Top positive review
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Amazing accompaniment to an amazing hour of TV!
on 25 September 2002
The musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Once More, With Feeling", is one of the most inventive, astonishing, brilliantly acted and directed hours of television of all time. It received enormous amounts of critical praise, and huge fan adoration. The songs, written by show creator Joss Whedon and performed by the cast themselves, were all excellent. The musical format was ideal for this genre-bending show. And now, the songs are finally available to buy on this beautifully packaged CD. The booklet contains a nice intro from Joss, and the complete song lyrics. Here is the track listing, and my little reviews:
1. Overture/Going Through The Motions: The overture is a cute little piece, made up of tunes from other songs. On Going Through The Motions, Sarah Michelle Gellar displays her adequate vocal talents in this well-written song of suicidal despair. 9/10
2. I've Got A Theory/Bunnies/If We're Together: This song contains much humour as the Scooby Gang wildly theorize about what is causing the strange singing curse. The Bunnies segment is absolutely hysterical. Buffy's section has beautiful, life-affirming, ironic lyrics. 9/10
3. The Mustard: Mildly amusing, short song about successful laundry. (Sung by Buffy writer/director David Fury) 7/10
4. Under Your Spell- Possibly the best song on here. Amber Benson's voice is beautiful and sweet, the lyrics are haunting and wonderfully expressive of Tara's deep feelings for Willow.
5. I'll Never Tell- Funnily performed and written, this is a warm and affectionate song behind all the bickering. It is reminiscent of duet's from the classic movies of the 50's and it works well. 8/10
6. The Parking Ticket- Short, sweet song about the pain of getting parking tickets, sung by Buffy Co-Exec Producer Marti Noxon. Kind of a satire of epic, sweeping ballads? 8/10
7. Rest In Peace- Great rock song, with awesome lyrics, finally letting us know some of what Spike really thinks about Buffy. It is enhanced by James Marsters' expressive voice. 8/10
8. Dawn's Lament- Showcases Michelle Trachtenberg's cute voice and Dawn's desperate feelings. 8/10
9. Dawn's Ballet- Nice piece of music, but it doesn't really work too well without the action onscreen. 7/10
10. What You Feel- Smooth jazz song, with impressive vocals and funny and disturbing lyrics. 8/10
11. Standing- Beautiful song. Anthony Stewart Head's voice is so full of pain and anguish, and the lyrics are wonderfully evocative. 9.5/10
12. Under Your Spell/ Standing (Reprise)- Amber Benson and Anthony Stewart Head's voices blend very well to produce this heartbreaking farewell to two very different types of love.
13. Walk Through The Fire- Melodic, epic song, combining all the characters, all struggling against personal demons, their senses of wrong and right, and the horrifying urge to sing. Particularly impressive are Amber Benson and Nick Brendon, who, although is not a great singer, he is a real trooper and gives his all. The lyrics of this song are cleverly metaphorical.
14. Something to Sing About- This is a stunning song. Sarah Michelle Gellar truly impresses. It really shows the huge amount of effort she is putting in, and the results it gets. The lyrics are poignant, full of despair, and eventually heartbreaking as Buffy reveals the horrible truth of where she was to her friends. 10/10
15. What You Feel- Reprise- Nice reprise, amusing lyrics. "That's what it's all about." 9/10
16. Where Do We Go From Here?- Very moving song. Haunting lyrics and vocals, enough to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up on end. 9.5/10
17. Coda- In the episode, this song comes complete with shocking impact and a stunning final shot. It is slightly less powerful on CD, but is still a nice wrap-up to this very emotional episode. 9/10
18. End Credits (Broom Dance/ Grr Arrgh)- Funny, definitely listenable jazz bop. 8/10
19. Main Title- Cute little variation on the regular theme tune. Is it me or does this sound a little bit Christmassy?
20. Suite From Restless- Atmospheric arrangement, in particular the African theming and soft singing linger in the mind. 8/10
21. Suite From Hush- Amazingly creepy music. Brilliantly evokes the terrifying silent episode Hush. Few will ever forget the sight of the Gentleman slowly gliding down the street, with the haunting music sending a shiver through your body. 8/10
22. Sacrifice- Who didn't cry when they first heard this? The lasting images of Buffy swandiving into the portal, of Dawn weeping at the top of the tower, of the gang's discovery of the body, of the horribly final sight of Bufyf's gravestone. This music is touching, painful, beautiful, and entirely unforgettable. 10/10
23. Something To Sing About- Okay, so this is Joss' wife, Kai Cole, singing Buffy's big number. It's not a great listen, (her voice is okay, but nothing special, and don't say "well, you could say the same thing about SMG", because the situation is different) and the backing is lacking (rhymes!), and though I know (and again!) that is because this is a demo, it is still not particularly interesting. 6/10
So overall, this CD is a worthy addition to any Buffy-lover's collection, and possibly any person who enjoys (mostly) good music. It compliments, and slightly adds too, what I believe to be the best episode of Buffy of all time, and yes, DEFINITELY one of the best hours of television of all time.