Twilight Saga - New Moon Soundtrack

2009-12-11 11:48
 
New Moon
 
How a creatively bankrupt film product like The Twilight Saga somehow managed to inspire the songs on this collection is one of those mysteries that will far outlive the Twilight frenzy that has gripped the world's teenage population.

And what a soundtrack it is – mellow, moody, sophisticated, sincere and dripping with talent the sum total of which was definitely not seen on the New Moon set. Ok, enough Twilight-bashing. It's far too easy. Onto the gorgeous music that sets the tone for the rather glum story about a teenage girl and her obsessive love affair with a vampire. Swooning over the lush tones of Bon Iver & St Vincent's "Roslyn" is a prerequisite for this perfect gothic reading of the story. And there is a drunken labyrinth of emotions running through the understated "Done All Wrong" by the rock band Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

But things start off a bit more optimistically than that, with Death Cab for Cutie looping a pretty catchy guitar melody over "Meet Me On The Equinox". It's clearly the most accessible song on the album, and sort of lures you into the dark lair that lies beyond it. But you need not be afraid because there's Thom Yorke, with an infectious skipping beat and a warm, fuzzy, buzzy rhythm to lull you into an illusion of safety on "Hearing Damage". The Radiohead frontman has really grown into his solo electro wizard persona, and the inherently sad, hopelessness of the song should connect with the movie's fans. Heaven knows it supplies the backdrop to New Moon's most mesmerising scene, as bad-girl vampire Victoria is chased through the woods by a pack of wolves.

And it just gets better from there: Lykke Li has never sounded as gloomy as she does here, and her melodious voice adapts to it beautifully. More big ticket names like The Killers, Muse, OK Go and the Editors swan by with a glorious grace – it's only the Muse contribution, a remix of "I Belong To You", that sounds out of place and far too campy for the emotional ride this soundtrack promises (much like the movie that inspired it).

The real gem in this sea of precious material is Grizzly Bear (with Victoria Legend) sounding like they are reaching you from the depths of your dreams. Grizzly Bear are a band renowned for their quirky take on folk and indie conventions, but they have never sounded as stately and commanding as they do on "Slow Life". It's a song that marries two completely different styles - as laidback and easy as settling into your favourite couch, before bursting under the weight of lost love and intense longing.

Even if you skipped the movie on principle, or just have to have everything with the faces of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen pasted on them, the New Moon soundtrack makes for compulsive listening (these songs really do have the power to make time disappear) and certainly one of the most curious releases of the year.


"The Twilight Saga" is a vampire movie series for little girls who like to see two hot actors "make out", but get squeamish about blood, gore and sex. As they should. So how are they going to react to this set of songs by the cream of the indie music scene? Could we possibly see an increase in teenage girl sightings at Bon Iver and Grizzly Bear concerts?

What to read next: Kalahari

BB 2009/12/09 11:44 AM
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I own the soundtrack (which i bought before i saw the film) - its such a great soundtrack and I love Thom Yorkes song "Hearing Damage" the best (The one by Grizzly bear comes in a close second). Nice review!
Rasheeqa 2009/12/10 10:58 AM
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I loved the Bon Iver & St Vincent's song on the soundtrack.
Forest 2009/12/11 8:01 AM
Knock it - bash it - the music fits - the books are brill - we are all in awe of an insatiable desire for love and need...vampire is a human condition Good review
Clare B 2009/12/13 6:49 AM
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Pity you didn't leave your opinions of the books/movies out of it, but have to agree the album is absolutly fantastic! For once a compilation album that you don't have to skip through.
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