New Moon Soundtrack one-word review: MELANCHOLY.
New Moon Soundtrack much wordier review (you been warned):
A few days ago one of you left a comment wanting my input on the New Moon Soundtrack. Or maybe it was an email? I'm thinking it was KintheFlo but, after searching for who-knows-how-long I am admitting defeat because I can't find it. I'm sorry. Feel free to 'fess up. Anyway, because we aim to please and adore all of you - here it is.
Confession - The first time I actually even listened to the New Moon soundtrack was, um, the day I read the comment. Apparently STY was nice enough to download it on my iTunes weeks ago and I repaid the favor by promptly forgetting about it. Go me. I suck.
Also, keep in mind that I am not a unbiased judger. You know the phrase "opinions are like assholes"? Well, I have lots of opinions and I am most definitely an asshole. So there you go.
As a treat (or not!) for reading the word-vomit that is my critique, I've attached a few videos from a couple of talented musicians that I think are pretty fucking great. At the very least please just scroll down and check them out. Oh, and I may or may not have thrown in some RPattz jaw/eye/everything porn to make this post go down a little easier.
Meet me on the Equinox - Death Cab for Cutie - I hate this song. I mean, the lyrics are P-E-R-F-E-C-T for New Moon but the song is a disappointment as far as Death Cab goes. There is a too-polished sound to this song that is very un-Death Cab-esque. Previous DC4C albums seem more personal, softer. For a band that can convey both sadness and whimsy excellently, this song is sorely lacking and that is saying something about one of the few bands who have brought me to literal tears with one of their songs (Sarah Says or I Will Follow You into the Dark, Plans) not to mention that Iron & Wine even covered one of their songs (well, that was Postal Service but close enough).
Friends - Band of Skulls - Aptly named, this song has a good classic beat - simple, out there, unapologetic. It's one of those beats that is absolutely infectious, it gets under your skin whether you want it to or not. It also makes you wish you were wearing a leather jacket or something cool and possibly tossing back a beer down at the local dive bar with a few, well, friends. They definitely channel a Joan Jett-esque feel; very reminiscent of that kind of we're-so-cool-with-our-lazy-rock-beats that we fucking just rocked your socks off and you didn't know it. I first loved it... then I hated it. Then I loved it again. And again. And again...
Hearing Damage - Thom Yorke - Since I'm not really a music critique-y person and only an asshole I can openly admit that I despised Radiohead for YEARS solely because I couldn't stand the hype behind them. And then I finally broke down and listened to them and.... grrr, fuck me they are fantastic.
This is just yet another amazing piece of genius from Thom Yorke. The lyrics, the beat, the everything. I'm a fan of haunting voices and Thom Yorke definitely conveys 'haunted' rather well.
Which brings me to the next song...
Possibility - Lykke Li - Hands down my favorite song on the soundtrack. There is so much melancholy to her sweet, childlike voice. I know people have compared her to Bjork, but for the sake of this one song, I don't see it and that is certainly not a bad thing. [For those interested, her albums are much more poppier than this song and she DOES have a very Bjork sound to her.] The song is plaintive, full of a resigned sorrow and the lyrics break my heart. The simplicity of the instruments and backup vocals that accompany her voice are sublimely understated and emphasize the loneliness she expresses. In short, excellent. I mean, seriously, the simple percussion sounds like a water drop in a cave and it is, for lack of a better word, haunting. She's been on my 'need to buy' list and has just moved into the #1 slot.
A White Demon Love Song - The Killers - Admittedly, I'm not familiar with the Killers. I know, shame on me - I've heard so many people sing their praises but the few songs I've heard have left me wanting more so I never pursued them.
That being said, it's a good song, a well-rounded mix of wistful poppiness mingling with a sedate rock & roll-ish sound that will be very at home on the New Moon Soundtrack. Overall, it's not bad. However, The Killers are relegated to what I like to call "Background Noise Bands", meaning they are pleasant enough to listen to while I'm, say, mopping the floor but I wouldn't give them much more attention than that.
Satellite Heart - Anya Marina - I can already hear STY growling at me because she disagrees with me on this one.
Simply said, I don't like it. It does nothing for me. It's coffee house college rock with a few more string instruments thrown in the background. The lyrics are lame and her girly breathy singing comes across cute but emotionless. I have listened to this song thirteen times in two days hoping that it would grow on me. It has not. [note from STY: I hate you, you soulless bitch.]
