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Buffy Sings by Amy Diaz of

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Once More, With Feeling," 2002, Rounder Records

Seldom does the soundtrack to television shows boast "original cast album."

But of course "Once More, With Feeling" is not your usual "Dawson's Creek" collection of top 40 hits. This Buffy soundtrack includes the dozen or so original songs Joss Whedon penned for last season's ridiculously brilliant musical episode. From Sarah Michelle "Buffy" Gellar's surprisingly decent singing voice to the on-point content of all the songs, the episode was one of the series smartest-a quality that comes through on the compact disc. But enough gushing, our Joss knows what a stud he is with the use of language and the ability to squeeze plot in unexpected corners. (His delightful liner notes had me giggling like a girl on her first date with her undead boyfriend.)

What's to love? James "Spike" Marsters' lovesick "Rest In Peace"! Alyson "Willow" Hannigan attempting to hold the tune on her total of two lines! Anthony Stewart "Giles" Head's swoon-worthy "Standing"! Amber "Tara" Benson's near pornographic "Under Your Spell"! ("Lost in ecstasy/Spread beneath my willow tree,"-how did that make it past the censors?)

I can't imagine a non-Scooby Ganger picking up this wonderful oddity but I can't see how a true Buffy fan can live without it.

Because, after all, "they got the mustard out..."

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