We Listened to All the Twilight Soundtracks, So You Don't Have To
This weekend sees the end of Hollywood's four-year license to print money, as the final Twilight film, Breaking Dawn Part 2, hits theaters. Keeping pace with their standard process, they made it a point to release a heavily market-researched soundtrack to coincide with each film. Below are some highlights and lowlights from each.
Spoiler alert: She's a vampire now
Released in 2008, the first soundtrack for the film franchise actually debuted at number 1 on the Billboard charts and held that spot for two weeks before being dethroned by the unstoppable unicorn that is Taylor Swift. Stacked with the likes of Muse, Paramore, Perry Farrell, Collective Soul and Linkin Park, Twilight feels like a throwback to the early Aughts, when aggro-rock ruled soundtracks and served as a distraction when they popped up in the films. Just look at anything with a Marvel superhero, namely Daredevil, which was less a movie and more a commercial for Amy Lee's voice.
Peppered amongst the guitar-heavy whining were songs by series star Robert Pattinson (somehow not the worst song on the soundtrack), MuteMath and Collective Soul. Easily, the highlight of the soundtrack was Iron & Wine's "Flightless Bird, American Mouth," which was included on the insistence of star Kristen Stewart, and serves as a signifier of the changes that would occur on the next soundtrack.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon
To say that the New Moon soundtrack was completely different from Twilight doesn't do it justice. Gone were Paramore and Linkin Park, in were Death Cab for Cutie, Lykke Li and the Killers. Add in album highlights like St. Vincent and Bon Iver's "Roslyn," and you have to wonder why the changes are so drastic. It's as if the marketing directors behind the film picked up a Coachella poster and selected bands at random.
The few lowlights are a boring Black Rebel Motorcycle Club track, another song by Muse and an appearance by the most overhyped band of 2009, Band of Skulls. Also, what the fuck, Lupe Fiasco? His track, "Solar Midnite," features him collaborating with Linkin Park light on a song that sounds like it should either be on the Judgment Night soundtrack or the next Blade movie. It is just terrible. Though, this was balanced out by an original Thom Yorke song, whose profits went towards his yearly haircut.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
And boom goes the indie dynamite. Let's look over the the acts who were either coming off recent success or about to blow up on this soundtrack: Metric (riding their Fantasies wave), Florence & the Machine ("Dog Days" joke goes here), Sia, The Dead Weather, Band of Horses, The Black Keys, Cee-Lo and Bat for Lashes (who shared a track with Beck). Add in a collaboration between UNKLE and The Black Angels... Hold on, take a second, let it all sink in. The Black Angels appeared on a Twilight soundtrack... Anyway, the collaboration between UNKLE and The Black Angels is the highlight of the whole thing, and is worth listening to on its own. This may be the most bizarre soundtrack put out for a major film since the Batman Forever debacle.
I would be remiss if I didn't point out the soundtrack was dragged down by the obligatory Muse track, and a song from The Bravery, who I did not realize were still a band in 2010.