I Belong to You - Muse - Though not as impressive or infectious as Twilight's Super Massive Whack-a-Mole , it's still pretty fucking catchy. Oddly enough, every time I decide I like Muse and want to buy an album, I decide they suck after all. Apparently I only like them on Twilight saga-related soundtracks. In the interest of being somewhat non-biased [for once], Matthew Bellamy's voice is urgently sexy and passionate and as a whole they are an extremely tight threesome [that's what she said!] and can really layer on the sound in a way that most bands these days do not. They definitely have a ferocious energy.
Roslyn - Bon Iver & St. Vincent - I like Bon Iver. I don't think this is his best work. If you really want to hear good Bon Iver, go get For Emma, Forever Ago. You won't regret it.
This song just doesn't seem to go anywhere. It falls flat, which is a shame because there is so much more Bon Iver could have brought to this soundtrack.
Done All Wrong - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - This is a perfect addition to the soundtrack. The tone and emotion of the song, as well as the lyrics, are very suitable. Again, I like the subtlety of their sound. This is one of the few songs on the soundtrack that I can actually imagine what scene I think this might be included in. I enjoyed the slight bluesy/folk twang of the song, with a harmonica break up that conjures up images of lonely cowboys pining for a love lost. They have so many different musical styles all rolled into one yet have managed to maintain a really great balance. This band will definitely go on my list of music to check out in the future.
Monsters - Hurricane Bells - For what is essentially a one man band, Steve Schlitz creates a pretty complex sound. It's lazily poppy and most definitely catchy. This reminds me of some of the more popular bands from the 90's [I think I hear very slight hints of Lemonheads and Dinosaur Jr.] and probably would have been comfortable on the soundtrack for Singles or Reality Bites.
Every time this song comes on, I think "oh yay! I like this." [STY's note: I love this one, too! Ok maybe you are not completely soulless...]
The Violet Hour - Sea Wolf - I'm starting to see a pattern here. First we have sad, melancholic songs that drag you down into sorrow and then bam! a fucking catchy ass song that has you tapping your foot and feeling hopeful again. This song falls into the latter category. The sound is somewhat generic and lacking in any real substance but isn't something that I would necessarily skip over. I think this song would be a good introduction for someone who primarily listens to Top 40 but is interested in expanding their horizons. It's definitely palatable.
I've set the Dazzler to "stun" - don't forget to breathe!
Shooting The Moon - OK Go - These guys are probably most remembered for the awesome video they did with the treadmills. It's cute, peppy and just a little slick. At first listen, it sounds like a simple little ditty - Damian Kulash's voice is nice mixture of wistfulness and innocence but don't be deceived. There is a lot going on with this song. The percussion is defiant and nearly overpowers the acoustic strumming of the guitar. At first, that is. The quirky synthesized electronics slowly build up to a raucous crescendo at the end and it's pretty evident that these guys are fucking tight musicians.
Slow Life - Grizzly Bear with Victoria LeGrand - While Grizzly Bear probably deserves the hype they get, I'm not entirely impressed. I have an album of theirs but, like The Killers, they are listed under "Background Noise Bands" Now, I'm all for shoe-gazer bands and enjoy quite a few but I'd rather have seen Band of Horses or even Elbow on this soundtrack before Grizzly Bear.
That being said, and because I'm feeling only slightly diplomatic... it's still a good addition to the soundtrack.
No Sound But The Wind - The Editors - Suuuuuuuuucks. This band is making a sad attempt at channeling Joy Division and/or Interpol, but really fucking bad. Seriously, Tom Smith's voice makes me want to fucking punch a kitten or something. I find it pretentious and ridiculously over the top. I loathe this song. I mean, this guy is singing like he thinks he's the best thing since sliced bread and is possibly giving Morrissey a run for his money in the vanity department.
New Moon (The Meadow) - Alexandre Desplat - It's a piano piece. What? I've got nothing for this. With the exception of some old classical pieces and Rachel's, which is great fucking dark/eclectic classical music, I admit I haven't delved too much into this genre. I played piano for years, but it was mostly ragtime music so that's what I'm familiar with. Oh, and Gymnopedie - by Erik Satie is amazing. It's three piano pieces that are absolutely beautiful.[#3 is my favorite]
So, there you have it. Oh, and as promised... a few videos. Sure, they aren't RPattz but they're still pretty fucking good.
Roadside Graves - Ruby - Studio Session
Kate Sikora - Wonderful Princess
P.S. What's that you say? You were definitely going to make a donation to the Alex's Lemonade Stand/Dinner With PFach cause this weekend but you just hadn't found the time??? How about...right now? Now is a good time, isn't it? No time like now. Now. Please help us win this! We won't disappoint! Plus there are those free buttons that STY is stuffing into envelopes this very moment to consider...click on the pic below to chip in!