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Album Review: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

3 min read

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is accompanied by a rocking soundtrack. When you listen to it, you follow a path through intensely dark love songs and some pounding beats. It’s an ass-kicking soundtrack, which if you haven’t seen the movie, makes you run straight to the cinema.

The-Mortal-Instruments_-City-of-Bones-Original-Motion-Picture-Soundtrack-350x350The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is the first adaption of the best-selling fantasy book series by Cassandra Clare. It follows New York teenager Clary Fray (Lily Collins) as she discovers she is a descendant from a line of Shadowhunters – a secret group of half-angel warriors in a battle to protect the world from demons. Clary must join forces with the Shadowhunters in order to navigate the alternate New York called Downworld, filled with demons, warlocks, vampires and werewolves.

Although the movie has received overwhelmingly negative reviews by critics, some saying it’s not even up to the standards of the Twilight movie, the soundtrack doesn’t bring on this seemingly lacklustre feeling. Its top notch list of tracks includes songs from pop starlets Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato, as well as big name producers Zedd and Bass Nectar.

The album starts with a taste of Russian-German producer Zedd’s scoring for the film. It’s a hard core electro track, and is featured in key moments in the movie. You may have heard of Zedd from his massive 2012 track Clarity featuring Foxes, which managed to make its way to a Glee Regionals episode.

The soundtrack also features a track from pop starlet Ariana Grande who duets with The Wanted’s Nathan Sykes for Almost Is Never Enough. Grande started out as a Nick Kid, famously Cat Valentine on Nickelodeon’s series iCarly. But earlier this year she broke into the music market with The Way featuring Mac Miller, still in the Billboard Hot 100. Almost Is Never Enough is a beautiful love song, which may have contributed to Grande and Sykes rumoured budding romance. The Way and Almost Is Never Enough are featuring on Grande’s debut album Yours Truly, dropping later this year.

Demi Lovato continues the romance on the soundtrack with Heart By Heart, a dark and strong ballad created specifically for the film. It captures that “I’ve fallen in love with a shadow hunter” vibe, and is reminiscent of Skyfall by Adele and Bring Me To Life from Evanescence.

Further down the track list, Jessie J tries her hand at something darker with Magnetic, but fails, bringing a more of pop twist to the album. It’s still a powerful dance song, but that voice doesn’t bring to mind demons of the underworld.

Back to the romance and Owl City joins relatively unknown He Is We for a sweet and super catchy love song All About Us. He Is We rose to fame through their own social networking and in 2009 they were named PureVolume’s unsigned band of the year.  They are definitely signed now, and upbeat All About Us, which features further to the end of the album, makes me feel that the movie might have a happy ending…

And then listeners are slapped in the face with US producer Bassnectar’s grungy electro track Calling From Above. I hear it and instantly picture swarms of bats in the night.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones soundtrack is evocative of the dark events of the film, and if I was a teenager interested in the romances of the underworld, I would stay in my room listening and lamenting to this soundtrack.