The soundtrack to the most highly anticipated movie sequel in recent memory attempts to move away from the emo roots of its predecessor with a barrage of credible indie artists adding shades of dismal darkness with affecting melancholy.
With last year's Twilight soundtrack blatantly marketed towards emo kids with the likes of Paramore and Linkin Park, this time round music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas seems to be aiming for a more mature (though perhaps a little miserable) indie audience, by choosing a selection of artists to make the average muso's eyes fall out of their head.
Among the indie megastars to appear are Thom Yorke, Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear and Death Cab For Cutie. Whatever about the rest of them, one would tend to assume that Thom Yorke is not here for the money, and that, odd as it might seem, he must honestly be a fan of Stephenie Meyer's vampire love saga. It makes sense that Muse are the only band to appear on both soundtracks, here contributing an upbeat edited version of their latest album's 'I Belong To You', as their fanbase already pertains to the kind of crossover this album seems to be seeking with its mix of emotive indie and easygoing pop rock.
This compilation can be a little depressing in places, with the likes of The Killers, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Ok Go and Editors all contributing tracks from the mellower end of their spectra. The instrumental piano closer from Alexandre Desplat, who has composed the rest of the film's score, is subtle and elegant, while Yorke's buzzing synthetic bassline and reverberating vocal create a dark atmospheric standout. But it's low key, tender and earnest moments from Bon Iver & St. Vincent, Lykke Li and Grizzly Bear featuring Beach House's Victoria Legrand that add a pinch of authenticity to an album that would otherwise seem to be trying a little too hard to be cool.
Some poorer turns come from the likes of Southampton's Band of Skulls and Brooklyn's Hurricane Bells, who attempt to pick up the pace with their standard rock numbers, but only impart an uninspiring repetitive thump. Still, flawed as it may be, the soundtrack for New Moon is still ten times better than its predecessor.