I think at this point in time, I don’t really need to tell anyone that the Twilight movies aren’t the highest quality film series around. The movies have been notoriously panned for the weak scripts, poor acting, and subpar CGI effects. The only good thing that the Twilight series has had going for it (well, besides seeing Robert Pattinson in all of his hunky glory) has been the soundtracks.
The final soundtrack, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 is no exception; like the four other Twilight movie soundtracks, this one is filled with a collection of indie/rock music that you can enjoy even without being a fan of those dreadful films.
I’ve heard praise about The Passion Pit numerous times, but still hadn’t actually heard any of their music until their offering to the soundtrack, Where I Come From. The airy pop sound and the almost-whiny falsetto from lead vocalist, Michael Angelakos, aren’t terribly impressive, however. I’m not sure if this is really a good indicator of The Passion Pit’s sound, but based on this song- which is pretty average, overall- I’m not quite convinced that I need to listen to any of their other music.
Singer-songwriter, Ellie Goulding, provides Bittersweet, another pop song- though, this time the symphonic sound works well. The Forgotten is a downtrodden track from Green Day, sounding a bit like a dreary update of “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”. I’m not sure why this was chosen as the lead single for the album; Green Day has definitely done better work and the depressing melody sort of drags along without ever picking up or becoming more exciting.
Thankfully, electro-pop band, The Boom Circuits, cheers things up with the peppy Everything and Nothing. One of my favourite artists, rock musician, St. Vincent, is up next with her electric-guitar heavy track, The Antidote. This is St. Vincent’s second time on a Twilight soundtrack- she did a duet with Bon Iver for the New Moon disc- but instead of another ballad, the sound is livelier and upbeat this time around.
One of the best songs on the soundtrack appears next with Speak Up by indie-pop band, POP ETC. The colourful melody is highlighted by a catchy chorus (“When we’ll meet another way/You won’t recognize my face/When we’ll meet one way/You’re nothing, you won’t/You won’t speak up, speak up, speak up…”) and a fresh, poppy sound. Emotional ballad, Heart of Stone, is performed by English-rock band, Iko, and features lovely vocals from lead singer, Kieran Scragg and heartfelt lyrics (“Can you keep a secret/Will you hold your hand/Among the flames/Honey, you’re a shipwreck/With your heart of stone”).
Meanwhile, Irish folk singer, James Vincent McMorrow offers up the hauntingly beautiful ballad, Ghosts. The track is another stand-out, due to McMorrow’s captivating lilt and the eerie- yet, gorgeous- melody. Broadway alum, Reeve Carney offers up his song, New For You, and the soaring vocals and the breezy sound make the song a favourite of mine.
All I’ve Ever Needed is the biggest surprise on the album; the duet between Twilight star, Nikki Reed (whom plays vampire, Rosalie Cullen) and her husband, Paul McDonald, is actually quite good despite the song being Reed’s first real foray into music. Her and McDonald’s voices complement each other well, and their romantic ballad (the chorus consists of the simple refrain of “Baby, you’re all I’ve ever needed…”) fits in perfectly on the soundtrack.
The disc comes to a close with another ballad, and an instrumental piece from the film’s composer. Christina Perri returns to the franchise with A Thousand Years, Pt. 2, a sequel of sorts to “A Thousand Years”, the lead single from Breaking Dawn Part 1. I wasn’t a fan of the ballad on the previous soundtrack- the saccharine melody and lyrics are too cheesy for my liking- and though a male vocalist (Steve Kazee) lends his voice to a few of the lines on this update, it still fails to impress me.
Carter Burwell has served as the composer for all of the Twilight films, and his piece, Plus Que Ma Propre Vie ends the album. The piano and string composition is made up of some of the instrumental themes heard throughout the film, and is a nice way to tie up the album.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 soundtrack isn’t the strongest compilation in the series (I’d probably give that distinction to either the New Moon or Eclipse soundtracks), mostly just due to the fact that the majority of the songs aren’t especially memorable. However, the songs from Pop ETC, Iko and James Vincent McMarrow make the disc and it ends up being a good effort, overall.
1. Where I Come From — Passion Pit
2. Bittersweet — Ellie Goulding
3. The Forgotten — Green Day
4. Fire In The Water — Feist
5. Everything And Nothing — The Boom Circuits
6. The Antidote — St. Vincent
7. Speak Up — POP ETC
8. Heart of Stone — Iko
9. Cover Your Tracks — A Boy and His Kite
10. Ghosts — James Vincent McMorrow
11. All I’ve Ever Needed — Paul McDonald & Nikki Reed
12. New For You — Reeve Carney
13. A Thousand Years (Part Two) – Christina Perri & Steve Kazee
14. Plus Que Ma Prope Vie — Carter Burwell