MUSIC CHEAT SHEET: Best and worst soundtracks
The soundtrack for Atomic Blonde features some of the top tunes of the late 1970s and early 1980s, including the iconic Clash hit, London Calling. EMI
SARAH HANLON/ 24 HOURS
Soundtracks are all the rage in 2017. Some are calling it a revival, others a renaissance, but whatever is happening in film and television soundtrack art this year, it is clear that people are digging it. Perhaps, the rise of TV musicals like Fox's The Rocky Horror Picture Show and musical theatre offerings like Hamilton have reminded people of their love for a good ol' soundtrack.Or, maybe, they've just gotten better. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 & 2, Moana, The Fate Of The Furious, Beauty And The Beast, Baby Driver, Suicide Squad and Sing all boast their soundtracks on Billboard's Top 200 Albums list. Here, we break down which soundtracks are worth your time.
Big Little Lies
Everyone's favourite Big Little Lies character, Madeline's daughter Chloe (played by Reese Witherspoon and Darby Camp, respectively) created the perfect playlist for each episode and the concept really played well. The little girl would run around with an iPhone during scenes and switch up the tone by playing her latest musical obsession for her mom and friends. The show's unforgettable theme song is actually a snippet from Michael Kiwanuka's tenminute soul ballad Cold Little Heart. The album is rich and moody and full of heart. Other tracks include, Alabama Shakes'This Feeling, Irma Thomas'Straight From the Heart and the song Don't by cast member Zoë Kravitz.
The Fate of the Furious: The Album
If, like me, you haven't seen the last 7Fast and Furious franchise films, this one might be worth bucking the trend. The album does what classic soundtracks like The Bodyguard and Dirty Dancing have done in the past: they brought some heavy hitters to create some custom tracks for the hip-hop album that stands on its own. Young Thug, 2 Chainz, Wiz Khalifa, Quavo, Jeremih, Calvin Harris, Kehlani and more are all featured on the soundtrack that creates a story on its own with hip-hop, Latin pop and a great flow.
The soundtrack for Atomic Blonde - which came out on July 28 - brings you through every bit of the turbulent '80s. While the film is garnering mixed reviews, the album is winning raves. It has OG classics like David Bowie's Cat People, Peter Shilling's Major Tom, The Clash's London Calling and George Michael's Father Figure and it's got covers, er, covered too. L.A. rockers HEALTH covered the New Order classic Blue Monday for the film and it is a perfect fit. The '80s dream soundtrack is juxtaposed perfectly with the Cold War nightmare that is the subject of the movie. Business Insider recently reported that the negotiations to nail the Atomic soundtrack were just as intense as the movie's kickass fight scenes! Whoa.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2
Everyone agrees this soundtrack is literally outta this world. While Vol. 2 moves up the charts, its predecessor, Awesome Mix Vol. 1, becomes just the second soundtrack to sell 1 million digital albums in the U.S. (The only other to do so is Disney's Frozen.) The album features the famous song Mr. Blue Sky from Electric Light Orchestra's classic top-selling double album Out of the Blue, which celebrates its 40th anniversary on Sept. 29. As a tribute to one of the most ambitious rock albums of all time, Legacy Recordings will release a 2-LP collector's edition Out of the Blue picture disc plus digital download on the same day.
La La Land
For a movie about jazz, it's shocking how lackluster this soundtrack is. Just like critiques of the movie itself, it leaves you wondering why Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone would hog up all the screen and sound time. Composer Justin Hurwitz adds some beautiful piano-based soft jazz scores to the mix but I want more from a scat soundtrack. Gimmie the Fats, gimmie the Armstrong, gimmie the Billie, or give me their contemporaries! Just please, no more Gosling.
Beauty and the Beast
Even worse than the Disney remake starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens is the soundtrack which - like the film- adds and changes too many things. We just want to sing along to the classic songs we knew as kids - is that too much to ask, Gaston? Sure, the movie is the highest grossing film of 2017 but it left critics and audiences polarized - I couldn't even make it through the 2-hour runtime. The title track by Ariana Grande and John Legend is by far the best song on the album, and you've probably already heard it, so unless you are a Disney movie superfan, skip the rest.
SOUNDTRACK SNEAK PEEK
Director David Lynch told an audience in Italy that he hopes Twin Peaks fans are experiencing the 2017 reboot of the series the correct way - and that includes hearing it. Lynch, with the help of long time collaborators composer Angelo Badalamenti and supervising sound editor Dean Hurley, have created an auditory world that chills, thrills and encapsulates the Twin Peaks experience flawlessly. Lynch recommends watching the series - which only has 6 more episodes - with headphones. Not only can you pick up clues to the mystery by listening closely, it also totally transforms the way the show pulls you in.Badalamenti's moody tunes set the vibe for the murder mystery. Each episode of Twin Peaks ends with an all-star performance at The Roadhouse, the fictitious town's watering hole. Chromatics, The Cactus Blossoms, Au Revoir Simone, Rebekah Del Rio with Moby and the Nine Inch Nails have all graced the melodramatic stage. The new Twin Peaks soundtrack will come out on double vinyl, CD and MP3 on Sept. 8. Until then, enjoy the music every Sunday on Movie Central.
Fargo Season 3: Score Soundtrack
No one has heard the album yet but I've watched the series so I have a good idea what to expect. The much-anticipated soundtrack to the Emmy-winning and critically acclaimed limited series Fargo will be available tomorrow on Aug. 4. Composer Jeff Russo has been very vocal about his love of working with the FX show: "Writing music for Fargo has allowed It's a composer's dream job to be tasked with creating themes, motifs and melodies for such interesting and deep characters and such incredible stories. Let's hope it's as good as the series - which is a pretty safe bet!
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