The Transformers movie soundtrack has become as ballyhooed as its big screen counterpart through the years, and the latest, and perhaps final, installment of said sonic accompaniment is no different, living up to the hype with each passing track. This time around on the Transformers: Dark of the Moon soundtrack, some of the faces are the same, but as with its two predecessors, this compilation does not disappoint at any turn.

Speaking of familiar faces, Linkin Park returns to the Transformers soundtrack, anchoring the Transformers: Dark of the Moon soundtrack with “Iridescent,” off their 2010 release A Thousand Suns. And just has they had done in the past with “New Divide” on the first Transformers movie soundtrack and “What I’ve Done” on the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen soundtrack, Linkin Park leads the album into battle, before giving way to new original cuts from the likes of Paramore (“Monster”) and Goo Goo Dolls (“All That You Are”). Taking Back Sunday contribute the song “Faith (When I Let You Down),” joining Linkin Park as the only other act to have appeared on all three records. Staind returns for their second tour of Transformers soundtrack duty with “the Bottom,” a song that could easily be referred to as their best work in a long while. It might not be too much of stretch to say that “the Bottom” is as close to a return to Dysfunction form as the band as has ever come, and might just the best song the band has written in the last decade. Also returning for a second go around is Theory of Deadman with their song “Head Above Water,” but its newcomers Art of Dying and their contribution of “Get Thru This” that offers up one of the records high points.

If Transformers: Dark of the Moon is indeed the last of the Transformers movies (which hopefully it isn’t, but you’ll get no spoilers here folks), that would mean it would be the last of these spectacular soundtracks. Oh well, it is what it is. Regardless, if that is the case, take the time and thoroughly enjoy the Transformers: Dark of the Moon soundtrack, because it’s surely worth it, and even though it’s only July now, the Transformers: Dark of the Moon soundtrack should hold up as the year’s best of its kind.

Grade: B+

Listen to: Staind – “the Bottom”