Song of the Day #3,572: ‘He Ain’t Coming Back’ – Ashley Monroe

I love when Random iTunes Weekends tip me off to new music. Ashley Monroe, for example, has a new album due out five days from now and I might not have learned that had she not popped up today.

Monroe hit my radar as one of the three Pistol Annies, then won me over as a solo artist with her 2013 album Like a Rose. Its follow-up, 2015’s The Blade, was an even stronger record, making my expectations sky high for the upcoming Sparrow.

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Song of the Day #3,571: ‘Across the Border’ – Bruce Springsteen

Has any millionaire rock star ever captured the yearning of the underclass as well as Bruce Springsteen?

Bob Dylan did it in his early years, when he was still something of a vagabond himself, but as he grew older and more successful he turned to more internal and cerebral subject matter (with plenty of exceptions, I know… please spare me the hate comments, Dylanphiles!).

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Song of the Day #3,570: ‘Capital Letters’ – Hailee Steinfeld

While I try not to judge anybody’s taste in movies, I’m also happy to report that I have never seen a Fifty Shades film. But I have to give the series credit for producing some interesting pop music.

From Beyonce’s slowed down, dangerously sexy version of ‘Crazy in Love’, Ellie Goulding’s ‘Love Me Like You Do’ and The Weeknd’s ‘Earned It’ (all on the first film’s soundtrack) to contributions by Taylor Swift, Halsey and Sia in the second film, producers have made sure these movies are musical as well as cinematic events.

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Song of the Day #3,569: ‘Flower of the Universe’ – Sade

Ava Duvernay’s much-anticipated film A Wrinkle in Time turned out to pretty much suck, but it is notable for bringing the iconic Nigerian songstress Sade back after an 8-year hiatus.

Sade (which is both lead singer Helen Folasade Adu’s professional name and the name of the band she has fronted for 35 years) contributed the acoustic track ‘Flower of the Universe’ to the film’s soundtrack.

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Song of the Day #3,568: ‘Alfie’s Song (Not So Typical Love Song)’ – Bleachers

Soundtrack curation is a hip job these days, whether it’s Kendrick Lamar’s Black Panther, Justim Timberlake’s Trolls or Lorde’s Hunger Games. The most recent example of a hit-maker focusing on the big screen is Bleacher’s Jack Antonoff’s work on Love, Simon.

Love, Simon is a charming romantic comedy that has taken on greater meaning because it is, amazingly, the first major studio film to feature a gay teen as its protagonist. And it’s good, not just groundbreaking.

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Song of the Day #3,567: ‘Rewrite the Stars’ – Zac Efron & Zendaya

Surprise hit The Greatest Showman has shown impressive legs both at the box office and on Billboard’s soundtrack chart, where it sits at #2 in its 16th week of release.

Among its songs, the show-stopping celebration of individuality ‘This Is Me’ has earned the most attention (as well as an Oscar nod) but for me the standout track is the love song ‘Rewrite the Stars.’

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Song of the Day #3,566: ‘Pray For Me’ – The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar

The movie soundtrack game isn’t a high-volume business. Currently the #3 album on Billboard’s soundtrack chart is Moana, in its 71st week.

But a handful of recent films have produced soundtracks worth at least a cursory listen.

The current big dog (or cat, I should say) is the Black Panther soundtrack, curated by Kendrick Lamar, who also appears on many of its tracks.

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