CD REVIEWS

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – The Album
Various Artists
Reviewed by Suze Campagna and diana dougherty

The CD really takes off with the blistering theme tune by Nerf Herder and is made up of mostly indie bands though many of them have not had their music appear in the program. Sorely missing is “Sugar Water” by Cibo Matto and “Fall from Grace” by Sarah McLachlan, both of which have been used to great effect in the show. This is not to say that the soundtrack doesn’t evoke the tone of the program itself. It’s very obvious a lot of care and detail was put into this project. The final track, “Close Your Eyes” (the Buffy/Angel love theme) by Christophe Beck, might be an indication of what a follow-up CD could have in store. Rumor has it that if sales are good for this album we could be treated to a full disc of Beck’s work. We should be so lucky.

End of Days Soundtrack
Various Artists
Reviewed By Suze Campagna

A wonderful little collection of “Devil Music” from and inspired by the motion picture of the same name. Most of the selections included have that fast driving, hard rock sound of the late nineties. Korn, Sonic Youth, Creed and even Guns n’ Roses fit into this collection. So does my favorite cut from Powerman 5000. And what collection of this type of music would be complete without Rob Zombie, which fits in perfectly with the theme of the movie. (Keeping in mind, that I have not actually seen the movie!) The Limp Bizkit’s “Crushed” is exactly what you would expect from this ‘happy-go-rappy’ band. Eminem is also as you would expect, only slightly less annoying. Prodigy’s “Poison” goes on too long and just when you think it’s over, a totally different sound pops through your speakers. The most pleasant surprise that doesn’t seem to fit with everything else is Stroke’s “I Wish I Had”. It’s not hard at all and the melody is even enough that if you were driving in your car (alone), you might want to sing along. Would I recommend buying it for just that song, no, but if you like the other stuff, this is a good collection.

Earth: Final Conflict- Soundtrack
Composed by Micky Erbe and Maribeth Solomon
Reviewed by Suze Campagna

It’s about time the beautifully composed music by Micky Erbe and Maribeth Solomon was made available. The score to the program has a rather futuristic and alien sound to it, which captures the spirit of the show. This soundtrack does not always succeed in capturing that feeling. Not to say that is bad, but it is not consistent with the feel of Earth: Final Conflict. The soundtrack opens with the “Main Title”, and then goes into “The Secret of Strandhill /Redemption”, which is very Celtic. (This makes sense, since Strandhill is in Ireland.) It’s a very long cut and changes direction several times. About the third part, it feels more like Titanic, than the Sci- Fi Series. The Celtic mood sets the tone for the next eight cuts. But cut 11, “Law and Order” sounds more like an ominous tune of the Talons. The next few cuts really feel like they belong on the soundtrack, but that gets lost again by cut 19, “Second Chance”. The best and most familiar cut is the last, “Volunteers/End Credits”. Still, with all its faults, this is a relaxing soundtrack and makes for good background listening.

John Williams Greatest Hits 1969-1999
Reviewed by Suze Campagna

If you are a fan of John Williams, this is a must have double CD. It includes all the themes you would expect all in one place, with performances by The London Symphony Orchestra, The Boston Pops, The Skywalker Symphony, The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Vocals of the Americans Boys Choir. Disc one opens with “Star Wars” and Disc two ends with “The Phantom Menace”, with a whole bunch of great tracks in between, including themes from ET, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Close Encounters, Jurassic Park, and Superman. The only disappointment is the order of the tracks. It’s very random, not chronological, and if you don’t have the log in front of you, it’s difficult to guess what’s coming next, even if you expect a certain track. It’s still a great collection and an easy listen.

