When the blockbuster movie adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight came out in 2010, it immediately shot to the top of the box office charts and stayed there for months. It’s been called a cultural phenomenon and a billion-dollar franchise, and with good reason. The film, which was subsequently followed by two sequels, was an international success, selling over 100m copies and becoming one of the most popular film adaptations of all time.
The music for this mega-hit, of course, was crucial. The film’s signature song, ‘Let Me Sign’, was originally performed by British band Hot Chip, whose music has featured in several big-budget films, including The Hunger Games and The Grand Budapest Hotel. Their song has been covered by multiple artists, including Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, and was awarded a Golden Globe for Best Original Song at this year’s Academy Awards. While ‘Let Me Sign’ has firmly established itself as one of the world’s most popular songs, the band’s previous album, In Between Now And Then, has gone on to become one of the greatest-selling albums of all time, with over 2.9m copies sold worldwide.
After nearly seven years since the release of the first Twilight movie, we finally have an album to accompany the film’s soundtrack. And what an album it is. Featuring both original songs and re-workings of existing classics, this is an eagerly awaited collection that will delight diehard fans of the franchise and charm new listeners into the magical world of Twilight. Most importantly, this is the first album that properly matches the tone of the series, offering an appropriate balance between the light-hearted and the epic. Let’s take a closer look at each individual song and the significance it holds in the context of the franchise.
The two original songs on the album are ‘Let Me Sign’ and ‘Twilight (Eclipse)’, the latter being a re-working of ‘Twilight’ that appeared on the soundtrack to the 3D film Eclipse. The former is a breezy, euphoric pop song that builds and builds before exploding into big-choruses and singalongs, the perfect accompaniment to any screen adaptation of Twilight. In the movie, Rob and Kristen’s characters share a passionate love affair that’s heightened by the use of dramatic lighting and lush cinematography.
It’s an exceptional track for anyone who’s seen the film, or is even remotely familiar with the source material. And for those who haven’t, it serves as a great introduction to the world of Twilight. The music video, directed by Jake Schreiner (Air Guitar, Pitch Perfect 2), is an animated homage to the films’ stylings, featuring cameos from several Twilight stars as well as some fantastically cgi’ed animals, including wolves and vampires.
While ‘Let Me Sign’ is one of the standout tracks on the album, the re-works don’t disappoint either. The collection opens with a bang, literally, with ‘In The Dark’ being the first of the re-works. This song, originally from the 2007 album In Between Now And Then, was originally performed by English band The xx. In the film, we see Bella and Edward’s (played by Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson) surreal, nightmarish dreams that are a stark contrast to their day-to-day lives. The song’s atmosphere is dark but dazzling, conjuring images of midnight storms and distant, foreboding creatures lurking in the shadows. It’s an excellent piece of cinematic music that perfectly matches the film’s nightmarish dream sequence.
‘Twilight’ is a phenomenal song, originally performed by rock band The Script. The song’s protagonist, Bella, is driven mad by her longing for her true love, Edward. In the film, she finally sees a vision of her “sainted mother”, giving her the strength to move on. The song features another exceptional piece of music and imagery, complete with a magnificent chorus and some haunting, cello-led melodies. It’s one of the best songs on this album, and it perfectly matches the film’s light-hearted introduction, or “twilights”, as they’re called here.
Stand Out Tracks
The first single released from Twilight Soundtrack is none other than ‘Let Me Sign’, the band’s re-working of their successful song from the movie’s soundtrack. It’s another glorious reinvention of a classic, combining Radiohead-esque instrumentation with a buoyant pop chorus. While the band members have kept faith with the original, they’ve added a new spin that matches the exuberance of youth and the optimism that comes with it. The track features prominently in the film’s trailer and has already begun to make its way around the globe, gaining support from high-profile outlets like TMZ and Hello! Magazine.
The band’s other stand out track, ‘Wolves’, was written for the 2012 film adaptation of the best-selling novel All The Youngsters by Rainbow Rowell. In this story, Fangs, a group of vampire-like creatures terrorize a small town, preying on the citizens and leaving them mutilated and bloody. In true “dog-eat-dog” fashion, the townsfolk fight back with brutal vengeance, driven by the town’s alpha male, Charlie, played by Richard Simmons. The song, however, is not mentioned in the film’s synopsis or in any of the story’s promotional material, which makes it all the more mysterious and exciting. It’s easy to see why this song has gained such popularity, with its rousing call to arms and its driving drums, but the lyrics are truly epic, describing a terrifying yet highly entertaining battle between man and beast.
The rest of the tracks serve to round out the album. ‘Beautiful’ is an upbeat pop tune that drips with synthy grandiosity. ‘Glow’ is an intimate track, with the listener being granted a rare glimpse into the emotional lives of Bella and Edward. It was co-written by the band and Liz Boyd (“The Hunger Games,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel”), and it details the couple’s first meeting and love story, set to a backdrop of golden sunsets and sunbeams, as well as sweeping orchestral music and delicate pianos.
Overall, there’s something for everyone on this album. It draws on the epic scale of ‘Let Me Sign’ while also paying homage to the band’s earlier work with quirky re-workings of their classic songs. While the first two singles appear to have been pre-ordered almost immediately upon release, this is an album that truly will grow on you the more you hear it. Especially if you’re a fan of the series or of the band themselves, this is an album that you’ll want to keep near you for the entirety of its 90-minute runtime.