Say what you will about the Twilight series, but over the course of four films, the soundtracks have given us originals from the likes of Thom Yorke, Grizzly Bear, Lykke Li, Florence and the Machine, and The Black Keys, as well as collaborations between Beck and Bat for Lashes, and Bon Iver and St. Vincent. They’ve constructed a crossroads where fans of critically acclaimed rock and indie and those with bedazzled Team Edward T-shirts meet in the name of music, and the final installment is no exception.
The record opens with Passion Pit’s “Where I Come From”. As on Gossamer’s stellar “I’ll Be Alright”, Michael Angelakos yet again sings of feeling OK, though this time by way of a more simple, emotional crescendo that bolsters his longest-held notes, instead of the busy electronics of its Gossamer counterpart. Ellie Goulding’s “Bittersweet” follows with vocals as strong as Halcyon’s most impressive moments; it’s addictive enough to be her next top 40 hit (much thanks to her producer here, ex-boyfriend Skrillex). Later, Feist haunts the album with gut-wrencher “Fire in the Water”, and St. Vincent’s Annie Clark channels her inner vamp as she croons, “I’ll suck your venom out/ Show me it where it really hurts/ I’ll show you where it really hurts” over her signature fuzzy guitar on “The Antidote”.
Romance fittingly flourishes on several tracks, particularly Paul McDonald (of American Idol) & Nikki Reed’s (part of the film’s cast) “All I’ve Ever Needed” (“I love you more than I knew I could ever love someone/ And god it runs so deep/ I can barely even breathe”). Somewhere a gaggle of teenage girls is weeping.
The soundtrack is both timely and appropriate, and it meets the expectations of its predecessors: music lovers get something new from beloved artists and the fans of Twilight who wouldn’t generally dip into such genres expose themselves to more challenging tunes.
Essential Tracks: “Where I Come From” (Passion Pit), “Bittersweet” (Ellie Goulding), and “The Anecdote” (St. Vincent)