5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I'm not seventeen, but,
This review is from: Twilight (Audio CD)
I have a confession to make: I've been playing this album incessantly since it landed on my doorstep 2 weeks ago. I bought it on the back of Twilight the movie, which for me embodied perfectly everything a young, modern, exciting film should be. I'm a hyper-critical, hyper-cultural 23-year old, and a vampire teen flick could easily not have appealed, however I was floored. The music struck me instantly as a huge part of the film's power to thrill and move, and I bought this soundtrack initially to help tide me over until the DVD release... but it surprised me by standing apart as a brilliant collection of songs, whose enjoyment is enhanced by, but in no way reliant on, the film.
The opening track is one of my favourites - Muse on brilliant form, with Bellamy's soaring vocals sounding super-sexy and tortured over the assault of guitars. Paramore unleash a wonderful angst-ridden performance on Decode, with Hayley Williams's impressive voice putting an intense degree of emotion into the sort of song I wish had been around when I really was a gothy 17-year old. Full Moon has an amazing instant-relax effect on me, and I'm starting to pick out the layers of drum & bass lying unexpectedly beneath the shimmering violins and a cool West Coast lyric & vocal (apparently these guys are English - glorious). Leave Out All The Rest is another stand-out track, its heartbeat pulse taking me back to the Linkin Park stuff I used to love angsting over in the 90s, and makes for particularly obsessive listening. Spotlight provides a frenetic break, and is also addictive. Go All The Way (Into The Twilight) is a weaker moment, possibly only because of the embarrassingly ditzy female rap (which thankfully only lasts a few seconds). Tremble For My Beloved doesn't do much for me either, but is innocuous and pleasant listening. Cue a second serving of Paramore, equally evocative if less penetrative than the first - just love her vocal attack though. The album then takes on a more sultry tone, starting with the delicious spareness of Blue Foundation's draculaic Eyes On Fire. Rob Pattinson would happen to be a superb musician, further proving that in this life, all hands are not dealt equal. Never Think struck me initially as a bit dull, especially as Pattinson's real soul-wrencher, Let Me Sign, is inexplicably left off here. However, the acoustic intimacy is lovely, and the track has grown on me to the point of haunting. The real delight on this album for me though is Iron & Wine's Flightless Bird, American Mouth - at first sounding like a classic oldie, the aggressively quirky lyrics teamed with tissue-paper-soft vocal delivery create a disarmingly strong impression that, like a dream, lasts long after the song and album have wound up. Finally, as though in token of the inextricability of soundtrack from score in this film, Bella's Lullaby closes the album with Carter Burwell's 2min 30s of pure piano joy. I defy any female not to wish this had been written for her. Pure expressive magic.
Perhaps the strongest indication that this album, whilst being an essential accompaniment to the film, can stand on its own two feet: I came to it knowing only Muse and Linkin Park, and I've come away curious about a few other fascinating artists whose music I can't wait to explore. My only gripe is the exclusion of both Let Me Sign, which has been haunting my waking hours since I saw the film, and of the song that plays just before the full end credits, which is also awesome.
You'll love this album if you a) loved Twilight b) are 17 (or 23) c) have or have ever had "the angst" or d) all of the above. But if not, there's a chance you might love it anyway. Purchase and play loudly... and have tissues ready for the last bit.