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The Twilight Saga: New Moon ()

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After Twilight became a world-wide hit, the film series based on Stephenie Meyer's series of vampire romance books got a major upgrade. More time, effort, and money were poured into the second film, New Moon, and nowhere is this clearer than the film's soundtrack. New Moon's music is darker, more sophisticated, and much more indie-friendly than its predecessor's soundtrack, and features more of the artists Meyer credits for inspiring her writing. One is Muse, whose "I Belong to You (New Moon Remix)" is so dramatic that it's easy to hear how the band inspired Meyer's angst-filled love triangle between the clumsy yet somehow irresistible Bella Swan, her vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen and her best friend (and werewolf) Jacob Black. Meyer also cites Radiohead as a big influence, and Thom Yorke's previously unreleased "Hearing Damage" is New Moon's main attraction. Drifting in on buzzing synth bass, the song builds to luminous, ghostly heights that make it one of the album's highlights. However, it's not the only one: Death Cab for Cutie's "Meet Me on the Equinox" is more brooding and rock-tinged than the band's usual approach, but it fits in beautifully with New Moon's sullen mood, while the close harmonies and piano on the Killers' "White Demon Love Song" inject some much-needed drama. Indeed, despite the fact that this soundtrack is more musically satisfying, and certainly more star-studded than the first film's, Twilight felt more like the world Meyer created in her books -- melodramatic, earnest, definitely not reeking of indie rock cool. Even if nothing here nails that vibe the way that Paramore's "Decode" did, Lykke Li's "Possibility" and Anya Marina's "Satellite Heart" still offer winsome indie folk backgrounds for Bella's moping. Despite a few upbeat moments that stick out like a thumb that isn't sore, songs like Grizzly Bear and Victoria Legrand's "Slow Life," Editors' "No Sound But the Wind," and Bon Iver and St. Vincent's lovely, truly odd "Roslyn" are morose enough for die-hard Twilight fans and stylish enough to please the most discerning music snobs. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi Hide synopsis

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