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Various Artists The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Review

Soundtrack. Released 2010.  

BBC Review

Continues the Twilight series’ commitment to a beyond-the-expected cast of artists.

Mike Diver 2010

With a line-up including Beck with Bat For Lashes, Muse, Metric, The Black Keys, Vampire Weekend and Band of Horses, it’s obvious that the third soundtrack compilation in the Twilight series of films is aimed at a more mature audience than that of the movie itself. The cinematic saga and its parent novels are of huge appeal to the teenage market; but its tale of human-vampire romance does seem to connect exclusively with those yet to fly the nest.

So the powers that be behind these accompanying albums deserve applause for courting a demographic which otherwise would probably not engage with Twilight in the slightest, unless required to accompany underage progeny to the cinema – the first two films were certified 12A, undoubtedly to the chagrin of innumerable rather-be-elsewhere parents. The cynical will comment that it’s merely a method of extracting income from a different market sector – but much like the last instalment, New Moon, there’s the feeling that consideration beyond the usual call of duty went into the assembling of this 15-track end product (expanded with material from Battles and Bombay Bicycle Club if purchased in its deluxe edition). 

As they did for New Moon, Muse contribute an exclusive number. Unlike last time around, though, this effort is woefully substandard compared to the band’s very best. Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever) is every second as terrible as its title, an undercooked-yet-overblown offering finding Matt Bellamy substituting playful sci-fi psychobabble for lyricism of a sickly saccharine slant. It’s evidence anew, if any was needed, that Muse are only good when they sound like they’re laughing at themselves; with faces straight, they’re an awful emo-era Queen. Far better is Sia’s My Love, which tackles matters of the heart with a porcelain-delicate beauty that should further anticipation for the Australian singer’s forthcoming fourth studio album, We Are Born. 

Let’s Get Lost, the Beck and Bat For Lashes collaboration, finds the pair exchanging spectral verses atop beats echoed into luscious layers reminiscent of the Cocteau Twins and The Knife. It doesn’t do a great deal across four minutes, but every subtle shift is orchestrated excellently. Academy Award-winning Canadian composer Howard Shore closes the set with the one instrumental included, Jacob’s Theme. It acts as both a preview of the score proper and a fine climax to a collection that continues the Twilight series’ commendable commitment to a beyond-the-expected cast of artists.

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