Album Review: Various Artists – The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Soundtrack

By on Tuesday, 15th June 2010 at 12:00 pm
 

Against my better judgement and as hard as I tried to resist, I have to admit that I am a Twilight fan. What drew me in to the books was the first movie, and one of the reasons I liked it so much was the fantastic soundtrack. The Twilight series always manages to get some amazing bands on their soundtracks, many of whom write original songs, and they integrate them seamlessly into the films. And while I can’t speak for how well it will fit with the tone of the film (it isn’t released in America until 30th June and in England until 9th July), the soundtrack for ‘Eclipse’ is certainly as good as the last two.

You can’t review a Twilight soundtrack without mentioning Muse. They have contributed a song to each of the three Twilight soundtracks, which is not surprising, as they’re author Stephenie Meyer’s favorite band, but of the three, this is probably my least favorite. In general, I agree with US Editor Mary’s review of it: that it’s good, but it’s a bit cheesy – it’s definitely a grower.

TGTF favorites Metric open the album with their track ‘Eclipse (All Yours),’ and it’s a great way to begin. Vocalist Emily Haines hits gorgeous high notes in the chorus — “Now I’m all yours / I’m not afraid, I’m yours” — channeling the voice of protagonist Bella Swan. Working with film composer Howard Shore, they created a great song, but it’s missing a bit of the intensity and attitude that I’m used to from the Canadian indie-rockers. Another standout track comes from Florence and the Machine, with the track ‘Heavy in Your Arms’. As usual, it’s the stunning vocals that really make this dark, intense song, with Flo going from more reserved singing in the verses to really belting it out in the chorus: “I’m so heavy, heavy, heavy in your arms.” Florence and her machine may be better-known, but soulful Australian popstress Sia gives her a run for her money with her gorgeous, haunting vocals on ‘My Love.’

One band set to gain a lot of popularity from their inclusion on the soundtrack is Fanfarlo, who TGTF interviewed back in December. They contributed the folksy ‘Atlas,’ which you can see a stripped-down acoustic version of below. The song has a much lighter, more carefree feel than the majority of the album and the vocals are flawless. Adding to the slew of great female vocalists is Bat for Lashes‘s Natasha Khan, who collaborated with Beck on the hypnotic and haunting ‘Let’s Get Lost,’ with Khan taking the lead vocals and Beck providing the backing vocals and synth.

Not to be outdone, the male-led bands also contribute a dizzying array of fantastic music. While Muse held the rock mantle on the first soundtrack with ‘Supermassive Black Hole’ and shared it with Band of Horses on the ‘New Moon’ soundtrack, this time the honor goes to blues-rock duo The Black Keys with their song ‘Chop and Change.’ It’s raw and gritty with a great guitar riff, and everything you’d expect from the Akron, Ohio band. Indie darlings Vampire Weekend are perhaps the most appropriately named of all the bands on the soundtrack, and their song, ‘Jonathan Low,’ is unsurprisingly one of the most upbeat. Recorded towards the end of last year, it’s a bit different from what you might expect from Vampire Weekend’s recent material and is richly orchestrated, with a 12-string guitar part played by Rostam Batmanglij.

A somewhat surprising inclusion is British electro duo UNKLE, whose song ‘With You in My Head’ featuring The Black Angels is at once catchy and mysterious, dance-able and ethereal. Providing a bit of Americana is Band of Horses, who admittedly “don’t know crap about [Twilight]” but think “they put really really cool soundtracks together”. An outtake from the band’s most recent album, ‘Infinite Arms,’  ‘Life on Earth’ is slow and relaxing and has absolutely gorgeous vocal harmonies. And rounding out the album in spectacular fashion is Cee Lo Green of Gnarls Barkley with the upbeat and soulful ‘What Part of Forever.’

Even if you can’t stand the Twilight Saga, do me a favour and go buy this album. If you like the bands we cover on TGTF, chances are you’ll love it – hell, half of them are on the soundtrack!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pb2c-eBuKOI[/youtube]

View Full Track Listing After the Cut

Track Listing

1. Metric- Eclipse (All Yours)
2. MUSE- Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)
3. The Bravery- Ours
4. Florence + The Machine- Heavy In Your Arms
5. Sia- My Love
6. Fanfarlo- Atlas
7. The Black Keys- Chop And Change
8. The Dead Weather- Rolling In On A Burning Tire
9. Beck and Bat For Lashes- Let’s Get Lost
10. Vampire Weekend- Jonathan Low
11. UNKLE- With You In My Head (Feat. The Black Angels)
12. Eastern Conference Champions- A Million Miles An Hour
13. Band of Horses- Life On Earth
14. Cee Lo Green- What Part of Forever
15. Howard Shore- Jacob’s Theme

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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