The soundtracks to HBO’s original series True Blood may not be quite the pop culture events that the music accompanying the Twilight movies are (yet), but these collections gather more quality music, and are truer to the works that inspired them. True Blood's second season was more expansive than its first, spreading the action between Bon Temps and Dallas, and True Blood: Music from the HBO Original Series, Vol. 2 reflects that with a wider range of music. Alternative rock and dance-tinged songs play a bigger role here than they did in the first season’s soundtrack: M. Ward opens the album with “Howlin’ for My Baby,” the Eels contribute “Fresh Blood,” and Beck chips in “Bad Blood,” a somewhat surprising choice considering that his song “Timebomb” appeared in the episode of the same name. Meanwhile, King Britt and Sister Gertrude Morgan's “New World in My View”'s mix of tried and true gospel and modern atmosphere touches on the show’s themes of death, life after death, and redemption as well as more rootsy choices like Bob Dylan's “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’” and Robbie Robertson's “How to Become Clairvoyant” do. Despite the inclusion of big names like these and Lucinda Williams and Elvis Costello, the soundtrack maintains the eclectic mix of music the first True Blood collection had in spades. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins' “Frenzy” is funny, sexy, scary, and campy all at once -- in other words, a perfect match for this show. Chuck Prophet's “You Did (Bomp Shooby Dooby Bomp),” Junior Walker & the All-Stars' “Shake and Fingerpop,” and the 13th Floor Elevators' “You’re Gonna Miss Me” all featured memorably in the second season, and are all highlights here. Though some of the season’s best songs (such as “Timebomb” and Sammy Kershaw's “Louisiana Hot Sauce”) didn’t make the cut on this collection, this is still an eclectic, expertly chosen set of songs that help define why True Blood is such addictive watching.
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AllMusic Review by Heather Phares