that is "When a Woman Is Around." Just as Villanelle bends reality to her own liking, Unloved's music blurs eras and genres so thoroughly that it becomes its own thing. With not one, but two seasoned producers in their fold, they deliver sonic thrills such as "Fail We May Sail We Must," a combination of phasing effects that still sound as unearthly as they did on Toni Fisher's 1959 hit "The Big Hurt" and elements of industrial and electronic music from nearly half a century later. Yet Unloved's music never feels too studied -- in fact, they wallow in pure emotion on the tear-soaked "Bill," the ghostly, obsessive "If," and "Cry Baby Cry," a ballad so torchy that it's almost possible to see the smoke wafting through the air when it was recorded. The songs that aren't by Unloved are just as faithful to the soundtrack's distinctive mood. One of the show's other signature tracks, Pshycotic Beats' "Killer Shangri-Lah," takes the death wishes of early '60s pop to extremes, while Cat's Eyes' "Girl in the Room" and √Čtienne Daho's "Voodoo Voodoo" uphold the feeling of stylish romance and menace. The deeper cuts, which include Anna Karina's 1967 Serge Gainsbourg collaboration "Roller Girl" and the Troggs' "Evil Woman," give the soundtrack the depth of a handcrafted mix, reinforcing the feeling that nothing about this show or its music is routine. Like Twin Peaks and other legendary TV soundtracks, Killing Eve: Season One [Original Series Soundtrack] excels at creating an endlessly listenable world of its own.

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