Chop Shop Records have produced some of my favorite TV soundtracks – including the recently discussed The O.C., Gossip Girl, Chuck, Mad Men and The Carrie Diaries. They’ve also produced some pretty topnotch ones for films and while I’ve never been particularly fond of the Twilight series, the music made up for my lack of love triangle intrigue. Now they are releasing music that has featured on Scandal and it’s a collection of songs that has a heavy ’70s influence with a smattering of new music.
Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes has worked with Chop Shop Records and music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas on both Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice and there’s something to be said about striking the balance between angst and upbeat in a show like this. A soundtrack is important in establishing tone and can enhance the narrative elements; as we have seen on Scandal there is plenty of drama and the pacing is something that is propelled at times by the music.
This is why a track like KC & the Sunshine Band’s “Get Down Tonight” is just as important as “The Light” by The Album Leaf. Both songs feature in the HUGE episode “Nobody Likes Babies,” an episode that marked the voter fraud story coming to a head and all of the characters facing the consequences of their actions. Plus Fitz did something very bad.
The reason I have picked these two songs is because one represents the way they use music to show the associates sifting through information (on this occasion conversations between Abby and David) and the other is all about Olivia and Fitz (and a eulogy). Even though I’m not Fitz’s biggest fan I’m not immune to the chemistry between the pair and “The Light” by The Album Leaf is a haunting and touching piece of music. It is used later in the season in the episode “Seven Fifty-Two” and has become a love theme of sorts for Olivia and Fitz; repetition with songs in this way is a good way of giving cues to an audience with no dialogue necessary. You can listen to both tracks below.
If you follow Chop Shop Records on Twitter you will have seen that they are doing a countdown to the release of the soundtrack with other tracks that have featured on the show but didn’t make the playlist. It’s a shame that only 12 songs make the list as there are some really great songs that are missing. This is the benefit of sites like Spotify as you can make your own Scandal playlist to accompany the official one.