CD Review: The Vampire Diaries Original TV Soundtrack

The Vampire Diaries Original TV Soundtrack
Virgin Records

By Ellen Eldridge

“Love Sucks” emanates from within layered musical images as the soundtrack for “Vampire Diaries” plays. The idea of pale, bloodsucking walkers of the night is so reminiscent of high school; the torments of pressure to live on even after you feel the cold acceptance of death. The soundtrack starts and closes with instrumental tracks by Michael Suby, but they feel swapped, like “1864 – Various” should actually open the album with its introductory sounds like a door opening; the music gets louder, climaxing and descending in turn. “Stephan’s Theme” feels more like the closer with its fading and pulsing effects which could easily resemble bleeding out.

All the tracks do an excellent job conforming to the nonconformist ideas connected with vampires and, well, high school. The hit CW network show, “Vampire Diaries” — about two vampire brothers obsessed with the same beautiful girl, who are battling to control the fate of an entire town — fits perfectly into a modern-day “90210” scenario for today’s tech-savvy teens.

Lyrics, like “Words can be like knives they can cut you open…the silence surrounds you and hunts you” from “Bloodstream” by Stateless, recall vivid, dark poetry from open mic nights in the cafeteria. The song’s very Portishead-sounding electronics make this an instant favorite for fans who fazed through their teen angst listening to “Over” or other songs of its self-titled 1997 release.

Billy Corgan’s undeniable voice shines through “The Fellowship” with its allusions to a train ride driven by the force which drives the “engine heart.” The chorus, again, fits perfectly into what teens seeking to find themselves need: “Are you with us or against us tonight?” Great stuff to get kids hooked on emo ideals of twisted beauty and eternal life.

Covers on the soundtrack run the gamut from Placebo doing Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” and Digital Daggers taking on Tears for Fears’ “Head Over Heels,” to the gorgeous vocals of “Sleep Alone” by Bat for Lashes to Sky Ferreira’s edgy dance-pop “Obsession,” which was produced by Dave Tedder (OneRepublic, Beyoncé, Rihanna). Ferreira sings, “Here’s my confession, I don’t just want you to love me, I wanna be your obsession,” which connects perfectly with the show’s intense visuals and storylines.

While this soundtrack may not appeal to those who have outgrown the need to watch the show, the tracks and dramatics in the music, especially the new perspectives on older songs, make The Vampire Diaries Soundtrack a must-have for all, even those who know they won’t live forever and are actually a bit grateful for that.


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