New Moon

Original Soundtrack

Atlantic, 2009

REVIEW BY: Sarah Curristan


To get this out of the way, I've read three out of four of the Twilight books and I am not a fan. I've seen the first film. Also not a fan.

There is the much-pointed-out point to be pointed out that this is in essence a teen film, and one that takes itself far too seriously. This is not the Wuthering Heights of this generation, this is not Romeo And Juliet, although the story manages to blatantly capitalise off these works without carrying a micro-crumb of the same merit. There is nothing likeable about characters who have no life outside of each other (this goes for Romeo and Juliet too), but when this is magnified and we are forced to accept it as heroic, it all gets a bit sickening. My opinion towards whatever medium of the Twilight saga that I'm exposed to is that it lacks substance of any order. My expectations are that the sequel, like its predecessor, will be filled with the same copious levels of pregnant pauses in lines that require no pregnancy, lots of Kirsten Stewart running her fingers through her hair brought on by the stress of dating a dead person -- and a surprisingly decent soundtrack.

With the New Moon soundtrack, the impressive lineup is pretty rampant from the get go, with input from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Bon Iver, Muse, Thom Yorke, The Killers, Lykke Li, Grizzly Bear, OK Go and Editors. I’m trying really hard to sidestep the cynicism that keeps creeping in here, but I’m struggling to see how this film could prove so inspirational. Whatever the reason for these appearances (money, intimidation, money, threat of death, money….) the tracks on this disc have cohered well enough to form an unquestionably good collection. And if something is genuinely and substantially good you can’t really call it a guilty pleasure so it’s earned the right to be removed from the dark corners of my collection that houses the likes of ABBA and Bon Jovi.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

My first taste of the New Moon soundtrack came with Death Cab For Cutie’s “Meet Me On The Equinox.” This is a band that I would probably defend if they decided to cover “It’s A Small World After All,” but on initial listening the song just sounded a little too contrived and phoned-in. It took a while to get over a chorus that was just made up of histrionic variations of the phrase “everything ends,” but my DCFC fan mentality eventually kicked in and I caved to liking it. Persist, it’s a grower.

“Possibility” by Lykke Li and “Roslyn” from Bon Iver & St. Vincent were great finds and comprise two of the most ethereal tracks on the album that are worthy of attention. “A White Demon Love Song” by The Killers and “No Sound But The Wind” by Editors can be skipped over with a clear conscience. Some relief from the relentless sense of morose-ness comes in the form of Muse’s “I Belong To You” and acoustic track “Shooting The Moon” by OK Go, but even still this marks a stretch towards the upbeat. Even with my tolerance for melancholic music, fifteen tracks of it verges on excessive.

Fair enough, it's a film about vampires; any compilation in this oeuvre shouldn't really welcome contributions from Kylie Minogue, and a bit of brooding and self-piteous acoustic is called for. But all the same there is the sense that for the film at hand the tracks chosen can seem a bit unduly weighted. This isn’t an album to crack out in the early hours or without having some dispirited reason to.

If you can stomach high levels of the sullen and the sombre, then the New Moon soundtrack is a great collection of new material from artists who definitely warrant your time. And for those who can’t seem to see past their loathing for the Twilight franchise, remove the cover and voilà, awesome compilation.

Rating: B-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2009 Sarah Curristan and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Atlantic, and is used for informational purposes only.