Monday, August 26, 2013

TRACK-BY-TRACK SOUNDTRACK REVIEW: 'The Mortal Instruments' has musical bones

Almost as excited as I am about the premiere of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, I've been dying to get my hands on the official soundtrack to the film. Now that it's here, I want to give you a track-by-track review of the soundtrack. This is my own PERSONAL opinion and is not to detract anyone from checking it out for themselves. If you are a fan of any of the artists, you'll probably have your faves, as do I. No offense if there is a song I'm not crazy about. I just want you to know ahead of time that I'm pulling no punches with this one. It's my complete honest opinion. (You can check out the tracks or previews of the tracks on my Google site at The Mortal Institute) or turn on the video below to hear them all. You can also click the song links to listen along as you read. 

1. "Into the Lair" by Zedd: Driving beats for some kick-ass vampire slaying. That's how we start off The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones soundtrack. Zedd is one of my faves in the electro house music scene, and this track pulls no punches. The track is rather short, but gets the message across. The Shadowhunters are not one to be messed with. A lot of people have been a little distracted by the song in the Hotel Dumort fight scene, but I personally dig it. Grade B +

2. "Almost is Never Enough" by Ariana Grande featuring Nathan Sykes of The Wanted: The song screams of Jace and Clary but seems to not fit with several of the songs in the soundtrack. I am a fan of both artists and had the chance to interview Nathan while at the LA premiere of the TMI movie. I actually really preferred Nathan's vocals on the song over Ariana's. Call it my love for Brits! Overall, their vocals make up for the fact that this is the only R&B track on an otherwise electro/indie sountrack. Grade: B -

3. "17 Crimes" by AFI: I'm in love with the version of this song below and not so crazy about the LA Riots remix track on the soundtrack. Take a listen and see if you prefer it. I go back and think of my fave song of theirs, "MissMurder" and feel a tiny bit disappointed by this song, but it's still the only true rock track on the soundtrack. I'll happily groove to it.  Soundtrack version Grade: C-; Original version Grade: C

4: "Heart by Heart" by Demi Lovato: Something about this song reminds me of James Bond and for some reason that makes me not excited about it. I know, I know... Diane Warren is BRILLIANT. I can't deny it. Maybe it is the placement in the film that I didn't appreciate. I know a LOT of fans adored that they put this swelling pop track in the middle of the greenhouse scene right as they kiss. To me, it completely took away from the tenderness of the scene and cheapened it just a little. It's a solid pop ballad and has the bones to make it on the charts. It is just not for me. Grade: C-

5. "When the Darkness Comes" by Colbie Caillat. Brilliant song, brilliant artist, brilliant song writer.
This is by far my favorite song on the soundtrack. It is haunting, stirring and beautiful. It is connected to Simon and Clary in the film, which automatically draws me into loving it more. Written by former Evanescence band mate and Little Rock, Arkansas native (my hometown!) David Hodges, it is much more poignant than some of the other tracks. To me it really means something. Take it how you want it, but I think it's the best. Grade: A+ - BEST TRACK

6. "Strangers" by Seven Lions: This track features the best of both words. Heavy electro beats with a soaring female vocal. Grade: B-

7: "Magnetic" by Jessie J: Possibly on of the few songs on the track that I could hear extended airplay on
for this soundtrack, I'm really very impressed that we were graced with the uber-talented Jessie J. It's a driving, pop anthem that goes well beyond my expectations. It is definitely by second favorite track on the soundtrack. There are even mentions of vampires, beasts and tweets! What a great combination!
Grade: A+

8. "Pacific Air" by Bear. This song reminds me a lot of the songs from the Twilight soundtrack. Before you clobber me brutally with seraph blades, listen to what I have to say. Amid all the constant connection to the vamp megahouse, I'll say that to have a song comparable to the soundtrack is a BIG compliment. The Twilight soundtracks will always be my favorite. This was something I'd been looking for in this TMI soundtrack and was happy to find it in Bear. Grade: B

9. "All About Us" by He is We featuring Owl City: Who couldn't love this song? Again, it's another pop ballad, yes. I'm pleasantly surprised by Owl City's vocals. I've never been a big fan of him, but the lyrics, geared to fangirls like us, is perfect for the soundtrack. Grade: B

10. "Calling From Above" by Bassnectar: Musical Pandemonium ensues in this song. It's gritty, dirty and a great addition to the soundtrack. Grade: B-

11. "Strange Days" by Bryan Ellis: Saving the most unique performance for last, I am SUPER IMPRESSED by Bryan Ellis' song "Strange Days". It fits so perfectly with the soundtrack. I love his vocals, the hypnotic music. I equate this song to a glamour that has been lifted from your eyes and you see the most beautiful, unusual creature. Surely one of the top tracks on the soundtrack! Grade: A+ - Editor's Pick



  1. Was All About Us actually used in the movie? I've known that song for a while and you'd think I'd have noticed it when I heard it, but for some reason I'm not remembering it. Clarification please?

    1. its in the coffee shop scene on the radio, and I only know that cause I googled it, I love that song so much and I could never ever find it, its soo subtle and you can't really hear it properly it just forms the background and ofc the story line is quite intense at this point cause we don't know who jace is so we don't really pay attention to the background music :)

  2. I've listened to he is we for yearsnow and have been waiting for this film for so long (the books were amazing!!) so when the song 'All about us' was featured, ive never been happier!!


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