February 2, 2006

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Various artists, Veronica Mars (Original Television Soundtrack)

Nettwerk Productions, 2005

A

Rob Thomas has good taste.

Thomas, the creator of the too-fun Veronica Mars (or, as it’s also know, “the Only Reason to Turn to UPN”), knows his music just as his tough-cookie high school heroine knows her detectiving. His style, at least as it’s translated onto the small screen, might best be described as laid-back alternative. He digs the moderately big The Dandy Warhols (their “We Used to Be Friends” is the always-mood-improving title song to the show), Tegan & Sara, The Faders, Mike Doughty — guys that open for the big guys and consistently produce CDs that are excellent to listen to but don’t exactly blow Coldplay off the charts, sales-wise. His musical selections as represented on the 14-track album might be best described as the stuff you wish you were cool enough to know about in high school. It’s the kind of CD that could easily replace your iPod mix for an hour and provide the same euphoric sense of listening to just the good stuff.

Even network favorites The Faders seem in step with the tracks from Ivy, Something Happens, The Format and Spoon (and, a big “yay!” to Thomas and his crew for helping Spoon get a little more visibility).

Without going too far out on a limb, the soundtrack, like the show itself, manages a perfect balance and always seems to strike the right note.

— Amy Diaz