Sound — 9
Whenever a vampire-themed movie is released, there's always a hope that the filmmakers will do it justice by providing a suitably chilling soundtrack. Although the circumstances for the new movie Twilight are different - primarily because it's adapted from a teen novel series - the music is still a fairly important component. When the original Lost Boys was released in 1987, it might have only been half the movie it was without the eerie cover of People Are Strange (performed effectively by Echo & The Bunnymen) or the sexiness of Gerard McMann's Cry Little Sister. Given that Twilight is geared for the latest generation of teens that have a very different music scene, it's not surprising you get a very different mood with its soundtrack. While I haven't seen Twilight yet, I will say that the songs featured on the soundtrack have a laid-back, cool quality that do peek my interest in the film. If the songs are in chronological order in terms of Twilight's sequence of scenes, there is a distinct flow. The first half of the playlist has a darker, unsettling quality, and it pulls you in a bit more than the last few songs. It all starts out with the insanely cool, sexy Muse track Supermassive Black Hole. This is not a new song by any stretch of the imagination, but it has staying power and makes for a great opener. Paramore shows up for a few songs on the soundtrack, and you definitely see a different, more melancholy-tinged side to the band. Despite Paramore often leaning towards a pop rock sound usually, they take a convincing turn with the dark ballad Decode (which shows off Hayley Williams' impressive vocal range as well). The band's other track I Caught Myself isn't quite as dark, but it's still a solid offering. There's an interesting mix of artists, and although they all come from very unique genres, it makes for a good blend. It should also be mentioned that this is not a rock-driven soundtrack, and you'll be disappointed if you're expecting high energy. Perry Farrell delivers Go All The Way (Into The Twilight) that lies somewhere between trance and pop, and you barely even recognize that it's the former Jane's Addiction singer. The Linkin Park hit Leave Out All The Rest is also included, which at first seems like an odd choice for a vampire flick. Because it is so laid back and has the sufficient emotional undertones, it ends up working fairly well. Collective Soul delivers one of the more disappointing tracks, at least in terms of fitting in with the rest of the soundtrack. Tremble For My Beloved is a fine rock track and features an intriguing riff, but it sticks out like a sore thumb among the synth-heavy soundtrack. You can tell there is a love story involved in Twilight thanks to the ballad-heavy last half, but even those tracks aren't your usual happy, lighthearted fare. While Blue Foundation's Eyes On Fire is both gorgeous and haunting, you also get the traditional acoustic stylings of none other than the film's star Rob Pattinson. With a lilting voice like Damien Rice, Pattinson and his straightforward love song don't exactly mesh perfectly with the other tracks, but it's still impressive to hear the actor hold his own among established acts.
Lyrics — 8
Most of the songs on the Twilight soundtrack were not necessarily written with the film in mind, but they can still be interpreted as pertinent to the storyline of a teenage girl falling in love with a vampire. Linkin Park's Leave Out All The Rest is one of the tracks that can act as an all-purpose ballad (easily fitting any love story: vampire, human, or otherwise), while Muse's Supermassive Black Hole just has an otherworldly feel musically. Perry Farrell was one of the few that actually wrote an original song for the soundtrack (Go All The Way [Into The Twilight]), and interestingly enough, his lyrics aren't quite as effective as the other bands' previously written material.
Overall Impression — 8
Twilight is at its strongest when it delivers more of mysterious sound, which can be found in such songs like Blue Foundation's Eyes On Fire, The Black Ghosts' Full Moon, and Paramore's Decode. While the teen fans of heartthrob Rob Pattinson will be thrilled to hear that the actor can deliver a convincing love song, Twilight shines when its songs don't sound like the usual Top 40 playlist.