I'm a bit of an addict when it comes to soundtracks; they're a great way to get exposure to diverse music, and often make for perfect reminders of films or specific film scenes that stick with me. That being said, I find it very difficult to review the Twilight Saga: New Moon soundtrack, because the film has yet to be released (it hits theaters November 20, over a month after the soundtrack was released).
I must give props to the fact that every recording featured on the soundtrack is exclusive (to the soundtrack), either having never been released previously or being released now as a remixed version. Plus, there are some standouts on the soundtrack, the first of which is Death Cab for Cutie’s "Meet Me On The Equinox," my favorite track on the album, which coincidentally boasts an awesome, New Moon-clip-filled video. “Meet Me On the Equinox” has already exploded onto the modern rock charts, landing at #26 in its first week. The song, which is the soundtrack’s first announced track, debuted September 13th in conjunction with MTV’s Video Music Awards. It seems that DCFC are fans of the Twilight franchise, as their lyrics embody the New Moon story, with lots of desperation and angst regarding beginnings and endings. Other soundtrack standouts include Lykke Li's "Possibility," a slow, melancholy song, and the lulling “Slow Life” by Grizzly Bear (with Victoria Legrand).
In the good but not great category (most of which would probably be great had I heard them first in the film) are the punk rocky "Friends" by Band of Skulls; "A White Demon Love Song" by The Killers (a band I adore, but a song I only found good—not great); Anya Marina's ballad "Satellite Heart"; Muse's "I Belong To You" (a New Moon remix from a band that not only appeared on the original Twilight soundtrack, but is also one of author Stephenie Meyer’s favorite bands); Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's alternative rock tune "Done All Wrong"; the rock anthem "Show Monsters" by Hurricane Bells; and the fast rockin' "The Violet Hour" by Sea Wolf. The last track, by French composer Alexandre Desplat, is a lush, beautiful and haunting piece from the score for the film and is titled “New Moon (The Meadow).”
There's a disconnect between some of the tracks, and I wonder if I would feel that way had I seen the film first. Misses include Thom Yorke's "Hearing Damage," a techno song with too much drum/bass that served only to annoy my ear drums; Bon Iver & St. Vincent's folk song "Roslyn" (named for one of the main characters in the film); OK Go's "Shooting the Moon," which would have been good were it not for the drum/weird keyboard noises; and the opera-ish "No Sound But The Wind" by Editors.
Overall, I think the Twilight Saga: New Moon soundtrack would have been better served to release with the film instead of prior, as it includes many songs/bands that are likely to need time to appreciate. That the 15 tracks are original is a great concept, and Death Cab fans will certainly appreciate the first single off the album, but as for the rest, even The Killers can't save this soundtrack from leaving me less than satisfied. At least until I see the film, that is.