Twilight New Moon Soundtrack Review: Music for Feelings

twilight new moon posterIt’s recently been brought to my attention that the easiest way to lose your street cred – and your friends – is to attempt to engage an urban twentysomething in serious conversation about Twilight. Has anyone else experienced this? As soon as you mutter the words “Edward” or “Bella” or “skin that glimmers like diamonds”, your peers either look at you wide-eyed and take a slow step back, or quickly grin and retort “I know, right!?” in hope that you’re joking.

I never am. I don’t joke about my film preferences any more than I care what people think of me for them. I don’t mind admitting that I love boys who sparkle Twilight the movie. I’m not totally alone, either.

That whole ‘undead’ thing aside, Twilight is a small town love story between two highly-emotional high school outcasts who, after a series of intense, drawn out stares and meaningful, brooding silences, commit to spending the rest of their lives in a sexually-frustrated state of near-kisses and accidental touches. So the repressed romantic in me wants to know, what’s not to love?

The Twilight Saga: New Moon soundtrack is as a result a seriously credible compilation, consisting of 15 songs that are original and exclusive to the soundtrack.

Twilight relies on a cliched money-making formula that appeals to the part of my soul that is still 15 and crushing on that alternative-looking senior who wears chucks, reads Rick Moody and graffitis her messenger bag with lyrics from bands that I’ll spend the rest of my life aspiring to be cool enough to know about.

When Edward gazes down with those deep golden eyes and lustfully declares, “You’re like a drug, my own personal brand of heroin”, he’s not speaking to Bella, he’s melting the stone-cold heart of a girl who – underneath the residual teenage angst and tough, tattooed exterior – only wants to be  wanted. Well that’s partly why I like it, anyway. Mostly I just think that Kristen Stewart is smokin’ hot.

If you’re not a Twilight fan then I’m not going to be able to write anything that’s going to change your opinion, or fool you (or me) into believing that I enjoy the film ironically. [Ed.note: Riese hates Twilight because she hears it is abstinence propaganda] But that’s okay, because even if you dislike Twilight the novels or Twilight the movie – I think there’s a chance you might dig Twilight the music.

Movie soundtracks are tricky in the sense that they very rarely pass as just ‘good’. I find that there are exceptional ones (see: Trainspotting, Pulp Fiction, Reality Bites, This Is Spinal Tap, Saturday Night Fever) which match or even surpass the level of magic offered by the corresponding film. And then there’s the rest, those hundreds of soundtracks produced each year that are entirely forgettable and sometimes even regrettable.

I knew that the Twilight Saga: New Moon soundtrack would fall into that ‘exceptional’ category before I’d even heard it, and it had little to do with the come hither look Kristen was throwing me from the album cover. Or, the fact that the cover itself folds out into a poster that looks pretty good on my bedroom wall. These were just added perks.

I knew it would be exceptional because I believe that when you commission indie rock legends and emerging hype acts to produce brand new tracks for a franchise that turns everything it touches into gold, they’re going to work hard for it. And these ones do. The Twilight Saga: New Moon soundtrack is as a result a seriously credible compilation, consisting of 15 songs that are original and exclusive to the soundtrack.

death cab for cutie

I think whoever came up with the idea of asking Death Cab For Cutie to write the opening track of the Twilight New Moon Soundtrack is a genius – ‘Meet Me On The Equinox’ sets the mood for the album perfectly, atmospheric, broody indie rock that fits as snugly as those skinny jeans you’re wearing. The disc includes new material from indie heavyweights like The Killers, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and the Editors, as well as a custom-made remix of Muse’sI Belong To You’, a standout track on their 2009 studio album, Revelations.

The killers

Radiohead’s Thom Yorke offers up a generous serve of digital ambiance and melancholy with an electro rock track called ‘Hearing Damage’ that quotes his LiveJournal, while indie darlings Bon Iver and St. Vincent collaborate on ‘Rosyln’, which I think you’re going to like so check it out. And while there are one or two tracks I’ll forget about by the time I’ve finished writing this sentence, I don’t think there’s any one track that stands out for the wrong reasons. Even the instrumental piece by Alexandre Desplat (who wrote the score) sounds to be right where it belongs among this list of atmospheric indie anthems.

st vincent twilight soundtrack

boniver

If you’re still unsure about whether or not you’re going to enjoy this soundtrack, I suggest using its most well-known indie heroes – Death Cab for Cutie and Thom Yorke – as your markers. If their music typically works for you, then I think the Twilight Saga: New Moon soundtrack will work for you as well. Overall it’s a well thought-out compilation and the perfect soundtrack for processing your feelings on a rainy day. You know, if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s out now.

The Tracks:

Death Cab for Cutie – Meet Me On The Equinox
Band of Skulls – Friends
Thom Yorke – Hearing Damage
Lykke Li – Possibility
The Killers – A White Demon Love Song
Anya Marina – Satellite Heart
Muse – I Belong To You (New Moon Remix)
Bon Iver and St. Vincent – Rosyln
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Done All Wrong
Hurricane Bells – Monsters
Sea Wolf – The Violet Hour
OK Go – Shooting the Moon
Grizzly Bear – Slow Life
Editors – No Sound But the Wind
Alexandre Desplat – New Moon (The Meadow)
Eskimo Joe – Thunderclap (Australian release only)

Crystal is a 33-year-old Australian living in Chicago. Founding member, does HR stuff, writes now and then.

