Young adulthood is a seesaw of contemplation and exhibition. That truth runs rampant over the HBO series "Girls," in which creator Lena Dunham and her band of super savvy yet super self-absorbed pals cavort around New York and skirt responsibility. It's parties and prayers, regret and ribald living.
The show's second volume of songs does an ace job at tucking all the angst and spectacle into one pretty package. The bawdiness of Lily Allen's autotuned "L8 CMMR" and Zero Dezire's "It's My Birthday (Remix)" throws caution to the wind. They're the companions to Hannah Horvath's recklessness, and solemn numbers such as Beck's "Blue Moon" serve as the sobering comedown.
If one song was to represent "Girls" as a whole, it'd be Jenny Lewis' "Completely Not Me." It speaks to the charade played by Hannah and so many of her cooler-than-thou Brooklynite peers. In Lewis' signature kittenish tone, she laments she was "bit by my hubris" over chamber-pop instrumentation. It's fragility incarnate, with imagery that begs for a pan of Dunham staring out a window propped ajar.
Every tune on this soundtrack is painfully relatable, just like "Girls" in general. It's awkward and can even get messy (a live take by underground icon Daniel Johnston is gut-wrenching in its vulnerability). But it's got such a grounded and gorgeous quality to it. You won't be able to stop listening, just as you cannot tear your eyes from each episode. Volume 2
is a worthy accompaniment to a daring TV program.