This week is the launch of the new Twilight movie, New Moon. The buzz has been building of the release for months, and is sure to be one of the big box office hits of the year. A few months ago artists that were going to be featured on the soundtrack started to leak. The anticipation grew around the soundtrack as many of the world’s most famous Indie Rock artists were listed with new material. A month ago the soundtrack was released and quickly rose to the top of the charts. What’s exciting about the Twilight franchise is their smart decision to go with some of the most electrifying artists today on the soundtrack, and as a result the music will reach a whole new audience of listeners.
Tom Yorke’s willingness to contribute was enough to lure the rest of the Indie Rock artists to the project. While Yorke’s “Hearing Damage” isn’t exactly covering any new ground all Radiohead fans will be pleased. “Friends” by Band of Skulls continues the British up-and-comers streak of great guitar licks that one would expect from the band. One of the most pleasant surprises comes from a band I knew nothing about, Hurricane Bell, their tune “Monsters” compliments many of the other pop/rock songs on the album. Another standout track sure to gain attention is from Los Angeles based Anya Marina, whose song “Satellite Heart” could make for a great radio single or highlighted on a TV show. Sweden’s pop darling Lykke Li’s song “Possibility” shows a more melancholy side to the edgy artist. Grizzly Bear’s “Slow Life” features the vocals of Victoria Legrand of the band Beach House. The band frequently uses Victoria’s voice as backup vocals and it’s nice to hear her more predominately featured in this song. Death Cab for Cutie’s “Meet Me On The Equinox” is the loudest I’ve ever heard the band. Seawolf’s contribution, “The Violent Hour” feels like the missing track from his recent album, and while not his finest it’s still a catchy song.
Not all of the songs maintain the same caliber as the ones above. One of the most disappointing tracks was “Shoot The Moon” by The Editors, who are a great band but are much more effective when they rock-out and the stripped down song does nothing interesting with the lyrics or rhythmic sound. I was initially excited to hear St. Vincent and Bon Iver’s collaboration on “Roslyn” but the song is so dull it’s barely worth repeating which is such a disappointment from the two talented artists. The Killers are barely recognizable beyond Brandon Flowers’ voice in their song “A White Demon Love Song” the simple lyrics and back-up vocals brings them to the end of the decade sounding the rest of the artists on this soundtrack but without creating anything original or heartfelt.
No matter if you’re a fan of Twlight or not the soundtrack is worth checking out. I’m excited for the artists featured and the new wave of fans that will discover them through this well-crafted selection of songs.