Herding Cats
Gaelic Storm
Reviewed by Suze Campagna

Irish music tends to fall into four categories: happy war songs, depressing love songs, drinking songs and jigs and reels. This CD is by the band you may have heard in the Bill Paxton Epic,” Titanic”, and does not contain any happy war songs. It does, however contain many nonsense lyrics, which go hand-in -hand with drinking songs, something also common to Irish tunes. Many of the tracks will make you want to get up and dance, as they are medleys of jigs and reels. "After Hours at McGann's" will make you long for a pint of Guinness, "The Park East Polkas"(don't let the title deceive you), "Breakfast at Lady A's", "The Devil Went Down to Doolin", and the familiar "Titanic Set", will make you want to dance like Kate Winslet. The opening track, "Drink the Night Away" is a happy, catchy tune, with great nonsense lyrics. "The Ferryman” is normally a depressing love song, but not the way this is performed. "South Australia" is a sing along song. "Heart of the Ocean" is the CD's depressing love song inspired by the Bill Paxton epic. It is hauntingly beautiful. "Spanish Lady" and "Barnyards of Belgaty" are both great sing-a- longs, with more nonsense lyrics. "Broken Promise" is the weakest cut starting off with a Spanish sounding guitar that makes you long for a Corona instead of a Guinness. It does pick up with a fiddle, but not enough to make you want to dance. "She was the Prize” isn’t really a- sing-along-song, it's more a catchy tune that you sing really loud when you are alone in the car. (Why? No nonsense lyrics,of course!) Overall, this is a fabulous collection, and will fit nicely next to Pogues CD's.

Radio Sunnydale: Music from the Series Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Various Artists
Reviewed by Suze Campagna

Music had always been an important part of Buffy the Vampire, not only the score, but the songs that are played, are specifically chosen for the scenes to invoke appropriate emotional response. When you hear the songs outside the context of the series, they can sometime s conjure up a memory of the program. (For example, Sarah McLachlan's “Full of grace” played during the last episode of season 3 after Buffy killed Angel, still brings tears to the eyes.)

In the liner notes of Radio Sunnydale, Joss Whedon reiterates the importance of the music. And this is a wonderful collection of music. , but very few songs on the CD remind me of episodes. Even after reading the liner notes of the music supervisor describing the scenes in which the songs were played, the mind still draws a blank. The first CD covered seasons 1-4, where a lot of time was spent at the bronze, where memorable music was always played. This CD covers seasons 5-7, where there were not so many scenes at the Bronze, or other parties for that matter.

This is not to Say it’ is a bad CD and it certainly has its redeeming qualities. The Breeders do a wonderful cover of the Nerf Herder’s Theme song. The other songs are enjoyable and all is forgiven with the last two tracks. Sarah McLaughlin’s “impossible to find until now,” “Prayer of St Francis”, which was played during the last sequence of season 6. The final cut is the score from the final battle, “the Final Fight”. It is the perfect ending to the CD and on hopes that someday Joss will see fit to release an entire CD of just the score. For, now, this CD can be satisfying.

Roswell Soundtrack
Various Artist
Reviews by Suze Campagna

I had forgotten they released this soundtrack, but when I saw it at Borders, I couldn’t resist. I’m glad it gave in. In addition to the haunting theme song by Dido, you will track after track of fabulous melodies, including Coldplay’s “Brothers and Sisters”, and Travis’ “More Thank Us”. There is not a bad song on this CD.
It has been a while since I’ve watched the program, and I don’t recall specific songs, but the feel of the CD does reflect the feel of the series. There are also some great CD-Rom enhancements. There’s a map of the Roswell area with info on where things in the series occurred, information on the Sensefield, descriptions of the song choices on the CD, an interview with creator Jason Katims, a screen saver and wallpaper.
What more could a Roswell fan as for besides a DVD release and a bottle of Tabasco.
(NOTE: The Series is in fact, now available on DVD.)

Once More with Feeling
Soundtrack from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episode of the same name
Reviewed By Suze Campagna

It is no secret that I did not like the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. If it had not been a musical, it would have been a very dull transitional episode, where everyone’s inner feelings were revealed. My other problem with the episode was that there was no physical emotion behind the singing, however, that was the first thing I noticed on the CD. You can feel and hear the emotion behind the words. You can get the gist of the episode without having to sit through the torturous viewing. though the songs seem to be out of order. It also makes you realize what a depressing episode it would have been. Some of the cast can really sing I enjoyed Amber Benson, Anthony Stewart Head, James Marsters and even Michelle Trachtenberg. Sarah Michelle Geller isn’t too bad, but she really hits some sour notes that make me cringe.

So why own this CD? I’m a Buffy completist. The packaging is very good, complete with lyric. But most importantly are the extras from other episodes, the suite from “Restless”, ”Sacrifice” from “The Gift”, and the Suite from “Hush”. SO if you were a fan of the Buffy musical, you owe it to yourself to own this, if you are like me, there are enough extra goodies to make it worth it.

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