Throwing teenage kicks because the world is a vampire, pro-sex with the undead even though stakes is high, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is a prime-time allegory with punk fangs. But if Buffy is Sleater-Kinney's Corin Tucker skipping class without a hall pass, Felicity Porter -- of the college drama "Felicity," which follows "Buffy" on Tuesday nights -- is closer to Jewel: wide-eyed, well-meaning, impossibly dewy.
The "Felicity" soundtrack is Jewel-free, but it's still all solace, all the time, from Heather Nova's "Heart and Shoulder" (that's "shoulder" as in "to cry on") to Aretha Franklin's version of "Bridge Over Troubled Water." Appropriately, most of these songs originally underscored shots of Felicity lost in blurred human traffic on the streets of New York, or wordless montages of her and her dormmates helping each other, like, make it through.
The "Felicity" album foregrounds this "keep your head up" stuff, shortchanging the eclectic incidental music (Perez Prado, Donny Hathaway) that makes the series a top-notch aural-wallpaper showcase. There's also no hip-hop, but at least we're spared a reprise of the cringe-worthy midseason moment when Elena, the show's sole black lead, tuned in West Coast alterna-rappers Black Eyed Peas on Hot 97, New York's most playalistic radio station. (As if!)
Instead, it's mostly coffeehouse girls and white dudes. Ex-Crowded House singer Neil Finn croons "She Will Have Her Way" like he's finally found Beatle boots that fit, Ivy's "I've Got a Feeling" breathes out swinging, big-city saudade and Sarah McLachlan's "Good Enough" gets mad bonus points for not being the (seemingly inevitable hit) "Adia." Kate Bush's transcendent "This Woman's Work" comes in at the end to leave you crying in your latte, but the best cut is Air's "All I Need," where a growling Moog tries to make out with pensive chanteuse Beth Hirsch. Like the show itself, the "Felicity" album is as comforting and codependent as your stickiest college relationship. Plus, it totally kicks the "Dawson's Creek" soundtrack's ass.