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Girl Gone Bad

Soundtrack of Sarah Silverman's TV program could be a little too much of a good thing.

Pictured: Cast of "The Sarah Silverman Program."

Songs Of The Sarah Silverman Program: From Our Rears to Your Ears!” released March 2 on the Comedy Central label, is a compendium of nearly 100 short tracks from three full seasons of her unique show, that only nominally falls under the label ‘sitcom.’

The tracks, most clocking in at under 1 minute, are snippets of dialogue from the show, interspersed with some of the songs Silverman has performed in the show and around its titles and credits. Listening to the album in one sitting has the effect of encapsulating watching all three seasons on speed dial, in a brief amount of time -- in effect, getting an outline of the entire series to date.

On the show (see review, 1/30/07) and this album, Silverman gets relatively free rein, and sometimes that can actually be too much of a good thing. The “Sarah Silverman Program” took her “Jesus Is Magic” concert movie (see review, 2005) as a jumping off point, as she plays the childlike, clueless, rude and offensive version of herself, many times over. Silverman does everything from being cavalier and uncaring about getting pregnant, contracting AIDS, being a bad girlfriend to God, and disrespectful of death and her parents.

You’ve got to be ready for the absurd way Silverman delivers this material, and the songs, also brief, have nearly the same tone as the show dialogue. The balance of the album works out to roughly two-thirds clips and one-third songs, and the songs suffer a little without the visuals. The dialogue excerpts tend to stand on their own a little more because they’re more specific about what’s going on at a particular point in an episode.

All in all, “Songs of the Sarah Silverman Program,” is really an album for fans of her or the show, more so than an album for someone who would collect or want to hear albums showcasing different comedians’ material, or in this case something like an album version of “Jesus Is Magic.” Only a small portion of the dialogue tracks play like a version of Silverman’s stand-up act, where she does take on this persona. So although this album crams in a lot of material, it doesn’t have one kind of focus that would have kept it from being so sprawling.




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