October 19, 2009

Hype of the Week: “Hearing Damage,” Thom Yorke’s contribution to the New Moon Soundtrack

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new_moon_soundtrack


Hype of the Week examines a song currently dominating the blogwaves and weighs in with one opinion on whether the attention is deserved, or just a load of bull.

OK, folks. Time to brave the hype again, and this week it’s coming at us with both barrels. Not only do we get a new song from Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, but it’s being delivered via the soundtrack to New Moon, the second film based on the popular Twilight series of books. Yeah, I’ve never read the books either, probably because (a) they’re aimed at young adults, and (b) the subject matter involves vampires.

You may be shocked to know that I’ve never been a fan of vampires. Shocked because I’m pale, I loathe the sun, I often go through epic bouts of insomnia, and I sport a set of super-pointy canine teeth. Yet vampire stories, films, and weekends have always left me unsatisfied. Wearing capes? Drinking blood? There’s no upside to that kind of lifestyle, unless, of course, you’re selling 70 million novels, in which case it’s good to be series author Stephanie Meyer. According to the intertubes, the 35-year old auth–

(spits out coffee)

35???? Holy Christ, I have accomplished nothing with my life. I could never hold a conversation with this broad. It would be a nightmare. “Hey, Stephanie, what did you do today?”

“Sold a shitload of books. You?”

“Reheated some food and watched some online clown porn. Now I know why they wear such big shoes.”

Speaking of big shoes, Thom Yorke is no stranger to meeting lofty expectations as well. Who knew that the guy who sang “Creep” would end up making something out of himself? The track he gives us here is satisfying enough, a 21st-century “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” that is more atmospheric than narrative; its five minutes of glitch pop never climaxes like one thinks it would, instead spending its last 90 seconds on earth dueling between hip-hop marching band drumming and low, oscillating pools of synthesizer drone. Shouldn’t a song tied into a film about bloodsucking be cathartic? More importantly, is this the right audience for the song?

Thom Yorke – Hearing Damage (Twilight New Moon Soundtrack)

Let me put it to you this way: A google image search for “Twilight fans” brings me this picture:

So I get the idea to go online and seek out a 13 year old girl. When I realize doing that could have me saying, “it really is for research, your honor;” I find 20 year old Katelin, a college student who came of age during Twilight’s first gleaming in high school. I ask her a few questions to see if the series and the song go together like Hi-C and Turkey:

SUM UP THE TWILIGHT SERIES IN ONE SENTENCE A blend of vampyristic angst and teenage soap-drama.

ARE YOU A FAN OF THE BOOKS? I will never read the books because the writings of a 9-year-old don’t exactly tickle my fancy. I had to watch the movie in two chunks in an altered state of mind in order to get through it, but now I skip through most of the parts so I can watch the few good ones.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF TWILIGHT FANS? Some of the Twilight fans can get ridiculous but most people need a fantasy world in order to escape their everyday so it only makes sense that most are crazy or undercover about their love for the series.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF RADIOHEAD? I respect Radiohead because the practice of honest music should always be respected. In seas of pop and pop/rock overplays some bands need to be respected for not following a trend and they have a decent sound.

DO YOU LIKE THE SONG? The song was a bit redundant in the sound and form. The beginning was good with the different beats but then it got too 80′s for my tastes and I love the 80′s meets new school sound that’s been going around.

SO DO YOU THINK THE FANS OF THE SERIES WILL LIKE THE SONG? WHY OR WHY NOT? I thought that the last soundtrack was good. I’m in love with “Eyes on Fire,” “Supermassive Black Hole,” and a few others but I’m not sure if this was a smart addition to this movie. I think the fans will like it based on what scene they hear it in and relate the song back to. It could be a good addition to the movie if it’s done right and mixed in well with the soundtrack.

And there you have it. Next time, a look at the latest cut from Deep Blue Something. I think it’s called “Breakfast At Tiffany’s II.” Or “Lunch At Tiffany’s.” Either way, I’m sure it will taste lousy.

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