By CONNOR HACHEY
The FX breakout hit Sons of Anarchy is not only one of the most dynamic and thematic productions on cable television, but arguably possesses one of the most spirited, well-composed soundtracks as well.
Songs of Anarchy: Vol. 2, the second installment in the line of soundtracks released about the television series, features frequent show collaborators The Forest Rangers. Accompanied by the likes of contemporary rock icons Alison Mosshart (of The Kills, The Dead Weather, and Daytona Beach band Discount), Curtis Stigers, and Franky Perez among others, they knock out several of the album’s classic rock cover tracks.
Immediate standouts include Lulu’s “To Sir With Love” covered by Katey Sagal (Futurama, Married With Children) and Iggy Pop’s “The Passenger” covered by Alison Mosshart & The Forest Rangers. The covers retain the songs’ original appeal, but inject that certain rustic, western rock aesthetic that has popularized Sons of Anarchy since its inception.
The cover crowned jewel of the album would definitely have to be the first track, Jane’s Addiction’s take on “Sympathy For The Devil” by The Rolling Stones. It was newly recorded specifically for the show and beautifully sets the stage for songs that are set to follow.
Also among the Songs of Anarchy are some pretty amazing originals. “The Lost Boy” by Greg Holden, which played during season 5, has a poignant, emotional effect that successfully channels its appearance on the show, while equally standing alone as a great, somber ballad; this is also accomplished with the evocative, folk numbers “Family” and “He Got Away” by Noah Gunderson.
Even though the songs seamlessly lead from one to the next, a few mediocre tracks made their way into the bunch. Battleme contributed two original songs to the album, “Time” and “Lights,” and while neither seem out of place, they don’t really contribute anything in the way of emotion or feeling. They seem to lack purpose and the album could have seemingly progressed just as smoothly without them. Audra Mae & The Forest Ranger’s rendition of “The Unclouded Day” also left something to be desired.
All in all, Songs of Anarchy: Vol 2 is a wholesome, comprehensive compilation that perfectly channels and describes the feel and tone of “Son’s of Anarchy.” No fan of the show will be disappointed and even those who haven’t quite jumped on the bandwagon can find something to tap along to. It’s true that some songs are a little plainer and more flat than others, but overall it’s true Rock ‘n’ Roll in full form from beginning to end.