Considering the fact that Twilight author Stephenie Meyer is the epitome of all that is not cool in the world, it’s quite a surprise that the soundtrack to New Moon is so remarkable. It’s almost as if Meyer, who selected much of the music herself, actually researched what is trendy right now and made the music somewhat relevant outside of her own little world of sparkly monsters.
Featuring a surprisingly hip roster of musical acts, New Moon is impressive in that most of its music hasn’t been quoted incessantly by its preteen fans, as some of the music on the first soundtrack had (like Paramore and Linkin Park).
Thom Yorke, Death Cab for Cutie, Grizzly Bear and Bon Iver are all indie-rock superstars, and the final result of the soundtrack is atmospheric, hushed, moody and broody. The first single from the album – Death Cab for Cutie’s “Meet Me on the Equinox” – is classic Death Cab, with extended guitar riffs and supported by bombastic drums. Almost everything that follows falls into one of two categories, folk or guitar-driven rock, but the surprising thing is that the soundtrack works far better than the film does as a narrative of a girl whose true love has left her.
The Killers’ “A White Demon Love Song” is somewhat quieter than many of their more popular songs but perfectly captures the complicated relationships at the core of the film. The best song on the album is Muse’s “I Belong To You,” which was provided with a slinky, sexy remix specifically for the film.
Alexandre Desplat, one of film’s most prolific composers, provides an uncharacteristically low-key note on which to end the film with “New Moon (The Meadow).” Desplat is known for bombast, but “New Moon (The Meadow)” is a rare surprise from him. Lush and heartrending, simultaneously complex and effortless, the final track is the star of the soundtrack and of the film.
Rating: 3.5/4 stars
Release Date: Oct. 16, 2009
Music Supervisor: Alexandra Patsavas
Label: Chop Shop/Atlantic