Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Eclipse Soundtrack

First, I would like to establish that I am really not all that familiar with the entire Twilight series. I have never read any of the books or seen the movies, so I approached this soundtrack very objectively. I have, however, seen the books around the house and feel connected to the movie because of the fact that I picked five girls up from the theatre at 2:30 a.m. the night it came out. A couple months back, I read in Rolling Stone that the Eclipse people wanted to have a really good soundtrack to go with the movie. If I had to guess what the soundtrack to one of the Twilight movies would sound like, I would think it would either be Goth (is that a genre?) or something appealing to teenage girls, who I think comprise a large portion or the audience. Wrong on both counts!

The Eclipse soundtrack contains songs by various artists who could best be described as alternative. Although it’s a little pricey at $14.99 on iTunes, it contains 19 songs (although two are remix versions of other songs on the album), some by artists you have read about on this very blog: The Black Keys, my friend Sia and Vampire Weekend (really how could they NOT include a song on the Eclipse soundtrack by a band called Vampire Weekend???). I was accurate in my prediction of the album on one count, though: it’s a bit gloomy, which I suppose is to be expected from a vampire themed soundtrack (note to self: don’t listen to dreary vampire music on long runs under humid conditions). Taken individually, the songs are good, but collectively they’re a bit of a downer. One thing that is irritating about the soundtrack is that only three songs on it are available for individual purchase, and the first single from it is NOT one of them. The good news is that I rather like the three songs that ARE available for purchase. The bad news is that a couple of the ones I liked quite a bit are only available if you buy the whole album, which I’m sure is the whole strategy. Here are the three you can buy individually:

Neutron Star Collision (Muse) – this song is okay, but with lyrics such as “Love would be forever, and if we die we die together” it’s not going to likely land on your party mix

Atlas (Fanfarlo) – another unfamiliar artist, but these guys have a bit of a twang and the beat is a little quicker than on some of the songs

What Part of Forever (Cee Lo Green) – Cee Lo is part of the group Gnarls Barkley (remember Crazy?), and this song is also a little more upbeat than some in the group

The second and third songs have remix versions, as well. There are two songs on the album that I liked that can’t be purchased individually: Jonathan Low (Vampire Weekend) and The Line (Battles). The Line is kind of neat because it gets progressively faster throughout, which is kind of cool for running purposes if you do more than run at a constant, slow pace (my runner daughters call this “speedwork”, a term and practice I have no use for).

Overall, the soundtrack definitely has its own personality. Not having seen the movie, I can’t really say if you’d like it more if you could associate certain songs with parts of the movie. However, not having seen it, I would say that I wouldn’t mind the songs individually, but all together they’re kind of dark. That being said, it is a good collection of songs from alternative artists and there are some good ones in the mix that can’t be bought on their own.

Here is the video from the first single released, cleverly entitled Eclipse (by Metric):

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