Tuesday Tunes

Tuesday Tunes #13: The Music That (Sort of) Saved Twilight

If you were apart of the initial boom when Twilight was released in 2005, you will remember the craze.  Say what you will about Stephenie Myers’s writing (and, I know, there’s a lot to pick at), but she hit a sweet spot that skyrocketed the novel to number five on New York Time’s bestseller list within a month of its release.

Kirkus Reviews put it perfectly when they noted,  “[Twilight] is far from perfect: Edward’s portrayal as monstrous tragic hero is overly Byronic, and Bella’s appeal is based on magic rather than character. Nonetheless, the portrayal of dangerous lovers hits the spot; fans of dark romance will find it hard to resist.”

And it’s totally true.  There was something about the series that made it hard to resist and easy to swallow.  But while the books had a lot of pull, there still really wasn’t enough substance to put it on screen.  Things like vampire baseball, glittering vampire skin, and Edward resisting Bella’s smell are, well, not translatable to screen.  In fact, they were downright painful to watch.  So what saved the Twilight not-so-saga-ish Saga?  Music.

The Music That (Sort of) Saved Twilight

Several lackluster films owe the fact that anyone in the world watched them to their stellar music choices, and the Twilight film series, which admittedly vastly improved by Breaking Dawn Part 2, fully utilized its soundtrack for all it was worth.  A blight on movie history, an embarrassment to women and feminism everywhere–whatever your feelings, you have to admit that the soundtracks killed it.

And, okay, music didn’t actually SAVE Twilight (hence the “sort of” in the title), but it did give the film series a sense of permanence that gives it an positive part in film history.  The Twilight Saga soundtracks show the power that music can have on a moviegoer’s experience, that music choices can have just as much impact as everything else that goes into a film.  That’s pretty cool.

Thus, here are my seven favorite songs, from The Twilight Saga, in no particular order, songs that may not have magically made Twilight a masterpiece, but they certainly played a part in keeping me interested enough to watch till the end.  (Five movies, people.  Five.)

#1 – “Cold” by Aqualung and Lucy Schwartz

I was actually able to see them preform this in person during the Breaking Dawn concert series, and, dang homies.  Beautiful, chilling, full of crisp harmony, and one of my favorite songs from the soundtracks.  Lyrical magic mixed with some amazing composition, I never tire of this song.

#2 – “Decode” by Paramore

To have such a powerhouse as Paramore, whoever put these albums together outdid themselves.  It’s as if they said, “Okay, so the movie isn’t great, so let’s kill it with the soundtrack!”  This song is from the first film’s soundtrack, and both “Decode” and the soundtrack itself went on to be nominated for the 2010 Grammy Awards.  Paramore at their best, the lyrics and vocals are insanely well-crafted.

#3 – “Flightless Bird, American Mouth (Wedding Version)” by Iron & Mouth

One of the most well-recognized songs from the first film saw a reprisal in Breaking Dawn Part 1 for use in Bella and Edward’s wedding scene.  While the initial song is quite beautiful on its own, the wedding version utilizes smooth piano rifts and orchestral accompaniment to produce an even more romantic feel.  This song warms me and gives me chills at the same time.  Absolutely beautiful.

#4 – “Let Me Sign” by Robert Pattinson

Who knew Robert could sing, right?  I really enjoy he’s bluesy voice in “Let Me Sign”.  He utilizes vocals that give off an aching and sexy feel, and all of it produces a very raw song to listen to.  I love the unstructured vibe of “Let Me Sign” and it had a strong effect when it was used in the movie.

#5 – “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri (feat. Steve Kazee)

I love the first version of this song from Breaking Dawn Part 1, but there’s just something about this reprisal used in the end credits of Breaking Dawn Part 2.  It’s probably because I’m a big ol’ sucker for duets?  Christina Perri and Steve Kazee’s voices blend beautifully, adding to the appeal to what is already an incredibly striking song.  (Side note, whenever the original came onto the radio during my first pregnancy I would break into tears.  Every time.  No stopping it.)

#6 – “Neutron Star Collision” by Muse

Although I love “Super Massive Black Hole”, Muse’s song from the first soundtrack, “Neutron Star Collision” is my favorite that they contributed to the films.  Gorgeous lyrics, powerful vocals, and chills-worthy accompaniment–everything that makes Muse amazing, all in one song.  (I also always thought it was cool that Muse took part in the music of Twilight, considering they’re one of Stephenie Myer’s favorite bands.)

#7 – “Turning Page” by Sleeping At Last

I’m not usually a big fan of trembling vocals like those of Sleeping At Last, but there’s something about his voice in “Turning Page” that is such a perfect fit to the touching lyrics and flowing piano of the song that I die a little each time I listen to it.  Just, wow.

Do you have a favorite song from The Twilight Saga?

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