Crystal has written 329 articles for us.

56 Comments

  1. Reading Twilight made me feel like I was reading the fantasies of a 14 year old girl with a taste for the romance novels you find in supermarkets. Entertaining, sure, I just don’t get the hype.

    Music looks good, though, I’ll most def give it a go (and we all know I’m going to watch New Moon…obviously).

  2. This album looks good no matter what you think of the movies. My love for Death Cab knows no bounds, so I’ll def be downloading this at some point.

    It’s embarrassing to admit, but I don’t hate Twilight. Well, I do, but I also love it at the same time. It’s very confusing. None of my friends seem confused though, which means I’m gonna have to go see this movie alone.

      • Aw, damn that Pacific Ocean! Yeah I tried to stop fighting and go with it, but Twilight is actually one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. Ever. And yet I’m going to spend money to see the second one. I feel possessed!

  3. This album exists in my house right now, but I bought it as a Christmas gift for my little brother and it is killing me not to open it. I refuse to read the books, but I did promise my bro and his gf that I’d watch the movie(s) with them one day… ugh. The music however looks top notch and it makes me a little sad that the songs aren’t attached to a different franchise…

  4. The soundtrack sounds deliciously awesome.
    I don’t hate Twilight at all. I don’t LOVE it either… I’ll watch it voluntarily and probs enjoy it but that’s it. when it comes to those “teenage, angsty, i-just-wanna-be-loved” moments I’ll admit Love actually and Great expectations (can you feel it? It’s my heart, and it’s broken) will do the trick just fine for this 25-year-old.

      • I enjoy your open-mindedness about Twilight. Also I think Love Actually is a realy good movie.
        My favourite teenage, angsty i-just-want-to-be-loved movie is ’10 Things I Hate About You’, when I was a teen I thought that it was such a badass love story.

          • COME. ON. RIESE.
            What about Amelie? (just testing the waters, I learned recently that there are people who actually dislike that movie… my fingers are crossed)

          • Amelie as in the French one with Audrey Tatou? I was so sad when most of my grade 10 French class couldn’t appreciate its wonderful quirkiness. It’s one of my favourite movies.

          • I own Amelie on DVD but I’ve never watched it. I keep it stowed safely in my media cabinet thinking I will watch it one day, but it turns out I haven’t been in the mood for subtitles since… ever.

          • Yes, that’s the one Michelle!
            It is such a cute movie. It’ll make you feel like the world is a beautiful place and people are great.

            I guess getting high works as well… hmm.

  5. My favourite part of this review, which is quite excellent, is the fact that the “why I like Twilight and why I’m not ashamed to admit it” bit is longer than the bit where you actually talk about the music. And in truth, the reason that’s my favourite part, is because it explains perfectly my feelings about Twilight. Of which there are many.

    Also, that soundtrack is really phenomenal. I love so completely and listen to on eight play loops the Lykke Li song. It’s so beautiful.

    • Hah, I was sort of hoping that no-one would notice that I didn’t really write about the album in this album review. I’m glad I’m not alone in my feelings about Twilight, that makes me feel warn and fuzzy. The soundtrack has made me a huge fan of Lykke Li, I wasn’t all that familiar before. But I guess that’s what soundtracks are good for.

      • Yes, I’m on to you. Probs because if I wrote this, it’d probably read much the same. But that’s okay. Twenty-somethings need to geek out and love absurd things too! I’ve never heard any of Lykke Li’s other stuff. Is it as fantastic as Possibility?

  6. While I’ll admit that I hate Twilight (terrible writing, promotion of abusive relationships, abstinence, LDS got % of profits, etc.), the soundtrack DOES looks good. As a side note, Kaki King contributed to the score, then later regretted it.

  7. I read about two pages of the second book and wanted to poke my eyes out but THIS SOUNDTRACK IS SO GOOD. First of all, Bon Iver is brilliant. Just fucking brilliant. Secondly, every song from Muse to Alexandre Desplat is also brilliant. To be honest (and I hate to admit this, as I wore my DCFC shirt today) I’m not really into Meet Me On The Equinox. I think they can do so much better. Thirdly, um, I think that’s it. The second half is “ace”.

  8. I dont like TW bicause is buffy season 2 and 3 nada original at all
    buffy have much better writing….
    I did watch the first one and the only thing that i like was the sountrack so im not goin to see the new one i bette waith and go see kristin AND DAKOTA on RUNAWAYS.I ting kristin is gona act bette in RW.

    • I didn’t really get into Buffy, but I feel like a lot more things happened in Buffy than in Twilight the movie. Like Buffy slayed things, whereas the people in Twilight just stared at each other intensely.

