[sic] Magazine

Twilight Eclipse, soundtrack.

The best thing you can say about any movie’s soundtrack is that it can stand on its own, and that no matter what you think of the movie, the soundtrack is chock full of amazing music.

And the soundtrack to ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’ is one of those. Whether you love or hate the teen-vampire-infatuation series, it’s undeniable that the soundtrack has some excellent (if less indie than the last one) bands — expansive rock’n’roll and lush echoing pop, some of it well-known ( Muse , Vampire Weekend ) and some, outside of the UK, relative obscure ( Florence and the Machine ).

Tear me down, they can’t/take you out of my thoughts/under every star/there’s a battle I’ve lost…” It opens with Metric ‘s ‘Eclipse (All Yours)’, a beautifully layered pop melody filled with shimmering rough riffs; after that it segues into the painfully passionate ‘Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)’ by Muse — a lament that explodes into a supernova of dark racing riffs and wailing vocals.

There’s a pretty good rock’n’roll showing after that, with The Bravery ‘s fast-moving angsty ‘Ours,’ the Black Keys’ raw bluesy ‘Chop and Change,’ The Dead Weather ‘s slow-burning bleak ‘Rolling on a Burning Tire,’ and the mildly funky folk of Cee Lo Green ‘s ‘What Part of Forever.’ The best: UNKLE ‘s collaboration with The Black Angels is a brilliantly eerie, murky rocker, while Vampire Weekend slips effortlessly into the expansive, glittering ‘Jonathan Low.’

Then there’s the pop songs, which are even more remarkable — Florence and the Machine’s exquisitely spooky ‘Heavy in my Arms,’ Fanfarlo ‘s sprightly ‘Atlas,’ Sia ‘s haunting strings-and-piano ballad ‘My Love,’ Band of Horses ‘ starlight-filled ‘Life on Earth,’ and Howard Shore ‘s bittersweet piano melody ‘Jacob’s Theme.’ But the best of the bunch is Beck ‘s collaboration with Bat For Lashes — a sensuous, elusive duet of piano and blips.

This soundtrack is pretty different from the two that precede it. It’s not as deliciously indie as the ‘New Moon’ one, but it’s not crammed with emo popmetal either. In fact, there are only a few songs on this album that don’t thrill me to the core, and only one I dislike — namely, Eastern Conference Champions ‘ blandly monotonous ‘A Million Miles an Hour.’

And the bands included set a wonderful double mood — some of the songs reflect bittersweet romanticism (Metric, Sia), but there’s also a feeling of dark raw menace in others (The Dead Weather). There’s a lot of slow sad piano, veils of electronica, bouncy acoustics and some deeply brilliant guitar riffs — they can shimmer like starlight on the water, or erupt into a fast-moving, expansive band of sound.

And both the singers and lyrics stretch across a wide range. They can be dark and distorted, quirky, sweet, filled with pain and sorrow (“Love is forever… we’ll die together“), and sometimes understatedly powerful (“Who is the betrayer?/Who is the killer in the crowd?/The one who creeps in corridors/and doesn’t make a sound“).

You don’t have to be a fan of the Twilight franchise to appreciate the music in ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’ soundtrack — some is creepy, some is lovely, and most of it is brilliant.