Photo credit: Summit Entertainment

I know, I know. This soundtrack was the talk of the town weeks ago. Florence!  Muse!  Vampire Weekend!  It’s old news. We’re past it. Why review it now?

Well, it’s one thing to put together an awesome compilation, but it’s a much harder task to ensure so many stand out tracks fit in the fabric of the movie – a cheesy, tweeny blockbuster vampire movie, nonetheless. To be perfectly honest, I sometimes think that the great Alexandra Patsavas – while brilliant and talented and with a knack for finding great undiscovered tunes – sometimes takes me out of the story going “Oooh! Miike Snow!” for a 4 second use.  At the very end of the first Twilight movie, when Linkin Park launched us into the end credits I think I may have groaned out loud.

That said, – Eclipse was a breath of fresh air.  Patsavas nails it.  The songs blend in when they’re supposed to, and enhance key moments that need some extra oomph.  It’s still a cheesy, tweeny vampire movie (Taylor Lautner as Jacob says to Robert Pattinson’s Edward Cullen at one point: “I mean let’s face it, I am hotter than you” cue theatre bursting into applause), but this time the music is what gives it – at least some – street cred.

Overall the soundtrack is a great listen – all the songs are good on their own, and most of them fit the film’s vibe – kind of melodramatic, a bit sexy, eerie, youthful, lush – indie, but on the “poppier” side.

The majority of my favorite uses were all during “intimate moments”Band of Horses “Life on Earth” and “My Love” courtesy of Sia in two different Edward/Bella bedroom scenes respectively. And “Rolling In on a Burning Tire” by The Dead Weather conveyed the perfect temperature of simmering evil during a close-up of the two villains conspiring and canoodling.

I also appreciated the Unkle track “With You In My Head (feat. The Black Angels)” while the Cullens’ train for the newborn army – it’s sort of a throwaway sequence, but the music really makes it fun.

Photo credit: Kimberley French

One of my favorite songs on the soundtrack, however, didn’t get the most key placement, and that was “Let’s Get Lost” – a collaboration between Beck and Bat for Lashes. The song is used near the beginning when Bella decides to go find Jacob after months of him not returning her calls. She heads to her truck, determined to get away – only to find Edward has cut a few wires to keep her home and (according to him) safe. Putting aside the fact that if my “true love” ever tried this move I would report him to the police, the song is perfectly Twilight in every way. More about it in my column on Strangers in Stereo.

“Atlas” by Fanfarlo is only used for a split second, and the one track from Florence & The Machine (always a treat) is only in the end credits – but they’re both fantastic songs.

But for me the real triumph was the final scene. Bella explains to Edward why she wants to become a vampire and *gasp* IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT HIM. More to the point, they actually seem like a couple in love instead of depressed and melodramatic. They spend most of the scene smiling! Bella makes a joke! The colors are warm and the score is rich – building into the end credits and Metric’s “Eclipse (All Yours)” – a sweet song with a bit of an edge. I couldn’t help smiling either.  How far the films have come since Linkin Park.

Buy the soundtrack on iTunes.

Band of Horses “Life on Earth”
Band Of Horses – Life On Earth by ryanwillsy

The Dead Weather “Rolling in on a Burning Tire”
The Dead Weather – Rolling In On A Burning Tire by onurchaglayan

Check out the video for Metric’s “Eclipse (All Yours)”