[sic] Magazine

The Vampire Diaries: Original Television Soundtrack

Disclaimer: I have never watched The Vampire Diaries. It’s one of those hundreds of TV shows I plan to get around to watching sometime.

But I don’t plan to wait to listen to the music. In fact, nobody with a taste for good music should hold off on The Vampire Diaries: Original Television Soundtrack, an onslaught of brilliant alternate rock ( Silversun Pickups ), pop ( Bat For Lashes ) and a tinge of electronica ( Goldfrapp ). Lots of beats, lots of strong melodies, and lots of great remixes.

The album opens with a trickling, delicate melody called ‘Stefan’s Theme,’ which sets a suitably haunted atmosphere for… you know, a soundtrack based on a VAMPIRE show. After that, we’re hit by a trio of rock anthems: Placebo’s brooding, haunted ‘Running Up That Hill,’ the Silversun Pickups’ buzzing whirling rocker ‘Currency of Love,’ and the murky beat-heavy ‘Hammock’ by the Howls.

Then the soundtrack dips into softer songs: fragile little ballads ( Digital Daggers , Stateless , Plumb ), dramatic pop anthems ( Sounds Under Radio , Mads Langer ), gleaming chilly techno (Goldfrapp), earthy acoustic guitar ballads ( Jason Walker ), blazing zwippy pop-rock ( Sky Ferreira ), and a creepy finale by Michael Suby that flickers between dark urgency and delicate eeriness.

The best songs: the nimble electro-riddled ‘On Melancholy Hill (Feed Me Remix)’ by Gorillaz , the Smashing Pumpkins ‘ lean blazing ‘Fellowship, and Bat For Lashes’ ‘Sleep Alone,’ which is remixed with a darker edge, strong beats and great cloudy swathe of synth.

Rock, indie pop, electronica, and some solid remixes that enhance the quality of the original. Honestly, there isn’t a single song on ‘The Vampire Diaries: Original Television Soundtrack’ that I dislike, which is a rarity for any soundtrack. Some are higher-quality than others, but all of them have charm.

The musicians here rely on a lot of piano, strings, electric guitars and bucketloads of synth. Some are soft and romantic, some are ominous and eerie, and some are just out-‘n’-out rock that adds an urgent tone to the soundtrack. All the artists do a good job evoking the right moods… except one. I adore Goldfrapp’s ‘We Radiate,’ but it is totally out of place, since it doesn’t sound like any of the other songs.

And the instrumentals by Michael Suby serve as nice bookends to the rest of the music — one is a nice buildup to the rest of the songs, and the other is a dramatic, complex outro.

I don’t know if the songs fit the TV show, but ‘The Vampire Diaries: Original Television Soundtrack’ is a brilliant collection of excellent songs. Can’t wait for the next volume.