Carter Burwell

" The one good track is a lullaby that doesn't even sound like a lullaby. "

Written by William Bard - Review of the regular release

Carter Burwell's score to the eagerly anticipated 2008 teen vampire-romance, Twilight, is a rocky, dark work of film scoring. Instead of giving the audience a lush, romantic motif and score, Burwell doles out tracks of screeching electric guitars ("Nomads"), vehement strings (which sound so small in number that they could be - and likely are - a small chamber ensemble) ("Bella's Lullaby"), dangerous-sounding bass percussion ("How I Would Die", "I Know What You Are", "Humans Are Predators Too", "The Skin of a Killer", "Bella Is Part of the Family", "Tracking", "Showdown In the Ballet Studio"), rural-sounding guitar and percussion ("Who Are They?", "I Would Be the Meal"), tracks of basically boring nothingness (which is unfortunately almost the entire score) ("Treaty", "I Dreamt of Edward", "The Most Dangerous Predator", "The Skin of a Killer", "Complications", "I Would Be the Meal", "Stuck Here Like Mom", "In Place of Someone You Love", "Edward At Her Bed") and the occasional soft, somewhat pretty-yet-haunting tracks of piano and/or guitar (of which some fall into the 'boring' category as well) ("Phascination Phase", "The Lion Fell In Love With the Lamb", "Dinner With His Family", "Bella's Lullaby", "Stuck Here Like Mom", "Edward At Her Bed").

Now, if you were bored by reading the above list (if you actually took the time to read it), take that level of boredom, multiply it by about five times, and you have Twilight. I kid you not; Twilight is probably one of the most boring scores I have ever bothered to listen to, though I am not sure if this is merely due to my distaste for the majority of the music presented here. Let's face it: screeching electric guitars and music that sounds like it would better fit a TV documentary about life on a farm is just not my kind of music. And add to that a bleak, two-note chromatic motif (think Jaws, but with the notes descending rather than ascending) which recurs throughout many of the album's twenty-one tracks.

Amidst all the boredom and darkness is a slightly dissonant piano motif representing the love of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), the vampire for whom all teen girls around the world would die to have for a boyfriend. This piano motif can be heard numerous times throughout the score, though the most obvious (and beautiful) usage is in the track entitled "Bella's Lullaby", which would appear to be the gem of this entire album. In the film and novel, the lullaby is supposedly written and played for Bella by her vampire lover. While I wouldn't necessarily call it a "lullaby", due to its dark, tormented sound, it is certainly quite gorgeous and moving, and is the highlight of the score as presented here. (Hey, I bought the whole album after being drawn in by the sound of this one track, so I guess that says something in favor of the score.)

I have very little else to say about this haunting (and often times, boring) score, other than that if you are a Twilight fan you will no doubt love it, as all who love the book and/or film do. But as far as I'm concerned, a deep love or liking for a score like this either implies blindness to the difference between good and bad film scoring, or an intense/insane fandom for the subject on which the music is written.


1. How I Would Die (1.53)
2. Who Are They? (3.26)
3. Treaty (1.59)
4. Phascination Phase (2.04)
5. Humans Are Predators Too (2.04)
6. I Dreamt of Edward (1.06)
7. I Know What You Are (2.37)
8. The Most Dangerous Predator (2.22)
9. The Skin of a Killer (2.58)
10. The Lion Fell in Love With the Lamb (3.10)
11. Complications (1.11)
12. Dinner with His Family (0.38)
13. I Would Be the Meal (1.24)
14. Bella's Lullaby (2.19)
15. Nomads (3.51)
16. Stuck Here Like Mom (1.40)
17. Bella Is Part of the Family (1.24)
18. Tracking (2.19)
19. In Place of Someone You Love (1.45)
20. Showdown in the Ballet Studio (4.50)
21. Edward at Her Bed (1.05)

Total Length: 46.05
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 47 votes - average 3.3/5)

Released by

Summit Ent/Chop Shop/Atlantic 517000 (regular release 2008)

Conducted & Orchestrated by

Carter Burwell