Music has been a vital part of The Twilight Saga from the very beginning. Author Stephenie Meyer acknowledges the musicians who influenced her at the end of each book in the series, and the soundtracks of each of the first three films have gone on to sell numerous copies. Even the cast has gotten involved in the soundtracks – Robert Pattinson, who plays Edward Cullen, recorded two songs for the Twilight soundtrack; new cast member Mia Maestro has a song on this one; and Kristen Stewart, who plays Bella Swan, suggested what has (arguably) become “the” song of the series.
It is that song – and the return of Carter Burwell – that make The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 soundtrack feel like a bookend to the first Twilight movie. Pattinson and Stewart dance to Iron & Wine’s Flightless Bird, American Mouth at their characters’ prom in Twilight; it seems fitting to have this song play over another pivotal moment in their lives. And I loved Carter Burwell’s score of the first film and was thrilled when I read that he’d be scoring the last two. Just like the characters, this score is more mature but still influenced by its past. I love that you can still hear recognizable pieces of the first score – including bits of Bella’s Lullaby – in a reimagined form. (And I, for one, am really looking forward to seeing Pattinson play Burwell’s lullaby for Edward and Bella’s daughter in Part 2.)
This soundtrack has a decidedly edgier feel to it than the indie vibe of its last two predecessors. In essence, the music is maturing out of those angst-ridden teenage years much like the characters. The album, to me, has an overall feeling of contentment that parallels the movie. Now, I will warn you – there are a lot of love songs on this soundtrack. Which is exactly what you should expect from a movie about a couple getting married and having a child. But don’t worry – we’re not talking all over-the-top ballads. The general theme seems to be finally getting what you’ve waited for, committing yourself to another person and facing the future together.
With that said, the two big, sweeping ballads – Turning Page and A Thousand Years – are truly lovely and certainly fit that theme. I predict A Thousand Years, in particular, will be the new go-to wedding song. And there are some truly catchy songs on this soundtrack. Love Will Take You, From Now On and I Didn’t Mean It are the kind of songs that have me bopping my head along to the beat (and maybe doing a little dancing in my car …).
There were two omissions I hope make it for the Part 2 soundtrack. Pattinson was noticeably absent from the New Moon and Eclipse soundtracks and doesn’t appear on this one, either. He has a unique voice and musical style that keeps my fingers crossed for the last soundtrack. In addition, this is the first Twilight Saga soundtrack that hasn’t featured a song from Muse. Since this band is Meyer’s favorite and often her … well … muse, it seems strange to leave them off the list. Hopefully they will make a return for Part 2; it wouldn’t feel right without them.
Overall, this is a fun, happy, sing-along kind of soundtrack. Yes, it’s a little bit sappy, but don’t weddings make us all feel a little bit sappy? Enjoy the smile this soundtrack will put on your face.