The Book of Shadows

Artists: Various
Silva Screen
RRP: £11.95
SILCD 1196
Available 05 September 2005

Charmed, the supernatural drama, chronicles the conflicts and love among three sisters. Bound together by blood and destiny, the Halliwell sisters discovered they were powerful good witches, foretold as the Charmed Ones. The sisters vow to keep their powers secret and vanquish all evil-comers to fulfil an ancient prophecy...

Charmed: The Book of Shadows comes with the dubious tag "music from and inspired by..." Normally I avoid soundtracks that carry this line. Why? Well, it's an almost guaranteed cash in. How can music be inspired by a movie or TV show? Are we really to believe that there are artists out there that watch a show/movie and like it so much that they write some music for the fun of it? No. What this tag usually means is that the music was written for, but not used in the show. Which means that for reasons never explained (probably that it was not good enough) the music was dropped. Either that, or the show has had a previous soundtrack which sold really well and this is a second release to cash in on the success of the first, using any old music they could get the rights to.

The fact that the sleeve notes are very sketchy (there's no reference to which, if any, episode the tracks come from) is a worrying sign. It would have been interesting to learn which tracks were actually used in the show and which episode/s they appeared in.

Thankfully though, this does represent a good, solid collection of tunes that you can easily picture appearing on Charmed. From the theme tune (Love Spit Love's How Soon is Now? which itself was 'borrowed' from the movie The Craft) to Zero 7's Home, there is a good mix of tracks.

Butterfly Boucher's I Can't Make Me track sounded a little too much like a paint-by-numbers Avril Lavine track. While the singer doesn't sound much like Lavine, the music and lyrics do. As did, for that matter, Missy Higgins's Unbroken and Liz Phair's Take a Look, to a lesser degree.

Dido's Sand in My Shoes is probably one of the best known tracks in this collection. And, for a bit of variety, we've even got Sarah Brightman singing a rather interesting dance track.

This is not only a good collection for Charmed fans, but for anyone who wants an interesting collection of songs to add to their music collection. Suddenly I'm more inclined to start taking "music from and inspired by" a little more seriously when I see it plastered on a CD cover.

Nick Smithson

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