Monday, 26 October 2009


There's different things to like about this soundtrack. Released over a month before the film's release date (due to "over-whelming demand"), it is for the most part a well chosen compilation mixing acoustic gloom with indie pop, a far cry from the emo-ness of the previous film. That being said, there are moments of oddness that don't sit well. No matter how much like Muse, their inclusion on this album is strained. They didn't fit on the last soundtrack, they certainly don't now. The song in question is "I Belong To You" and despite the remix toning down the baroque eccentricity, it grates with every listen. The expected big hitters: Death Cab For Cutie, Thom Yorke, The Killers, deliver understated, unusual but effective contributions but the highlights are the Lykke Li's "Possibility" and Anya Marina's "Satellite Heart". The album finishes with a sample of Alexandre Desplat's melancholic score called "The Meadow". The score disc isn't out til November but it's a nice, piano driven piece and I'll review it hopefully nearer the time.

Undoubtedly it will asuage the bloodlust of all the Twi-hards (is that it?) out there. For everyone else, it's a relatively safe, radio-friendly indie soundtrack from respectable artists. Nothing more, nothing less.

For the iPod playlist: "Meet Me On The Equinox", "Possibility", "Satellite Heart".

Verdict: *** (3/5)

Wednesday, 7 October 2009


A soild, if unremarkable single from the GazettE. "Before I Decay" is fast and angry with some awesome riffage but is it really a glorified B-side from the DIM recording sessions? It's out a bit too quickly for my liking. There is a nice middle-8 section but as much as I like the chorus, it's admittedly a bit samey from the GazettE. It's like Leech but darker.
The B-Side is "Mayakashi", a groovier, more melodic song. It's almost a Kagrra, song. It is also rightly a B-Side as it doesn't stand out in anyway.
Overall "Before I Decay" is good but they should take more time working on their songs. After the success of DIM, the next single could have been a belter. As it stands, it's more an afterthought.
Verdict: *** (3/5)


Y'know I'm genuinely thrilled to report that Paramore's new album brand new eyes is a resounding triumph for the Franklin five-piece. They have matured, and as much as I hate how much of a cop-out that word is when describing a band, there is no better way to describe them. Musically they are tighter and more comfortable experimenting with their sound (such as acoustic tinkering on a couple of tracks) and there are no superlatives grand enough to describe the powerhouse vocal performance of flame-haired vocalist Hayley Williams.
For a band in danger of being, according to themselves, the "Twilight house band", it is admirable that they have stuck to their guns and produced an album that rarely touches the angst of last year's "Decode" (although the song appears in "Bonus Track" form no doubt to please fans and record label bosses). Instead we get a propulsive mix of attitude-glazed pop-punk and quiet bittersweet melodies where the traditional whiney emo topics are subverted and the songs lyrically deal with being a stronger person and growing up.
Perhaps most importantly, brand new eyes is fun. It's both danceable and comforting. Paramore have hit the big time and in a scene currently devoid of heavyweights My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy, this is their time to grip the throne and never let go. They have every chance now.
For the iPod playlist: "Careful", "Turn It Off", "The Only Exception".
Verdict: **** (4/5)