Veronica Mars Original Television Soundtrack (Nettwerk)
[Click here to go to Nettwerk Records' Veronica Mars Soundtrack page, which features clips of all the soundtrack songs.]
As for the songs that haven't yet appeared on the show, there's no common theme except for the fact that Thomas happens to like them (so much so that he has admitted that he hasn't yet decided how some of them are going to be used). Unlike other television soundtracks like the turgid Buffy The Vampire Slayer: The Album, it's not afflicted with the urge to generate a specific mood at all costs. Instead, it's not only varied (covering acoustic balladry, chillout, disco-beat post-punk and Coldplayesque anthems, among others) but well-programmed; there's a definite sense of movement as former Soul Coughing leader Mike Doughty's twisty, ethereal and insistent "I Hear The Bells" (where the line "You snooze, you lose/Well, I have snost and lost" has about the same effect as a glassful of cold water in the face) shifts into Tegan and Sara's muted and plaintive "I Know, I Know, I Know," while the manic, big-beat "Lust For Life" groove of the Faders' "No Sleep Tonight" gives way to the Stereophonics' alternately thrumming and roaring "Dakota." Whether it's a result of the variety of the songs or the quality of their neighbors, a number of tracks (like "The Way You Are," "Ocean City Girl" and Delays' shimmering "Long Time Coming") actually work better in this context than on their original albums ("I Know, I Know, I Know," on the other hand, was simply overpowered by the more immediately striking material on Tegan and Sara's nifty So Jealous, while Spoon's outstanding Gimme Fiction is worthy of the lockstep "I Turn My Camera On" and vice versa).
The album ends as the first season of the show ended, with Cotton Mather's "Lily Dreams On." Removed from Kon-Tiki, the album it could originally be found on (when the album, an out-of-print cult classic, could be found at all), the psychedelic, Lennonesque ballad gets room to breathe, blossoming into a sweet elegy amongst sympathetic company. "Far from this," sings Robert Harrison, "Lily dreams on," and every ounce of context from the show that I begged you to stave off will come flooding back, no matter how hard you try. That's because it's not limited by the scene it accompanies; in fact, it's enhanced by it, and it in turn enhances the scene, and both become, individually and together, heartbreaking and deeply satisfying in a way that they never would have been otherwise. It's yet another reason why, far from the cheap cash-in that it could have been, the Veronica Mars soundtrack is one of the best albums of its kind.