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ALBUM REVIEW: "Twin Peaks: Music From the Limited Event Series"

Rhino / Rancho Rosa
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ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists – Twin Peaks: Music From the Limited Event Series (Rhino / Rancho Rosa) 2017

With a total of 20 tracks, this second soundtrack featuring music from Twin Peaks: The Return, which aired on Showtime between May and September, is a decidedly hip and eclectic cross-section of music, many of which were performed in the final minutes of each episode by the featured artist in Twin Peaks’ Roadhouse.

We reviewed the Twin Peaks score music here.

With Twin Peaks co-creator David Lynch acting as executive producer, along with music supervisor and sound engineer Dean Hurley, who also assembled this album, the songs are in chronological order as they appeared over the course of the 18-episode special event series.

Kicking off with a shortened version of Angelo Badalamenti’s iconic “Twin Peaks Theme,” the album flows seamlessly into the Chromatics’ dreamy “Shadow,” followed by the Everly Brothers-inspired “Mississippi” by The Cactus Blossoms.

And while the next six or so songs are good, and fit the mood of the earlier episodes, for me, the music of Au Revoir Simone (“Lark”); Blunted Beats (“I Am”); and Trouble, featuring Lynch’s son Riley Lynch, (“Snake Eyes”) are solid, but not essentially the strongest material featured. “I Love How You Love Me” by Sharon Van Etten has that 50’s female ballad sound that Lynch loves so much.

The best material during Season 3 would not really take hold until the mind-shatteringly brilliant Episode 8 (“Gotta light?”) when Trent Reznor and “The” Nine Inch Nails appeared on the Roadhouse stage and they spooked just about everyone in that room (and everyone watching at home) with the aggressive and menacing “She’s Gone Away.” This is followed by The Platters’ 1956 hit “My Prayer,” which the disc jockey is playing at the New Mexico radio station when he is attacked by The Woodsman.

From here, the songs are top-notch. Songstress Rebekah Del Rio’s very ethereal and Lynchian “No Stars” with a cover of “Viva Las Vegas” from folk singer Shawn Colvin, and actor James Marshall, who plays James Hurley on Twin Peaks, reprises the saccharine, 50’s-styled ballad “Just You,” which he had performed in the second season of the original series. It’s a quirky tune, but still seems to work.

Recordings of Booker T. & The MG’s’ classic “Green Onions” and ZZ Top’s propulsive “Sharp Dressed Man,” which are heard in various scenes involving the Roadhouse appear here, as well as Otis Redding’s version of “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” as recorded for the Monterey Pop Festival.

“Wild West (Roadhouse Mix)” by Lissie, which was heard at the end of Episode 14, has a 90’s female singer-songwriter feel about it, while “Axolotl (Roadhouse Mix)” by The Veils and “Out of Sand” by Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder are certainly notable in their gritty beauty and in the context of the episodes they appear in, it’s Julee Cruise who appropriately rounds out this collection with her haunting “The World Spins,” which had been used in the original series to masterful effect.

All in all, this soundtrack is a great way to remember the unique sounds that were part of Twin Peaks' return to television, something magical in itself.

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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