Stuff for the Teen Age, Popular Music
Attention Indie Rock Lovers: Twilight Series: The Music
There are the Twilight books, the Twilight movies and then there is the music. For Stephenie Meyer, the author of the Twilight series, music (particuarly alternative rock) was always an important part of her writing process. For fans of the books and films, the music on the soundtracks adds another layer to experiencing the stories and characters but there is plenty to love and enjoy for non-fans too. The Twilight soundtracks have quickly become showcases for the best bands in the alternative rock and indie rock world. They are not just teen film soundtracks but really great mix cds featuring such music artists as Sia, Thom Yorke, Death Cab for Cutie, Iron & Wine and Band of Horses, just to name a few. Check out what you are missing!
The first soundtrack to be released, it is considered the most commericial and mainstream of the three released soundtracks. It features two songs by the pop-punk band Paramore, including the original song "Decode." Written by the lead singer Hayley Williams after she read the book and saw the movie, it perfectly evokes the angsty, rainy days of Forks, Washington. A favorite track of mine is "Flightless Bird, American Mouth" by Iron & Wine. Played during the prom scene, it is a gentle, sweet tune that evokes the dreamy days of first love. Without a doubt, the hidden gem of the soundtrack is the song "Never Think" by actor Rob Pattinson (a.k.a. Edward). A bluesy, acoustic love song, its sparse lyrics are sung with a twang and sounds like something out of another era and is actually pretty darn good. Other standouts are "Full Moon" (which opens the film) by The Black Ghosts, the jangly rock tune "Spotlight" by Mute Math and the sweet, dirge-like riffs of "Eyes on Fire" by Blue Foundation. Also featured, Muse (Stephenie Meyer's favorite band), Perry Farrell, Linkin Park and Collective Soul.
With "New Moon", the soundtrack producers step even further into indie/new artist territory, it features (arguably) only a few well known artists. The main single off the CD is "Meet Me at the Equinox" by the indie emo darlings Death Cab for Cutie. An original song, it plays with the themes and tone of the story perfectly, "...everything, everything, everything ends..." Another original, is the playful tune "White Demon Lover" by The Killers. The best songs however are the truly sad ones. "Roslyn" by Bon Iver & St. Vincent is a lush, melancholy tune that sounds like it was recorded in a cave. Swedish singer/songwriter Lykke Li's sweet, sad "Possibility" plays as Bella, almost catatonic after Edward leaves, sits in her bedroom as the seasons change. A personal favorite is the decidedly more uptempo "The Violet Hour" by Sea Wolf. Another (fairly) lively song is the new wave/electronica track "Hearing Damage" by Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke. To be honest, there is not a true upbeat song on the soundtrack. Its an album best played on mellow days. Other standouts are the piano-laden, deep vocal love song "No Sound but the Wind" by the Editors and the alt-country sound of "Done All Wrong" by San Francisco's Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Also featured, Muse (again), Hurricane Bells, OK Go, Band of Skulls and Anya Marina.
Like the New Moon album, the Eclipse soundtrack is a lush, melancholy and occasionaly jangly mix of rock and pop songs. The artists featured are some of music's latest indie darlings. A key track is the sweet love song "My Love" by Australian pop artist Sia. Like her previous hit "Breathe Me," it has a dreamy vocal and is a piano driven tune. It perfectly scores any love scene (your's or Edward/Bella's). Another love song, is the original Muse tune (a first for the soundtracks) "Neutron Star Collision (Love is Forever)." While very sweet it has an epic, stadium rock feel that appeals to the band's many fans. Besides, what is a Twilight soundtrack without a Muse tune? Indie rock darlings The Black Keys get in on the action with a jangly, bluesy song "Chop and Change" which showcases their hot sound. My favorite song is "Heavy in My Arms" by Florence and the Machine. A British songstress in the vein of Kate Nash, Florence Welch writes songs that are a mix of dance and rock. "Heavy..." has a driving, forboding rock beat, heavy with drums and with plenty of soaring vocals. Another standout tune is "Life on Earth" by Band of Horses. It has the perfect mix of guitar and melancholy vocals. It has a slight country feel that is perfectly at home among all the indie and emo rock songs. The soundtrack does feature happier, more upbeat tunes too. Listen to "What Part of Forever" by hip-hop chameleon Cee Lo Green and the sweet-voiced "Eclipse (All Yours)" by the Canadian band Metric. The latter is the title track and is about Bella's decisions for the future. Other artists featured include: The Bravery, Eastern Conference Champions, Fanfarlo, The Dead Weathers, Beck & Bat for Lashes, Vampire Weekend and UNKLE. There is literally not a weak tune among them.
While a bonus for die hard Twi-hards, these are also film soundtracks for true rock music lovers and are totally worth checking out.