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Album Review: Girls – Volume 1: Music From The HBO Original Series


What was that song playing over the closing credits? Now fans of Lena Dunham’s "Girls" have the answer with the first soundtrack from HBO’s acclaimed series.

Spanning music from the show’s first season and previewing the second, it’s a playlist that Hannah and her friends might well have cobbled together themselves: alternative, indie, folk, rock, pop, dance — for a satisfyingly eclectic mix.

You get 14 tracks on the CD and standard digital download, or 18 on the deluxe digital version. Regardless of your choice, the variety ranges from chart-topping singles and key album tracks to songs exclusive to this collection, including Santigold laying down an electro-rap that gives Ms. Minaj a run for her money on “Girls,” Grouplove’s exuberant “Everyone’s Gonna Get High,” twin sisters Tegan & Sara’s retro-folky “Fool To Cry,” and Fun.’s “Sight Of The Sun” sounding as if it was lifted off their most recent album.

But wait —as they say— there’s more. Robyn’s yearning, irresistible “Dancing On My Own,” Oh Land’s super-catchy “White Nights” and Icona Pop’s trashy-in-a-good-way “I Love It” comprise the hit-making contingent of Nordic female singers from the past few years. The Vaccines’ “Wreckin’ Bar” is short, sharp Ramones-style punk, while Sleigh Bells’ “Infinity Guitars” amps up the volume.

And for a real blast from rock’s past (1966!), there’s The Troggs’ “With A Girl Like You.”

Of course sometimes just an acoustic guitar and unadorned voice is all you need, so the album is rounded out by lo-fi gems from Harper Simon (Paul Simon’s oldest son), Lia Ices and Michael Penn. Plus, from their acclaimed 1996 debut, Belle & Sebastian’s “I Don’t Love Anyone.”

So whether you’re a total "Girls" fan or just looking to discover some cool new tunes, add “Girls – Volume 1” to your playlist.