Compared with Taylor, the "New Moon" soundtrack — which was rush-released on Friday (October 16) to combat early leaks — boasts contributions from the likes of Thom Yorke, Lykke Li and Grizzly Bear (not to mention a first single from Death Cab For Cutie), is pretty dark. It is, as I wrote earlier this week "Music for the masses — or at least the masses who wear glasses and own record players and bought tickets to the Pavement reunion."
Indeed, music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas has compiled what many are calling the indie album of the year, and it's hard to argue with that claim.
Opening with a pair of straightforward jangly/jittery indie tunes, Death Cab's "Meet Me On the Equinox," (which, if you are alive, you've heard by now) and Band of Skulls' "My Friends," the "New Moon" soundtrack quickly downshifts with Thom Yorke's buzzing "Hearing Damage" and Lykke Li's ethereal "Possibility," two thoroughly angsty, artfully sparse standouts that would seem out of place, if not for the murky waters that follow.
The Killers channel Lou Reed on the somber "A White Demon Love Song," which slowly builds to a minor crescendo (and one seriously slippery) guitar solo. Singer/songwriter Anya Marina gets all breathy on "Satellite Heart" and indie icons Bon Iver and St. Vincent do what they do best — churchly, ghostly stuff — on "Rosyln."
The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club do their dark and windswept best with "Done All Wrong," Grizzly Bear's "Slow Life" is hazy, dreamy atmospheric pop and the Editors' "No Sound But the Wind" is a piano-laden ballad buoyed by frontman Tom Smith's brooding baritone.
Of course, there are a few moments of light scattered throughout the darkness. "Twilight" faves Muse contribute a remixed version of "I Belong To You" (the original can be found on their just-released album The Resistance) and it's very much a Muse tune, all stadium-sized vocals and fist-pumping guitars. The Hurricane Bells' "Monster" surges along on a super-skuzzed guitar line, Sea Wolf's "The Violet Hour" is classic swoony indie-pop and OK Go chime in with "Shooting the Moon," which, with its timpani punch and oddball sound effects, is an unexpected highlight, sounding very much like a mid-decade Flaming Lips' cast-off.
All in all, it's a very fine soundtrack. But it's also a decidedly left-of-center one, full of minor-key contributions from comparatively left-field artists. Here's to hoping it introduces those artists to millions of new and rabid fans ...
Check out everything we've got on "The Twilight Saga: New Moon."
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