Various Artists, “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Soundtrack” (Republic Records)
Successful film soundtracks have to complete a pair of difficult tasks. They must creatively echo the film they enhance and also stand up on their own.
“The Mortal Instruments” soundtrack manages to encapsulate the spirit of the story’s adventure into the violent world of shadowhunting (demon killing), the teenage protagonists’ restless spirit and the fragile love story that weaves itself into the narrative. The recipe for the album is simple: take an indie rock/pop band’s song, shake, stir into a hypnotic EDM track, add a serene ballad, repeat half a dozen times, cook on high and, voila, you’ve got a healthy, balanced mix of action and emotion.
With the dangerously dark and stormy dance track “Into the Lair” by Zedd, the catchy wails of the AFI remix “17 Crimes” and the bizarrely compelling, low-frequency tubular vibrations of Jessie J’s remixed “Magnetic,” it all coagulates into a moody party.
The high-energy beats are tempered by Demi Lovato’s lovelorn “Heart by Heart” and Colbie Caillat’s evocative “When the Darkness Comes” — two tracks recorded specifically for this soundtrack. And “All About Us,” by Tacoma’s He Is We, is a playful invitation to love that will lodge itself deep into your brain.Cristina Jaleru, The Associated Press