  9. At first I refused to watch the twilight movie. I just didn’t get all of the hype surrounding it. My sister rented the movie and i watched it with her. I was instantly hooked. I read all 4 books in two weeks. I love both sound tracks and I am trying to find tickets to see new moon. Even though I am 27, this series brings you back to the “forever” fantasies all girls had in high school.

  10. My issues with the Twilight are similar to oceanplease. Mormon propoganda, abusive relationships, abstinance, pussified no-fang sparkle vamps, Mary Sue Bella who wants to give up her life for a man, and most specifically that the author gives alot of her Twilight earnings to the very un-gay friendly Mormon church. Then Stephanie Myers had the nerve to say that Edward Cullen was a better romantic hero than Heathcliff Romeo and Mr.Darcy,three of literature’s greatest romantic figures and I was officially done with Twilight. The soundtrack is good though.

    • Better than Romeo? Oh no she didn’t.
      I havent observed any abusive relationships – is that because I’ve only seen one movie? Or am I just not paying attention? All I saw were two pale kids trying to make it work.

      • You would have to read all four books but I found Edward to be very creepy and possessive and Bella was so co-dependant it was ridiculous. She had no other goals in life but to become Edward’s vampire companion and she got her wish eventually. Jacob, her other love interest, became more a tool as the books went along and eventually imprinted on Bella and Edwards daughter as some sort pedophilic consolation prize.

  11. I really wanna like Kristen Stewart. She was rad in Into the Wild, and I have a theory that she may be secretly trying to sabotage Twilight from the inside out with her lolworthy acting performance. Which would be amazing.

    Anyway, I am being dragged to the first midnight session of this movie tonight by my Twi-tard friends, and this soundtrack should make the experience more bearable/potentially enjoyable (although I’m not sure I can bring myself to admit that).

  12. personally i think that new moon soundtrack has amazing music on it even better than twilight, and that is great cause the music talk a lot of the movie and give a whole diferent air to it… i like the books and the movie but just like many, not like a fan or anything, i thing that the music that they put on the soundtrack try to make the movie and the whole thing less childish and it works for me.
    😛

  13. i haven’t listened to the whole soundtrack, so i don’t have much to add, except. i really like the lykke li track.

    and also, unrelated to music, but related to twilight: did you know that 1) someone made a twilight inspired dildo that sparkles? and retains cold temperatures for an “authentic experience” ( http://bit.ly/1z0ifH ) and 2) this underwear exists? ( http://bit.ly/3ExBCC ). twilight fans are scary. & why do i know so much?

  14. CRYSTAL ALL CAPS,
    i love me some Twilight! and i mean love it for real, not ironically or in a love/hate sort of way. i read the books as quickly as i could buy them, despite them being poorly written. i never thought of the series as being abstinence propaganda because i honestly don’t believe SMeyer wrote them in an effort to push any sort of an agenda. i think she was just writing a story and, since she waited until marriage, so did her characters. it’s no more about the Mormon agenda than Harry Potter is about Paganism. also, everyone knows that abstinence propaganda never ever works, so it doesn’t matter anyway.
    i will say this, though — there are some seriously fucked up underlying messages about the necessity of a man in a woman’s life, & the boundaries of consent were blurred at least twice. these things concerned me more than the lack of actual sex.
    but then i remembered that it’s just a book, written for entertainment, by an author whose talents are questionable at best and i decided to simply enjoy the ride. also also also, it’s about teenagers and feelings and vampires and I LOVE THOSE THINGS!

    additionally, this soundtrack is SO SO GOOD.

    • Stephanie Meyer saying that her characters are in the same league or better than some of classic literature’s greatest characters annoys me to no end. And I know it may not bother everyone but the fact that she has made a fortune off these books/various merchandise and often gives a percentage of her earnings to the Mormon Church, which is actively working against gay rights, makes me want nothing more to do with the francise. It would feel too much to me like I was giving money to a woman who was then giving that money to people who used it to fight so hard to get things like Prop 8 passed in California and advocates conversion therapy for gays.

      • Shiva what you say about not wanting to support the author because of the percentage she donates to the Mormon Church is understandable. I guess living in Australia I don’t really see that side of the world, not the Mormons or the anti-gay rights work they do.

        • yeah, accidentally giving money to the mormon church is one of the downsides of buying things in this country. even delicious chicken sandwiches are not immune to secret/not-so-secret religious ties [Chik-Fil-A].
          the thing is, we can never really know what all of our money goes to support. when i buy from the local toy store, i feel good about shopping locally, but for all i know, the lady who owns the place sends 10% of her earnings to the mormon church as well. or maybe she buys puppies from a puppy mill. or maybe she donates to the HRC.
          unfortunately, we’ll never know or be able to control what people do with our money when we give it to them. i feel like whatever small amount of roundabout support i’ve provided to the anti-gay agenda has been more than canceled out by the direct support i continue to provide to the pro-equality movement.
          but that’s just me.

    • LANEIA ALL CAPS,
      Thank you for loving Twilight for real, I feel less alone for loving entertainment and teenagers and feelings and vampires too. What you wrote about there being blurred boundaries with regard to consent has me a little concerned. But also now really curious to read the book and find out what you mean.

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