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.
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!).
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.
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.
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.
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.’
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.