Thursday, August 04, 2005

VA / Everything Ends: Six Feet Under OST Vol. 2 / Rating 6.8

“As the most flawed of HBO's flagship dramas, "Six Feet Under" is both the most familiar and most difficult to take.”

Its bad enough that I am a music dork to the point of reviewing Pitchfork’s music reviews so I will bite my tongue and try not to cross into the world of TV obsessed loser as well. It makes me a little sad to have Six Feet Under called the most flawed drama by PFM when there have been many others (Carnivale!?!) but that would be another hyper-critical blog all together. Consider yourselves spared.

“On paper, it spends too much time on commercial, familiar adult pop and too little on edgy rock; in practice, the predictable songs hold up the best.”

I decided to track down a complete list of all the music used in every episode of Six Feet Under to see just how historically “edgy” they had been all along. There is an impressive amount of both known and lesser-known artists but from looking at this list there are almost none I would consider truly “edgy rock” in the traditional sense. (See for yourself here: ) For the most part it reads like a box set of music a tasteful but brooding 30-something might put together: lush down tempo electronica, a few timeless classics, on the cusp of darkness yet uber popular alterna-acts, top shelf world music, and a good half of the Astralwerks roster. It makes absolute sense to me that A) this collection appears via Astralwerks and B) the track listing is what it is. Maybe I need a better definition of “edgy rock” because I think to most normal average Joe TV watchers, this soundtrack walks the fine line between safe and out of their world as well as represents the music viewers have been exposed to all along. I would also think the average PFM reader owns in some form or another over half of the tracks on this collection. The decision to include exclusive tracks from big hitters like Interpol and The Arcade Fire* is a clever sales pitch to woo all kinds of 6FU viewers, the hip and those trying to be…as well as plain old fans of the TV show.

The only real problem I have with this comp in relation to the modern downloading world is this: you can download this entire cd from itunes for 12.99 but the actual cost of the cd is anywhere from a dollar to 5 dollars more. The bulky booklet should be 100x cooler than it actually is (stills from the opening credits to the show… eh.) and considering the track listing isn’t devastatingly great, the art would be the main selling point to a fan of 6FU. I imagine “Everything Ends” will more than likely be cherry picked by internet types looking to add a song or two but overall will pass on the whole concept of this being a complete and necessary package they must own. For those of you who only buy cds or records (myself included) and are huge fans of the show I have to say save your money and buy the DVDs. At least that is a complete package of audio and visual.

In the end I agree with the PFM 6.8 rating but for totally different reasons than Chris Dahlen suggests.