Well then. The soundtrack to a supernatural teenish romdram, brought to us by a band fronted by George Harrison’s son. What the hell’s this going to be like hmm?
In fact, Thenewno2 supposedly make a point of playing down the fact that one of them is related to a Beatle. Their name is a reference to the cult 70s TV show ‘The Prisoner’, and is intended to signify faceless anonymity. This would all be well and good if, say, most of the videos of their previous songs that I watched didn’t primarily feature frontal shots of a man who looks quite a lot like a young George Harrison. And if this soundtrack didn’t happen to be recorded at Abbey Road. I mean, fuck it, if my dad was Elvis I’d be openly eating for free in every Chinese restaurant in town.
Anyway, enough of that. Time for some serious journalism: The Wikipedia entry on ‘Beautiful Creatures’ tells me that the story is a witch-based potentially doomed teen love yarn set in the American south. So, Twilight with banjos then. And this is basically what the soundtrack feels like. Hang on a minute, this sounds like I’m having some sort of Lifestyle Malfunction. I have not actually watched any of the Twilight films; it’s just amazing what useless knowledge osmotically permeates your brain just by existing in modern society.
So, the first track, ‘Interception’ cruises in, smooth and spacious. It sounds like the opening shot of a film. The muted electronic keyboard and sub-linguistic vocals make me picture some wide-pan, sun-kissed pastoral nowhere, and then the slide guitar, which sounds like the perfect midway point between smooth and jagged, conjures up the image of a long, empty road being traversed. I don’t know if this is actually what’s happening in the film, because it’s not out yet. It could just as easily be an ultra slow motion close-up of a happy old man punching an ugly cat. I guess I’ll never know.
The second track is called ‘The Caster Theme’. From watching the trailer to the movie, I have gleaned that ‘a caster’ means ‘a witch’ within the mythology of this film. So it’s probably going to be a bit spooky and slightly sexy, perhaps. It opens with rising, layered strings creating a mildly otherworldly tension before the lackadaisical trotting of a fingerplucked guitar adds a frisson of nonchalant intrigue. Then, a touch more quirk is introduced via a sub-Elfmann woodwind section before the strings start undulating like a long flowing dress worn by your neighbour’s moody, attractive mum on a late summer afternoon.
Next up is ‘Breaking the Ice’, and from what little I know of the film I assume this will be the point where boy meets tender young witch. Again, it seems like I’m bang on the money: tentative piano pokes meander almost clumsily about before it all turns to shimmering, protracted strings and I start to feel a bit queasy because I realise we are balls deep in teeny luv territory here.
So far, this album is doing pretty much what it says on the tin. It definitely sounds like a soundtrack to an American south witchy teen smush-fest. Some of the track are a bit more interesting: ‘Swamptronica-Voudon’ creeps in like a magic alligator, and then the filtered strings and sparse electronic glitches create an air of sexy, languorous menace. Then track 8, ‘Make it Home’ makes me feel oddly nostalgic. I wonder about this for a moment, before realising this is because it sounds like a 21st century distillation of the essence of the best tunes from the ‘Lost Boys’ soundtrack. The sudden memory of this undoubtedly superior film makes me feel a bit old, and reminds me that time is money, so I’d better try and wrap this shit up:
There seem to be a couple of key tracks on this album, but that might just be because they’ve got some singing in them. ‘Run to Me’ featuring Ben Harper is alright. It sounds like some kind of happy ending, and probably is. Not Mr. Harpers finest work that’s for sure. Then the final track ‘Never too Late’ seems to be the promo/single release tune for the film and album. It’s a slightly rueful southern psyche-ish rock number, and it situates my minds eye firmly in front of a list of white letters rolling down a black screen. That is all.
So, should you buy this album? I don’t fucking know. Does anyone actually buy soundtracks? Some soundtrack albums are composed of various licensed songs, but this is more like a score than a collection of tunes. The music definitely seems to conjure up what I assume to be relevant imagery, so job’s a good un I guess. But I don’t see what function this serves as an album. If you wanted to seduce, and possibly murder a mildly depressed sixteen year old, then you should probably buy this and leave it playing on loop in your bedroom/dungeon. From my experience, the ‘Lost Boys’ soundtrack no longer has the same hypnotic effect on confused young ladies as it used to. These days it just makes you look like a swagless old freak. Well bollocks to ‘em. I’m off to sit in a cave, listen to Sisters of Mercy, and tuck into some Chinese takeaway. Yum! 5/10