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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Twilight: New Moon Soundtrack

Now it has to be said, my knowledge of the Twilight franchise is sparse. Having neither read the books nor watched the first film I know nothing of the saga beyond the fact that it involves vampires and hormone-driven teenage romance. But even with these glimmers of information the choices of soundtrack for the first film seemed obvious. I mean, if I were a teenage vampire, I would totally be into Paramore and Muse.
But as it stands, I'm not a teenage vampire, and I've never pretended to be Hayley Williams whilst prancing around the room singing into my hairbrush to Misery Business. I do, however, follow Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear on Twitter to a near stalker-ish level, and I have done strange things with my eye to try and imitate Thom Yorke.
So what then, would draw me to listening to the soundtrack to the second film in the series, 'New Moon'?
Well, strangely enough, the soundtrack to the new film is a whirlwind away from the upbeat poppiness of the first, and has a rather more sombre tone. Muse are still there (albeit it a remix of 'I Belong To You', a song from their new album 'The Resistance') but the Paramores have been switch for something slightly more sober and, dare I say it, mature.
First up is Death Cab For Cutie, certainly not the boldest of choices on this album after the success they had following 'The OC'. New song 'Meet Me On The Equinox' is a rather lacklustre effort for Ben Gibbard and his men, and certainly a far cry away from the wonders of Transatlanticism.
However, the bar is soon set as Thom Yorke steps into the ring with 'Hearing Damage' and, whilst not among his best work, it's still an early highlight of the soundtrack. But then again with Thom Yorke, what did you really expect? What many may not have expected was the solemn beauty of Lykke Li on 'Possibility', a clear highlight of this album. Anya Marina is another surprise beauty, with lyrics as passionate as they are simple; "I'm a satellite heart/Lost in the dark".
As a major fan of both Bon Iver and St. Vincent I could hardly contain my excitement for their collaborative effort 'Roslyn'. Justin Vernon's falsetto sings to acoustic guitars, a step away from the electric treatment recent songs 'Brackett, WI' and 'Blood Bank' have received. But for all its beauty, I can't help but feel Annie Clark's voice is lost, simply drowned out by Vernon's signature croon. Elsewhere on the album, Grizzly Bear also provide another beautiful collaboration with Beach House singer Victoria Legrand, this time a slower and altogether less poppy affair than 'Two Weeks'.
However, despite the album's high points, it still suffers a few sub-par efforts from Band of Skulls and the Killers, their 'A White Demon Love Song' allowing us once again to see the Killers of old, sans synth. But what is clear now is that it may not have been the synths that was letting them down, but instead the song-writing. Whilst it might not have the quality some soundtracks might display, the soundtrack to 'New Moon' certainly provides a few gems for the certain music enthusiasts out there. Now for the film...

Download: Grizzly Bear - Slow Life [MF]

Twilight: New Moon Soundtrack is out next Monday on Atlantic Records.

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