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The Tragic Treasury: Songs From a Series of Unfortunate Events

Gothic Archies, Lemony Snicket, Stephin MerrittAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 15 Songs, 2008 $13.49  
Audio CD, 2006 --  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Scream and Run Away 2:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. In the Reptile Room 2:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. The World Is a Very Scary Place 2:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Dreary, Dreary 2:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. When You Play the Violin 3:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. This Abyss 3:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Crows 2:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Smile! No One Cares How You Feel 1:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Freakshow 2:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. How Do You Slow This Thing Down? 3:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. A Million Mushrooms 1:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Things Are Not What They Appear 3:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Shipwrecked 2:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Walking My Gargoyle 2:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. We Are the Gothic Archies 2:56$0.99  Buy MP3 

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The Tragic Treasury: Songs From a Series of Unfortunate Events + New Despair + Hyacinths & Thistles
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  • New Despair $10.94
  • Hyacinths & Thistles $12.62

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 10, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,856 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Children's discs, like cartoons, sometimes work on a couple of different levels, but those levels are usually predictable--the pop-culture reference that flies over a slack-jawed fourth grader's head while garnering a chuckle from her parent, for example, or the double-entendre that's decidedly singular in the eyes of a 6-year-old child. The Tragic Treasury, the companion disc to Daniel Handler's creepily addictive Lemony Snicket series of books, is in a whole different league: 11-year-olds and the adults who hover over them, waiting for their own chance to devour each title, will love its verisimilitude--songs like "Scream and Run Away" and "Smile! No One Cares How You Feel" couldn't have been concocted for anything else--and indie-rock types, be they 19 or 62, will love its drearily exceptional hipness. Whether you know your grim grottos from your vile villages and hostile hospitals (all Snicket titles) couldn't matter less: if artful gloom-leaning pop grabs you, this disc gives up the goods, and of a quality you won't find anywhere else besides a handful of less-inspired Gothic Archies releases. As most non-Snicketeers inclined to pick up The Tragic Treasury know, Stephen Merritt--he of the equally excellent Magnetic Fields--is responsible; a few accordion contributions from Handler himself aside, he alone is the merry Goth man. He also writes a mean lyric, and luckily for Snicket loyalists, they're included in liner notes here. --Tammy La Gorce

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gothic Archies' strongest outing yet... October 10, 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
...and one of Stephin Merritt's most memorable, and by far the funniest. On this album he is doing what he does best: being a glum old curmudgeon-popster with tongue wedged squarely in cheek. No knowledge of the Lemony Snicket books is needed. There are a number of direct references in several of the songs, but the lyrics stand on their own quite well, particular in numbers such as Freakshow, Shipwrecked, How Do You Slow This Thing Down?, and A Million Mushrooms. Expect an expertly crafted mixture of glum yet surprisingly catchy arrangements coupled with more of Merritt's hilariously morose lyrics. Highly recommended!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange, twisted, and funny October 13, 2006
Format:Audio CD
The second I heard the song, "Crows," I knew I had to own this album. I know nothing of Lemony Snicket books, but I've a been a Magnetic Fields fan for awhile. So, after very awkwardly browsing the childrens' section at the bookstore, I was able to find a copy of this really great album. I was very happily surprised to find that this CD is more in line with Merritt's great early nineties albums (like Holiday, Wasps' Nests, and The New Despair) rather than i or (shudder) Showtunes. This is a great mix of synths and traditional instruments (if you consider an electric sitar "traditional"). The lyrics are very depressing/weird/funny/moving depending on the song, though some are all four.

Even though I did my research on this album before I got it, I'm stilll astonished as to how good it really is. I wasn't excited for the next Magnetic Fields album next Spring, but now I am. The only thing I can equate this to is when another great indie artist, Mark Mulcahy, put out a disc of Polaris songs for The Adventure of Pete and Pete (they're completely different save for sheer quality). I can't say for sure if Lemony Snicket fans will really dig these songs as much as I do, since I'm already a fan. However, I haven't read any of the Snicket books, but now I really want to.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I saw this live October 21, 2006
Format:Audio CD
I had the great "misfortune" to see some of these tunes performed live by Daniel Handler (on accordian) and Stephin Merrit (Lemony Snicket was supposed to play percussion but he was detained... long story... you get it if you know about the books). It was the greatest thing I have ever seen! If you have the chance to catch Lemony Snicket on tour, do it! And get the CD, you will be very, very firmly depressed and miserable. It's the perfect accompaniment to this series.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stands on its Own Merits!! October 30, 2006
Format:Audio CD
I may not be a kid, but I know when something is fun! If you're a parent, then you are probably familiar with "A Series of Unfortunate Events." I haven't read a single one of the books from this series, but my son read all thirteen (and counting?), so there is obviously something about their humor and style that is addictive. The same can be said of "The Tragic Treasury," a collection of clever songs inspired by the book series. Grown-ups may know Stephin Merritt as the brains behind Magnetic Fields, his ambitious recording nom-de-plume that a few years back offered a fabulous 3-disk set called "69 Love Songs." The literacy and deadpan emotional investment of that collection earned "69 Love Songs" a place on many critics `best of' lists. Since then, his chameleonic nature has him peeking from behind corners under various guises, including the 6ths and Future Bible Heroes. The Gothic Archies is simply his latest, and funniest, disguise, as a composer with a penchant for black humor.

So we have a conundrum. Kids know the books but not the musician. A few discerning adults know the artist but not the book series. So, let's address that situation immediately; Kids don't need to know the musician to recognize the humorous tone of these songs, and adults don't need to read the books to be hooked, either. These songs may work great as an accompaniment to the young adult books, but the songs are genuinely entertaining in their own right. As I said, I never read a single volume, but there are points when Merritt makes me laugh out loud. Heck, just reading the band-name makes me laugh. Here's just a sampling of his lyrical style, taken from a rhythmic carnival ride entitled "The World Is a Very Scary Place";

"The world is a very scary place, I hear.
Read more ›
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really fun and creepy December 27, 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
...I blasted this music on my front porch for Halloween this year. It scared kids away.

This is really clever, creepy and fun.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Scream, but don't run away January 8, 2008
Format:Audio CD
For children of any age, the album should be approached with caution and family listening. One track, "Freakshow," was not included on the audio books, and it is clear to us why this is so; regardless of the character being portrayed from the Lemony Snicket books, the song is a bit of genius that, to the ears of children, could border on verbal abuse. (The impact of the second-person "you" on young listeners should not be underestimated.) But if you have pre-teens seeking gothic drama and dark, funny music that sounds like it was recorded inside the broken iron heart of a crippled 19th-century automaton, The Tragic Treasury will have them swooning. For its music alone and for its willingness to touch on taboo topics, the album can charm even young children, so judicious selections can be fun for families with a dark sense of humor. Our three-year-old daughter Z, for her part, enjoys marching around the room to the chorus of "Scream and Run Away" - "Run, run-run-run-run-run-run-run, or die, die-die-die-die-die-die-die-die..." No, really, it's okay... Who am I kidding? You just have to hear it.

Top Tracks: Scream and Run Away / In the Reptile Room / This Abyss / Crows / Freakshow / Walking My Gargoyle
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie Soundtrack More Than Not
For the Stephin Meritt completist, which I am, a collection of more tiny gems from the master. It's as much a Lemony Snickets project as a Gothic Archie's release, but several... Read more
Published 5 months ago by dwall
5.0 out of 5 stars A Series of Delectable Delights
Stephen Merit and Daniel Handler do an amazing job executing songs to illustrate the series of books. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Mashuga31
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, but some are better than others
We bought this because we loved the clip from the audio book of "The Reptile Room." We did enjoy that song, but also felt it was one of the better songs on the album. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Java junkie
5.0 out of 5 stars Spooky fun...
Haunting. Strangely appealing. Uncomfortably catchy. Clearly not for everyone...but likely to be enjoyed by anyone boasting to have an eclectic collection of music.
Published on April 25, 2012 by cincy-kid
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tragic Treasure!
A selection of carefully crafted songs with a common depressing theme that still manages to make me smile! Read more
Published on March 14, 2012 by Ivi K
5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD
These songs are great, very quirky and fun. Shipping was slightly delayed, but amazon kept me updated on the situation.
Published on June 6, 2010 by J. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, I liked the books too.
First of all, let me say that I found the books amazing. Better than Potter, Twilight & Shakespeare put together. And I would describe this CD in the same way. Read more
Published on February 20, 2010 by cryptoman
4.0 out of 5 stars So strange yet compelling to listen to...
I bought this CD for my pre-teen daughter because she loved the Series of Unfortunate Events books. It is a collection of some of the strangest music I have come across. Read more
Published on January 6, 2009 by Book Lvr
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good fun.
I purchased this for my son who is into the series and I didnt expect much.
This is so totally funny. It is done by the author and his "goth band". Read more
Published on May 21, 2008 by Cookiedulce
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome ^__^
This is the 2ed collest CD I've ever heard, second only to American McGee's Alice soundtrack, (sort of) by Nine Inch Nails. Read more
Published on March 25, 2008 by Lika Laruku
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