I was never a fan of the book The Great Gatsby. When I heard that there was going to be another movie made, I thought two things:
1. Leo DiCaprio would be great as Gatsby.
2. The soundtrack should be interesting..
I should have made a bet on this.. would have made a killing.
I listened to the soundtrack yesterday. Thought I’d share a few thoughts. Overall it’s a solid album. There is something for everyone on this and that’s always a good thing. Jay-Z was the supervisor on the album so I knew there would be talk of money, power, fame, yada yada yada on it. And again, I was right. Although I do remember the centerpiece of TGG was money and where it got you back then in the 20s.. kinda like now decades later. But he has enough experience to know that you have to please so many for a soundtrack and for a movie of this caliber. Variety is the spice of life.
Sadly the weakest tracks are by himself and his wife, Beyonce’. He opens the album with 100$ Bills, a song pretty much, illustrating just that. He’s Jay-Z. He is rich. He has more money than God. He really could have phoned this in. He might have. He infused excepts from the movie I guess to be a focal point. The beat sounds like it stops and starts but never has any real pick up and go. Honestly it sounds like a throw away track.
The other downside of the album is the cover of Back to Black, the Amy Winehouse hit, performed by Andre 3000 and Beyonce’. I don’t understand why this song had to be covered. And if it absolutely HAD to be done, Andre could have been eliminated. His voice isn’t melodic at all.. It sounded as if it was spoken word with a beat. I can’t really believe Jay-Z would allow this version to be brought to the forefront. Not even Beyonce could have saved this, despite her trying. Andre ruined it for everyone..
A few standouts: 1.Fergie’s “A Little Party Never Killed Anybody” Featuring Q-Tip. A mix of old and new, Fergie’s powerful voice works perfectly with the dance trend of pop music mixed with old school big band sounds. Q-Tip’s rhyme is on point as usual. Glad he’s back.
2. Jay redeems himself by adding Church in the Wild, his collaboration with Kanye West and Frank Ocean. That ridiculously infectious intro beat will stick in you head for hours after you hear it. It was a standout from his Watch the Throne album and it’s just as good with this compilation. My theory behind adding this song was that Gatsby was the young buck in the
3. Florence and the Machine shows up twice with Over the Love and Over the Love (Of You). Nothing new here. Her haunting voice reigns supreme over the tracks. If you love Florence, you will love these..
4. I really enjoyed the song Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Rey. The words trigger an emotional roller coaster even though her voice doesn’t really. My favorite line “Will you still love me when I’ve got nothing but my aching soul. I know you will. I know you will. Will you still love me when I’m no longer beautiful?” This and Fergie’s song are probably my two favorites. I think many of you will strike a chord with Lana’s selection because when you are with someone you love those two questions are always in the back of your mind. You want to feel young and beautiful forever and you want the person who loves you to love you no. Matter. What. Beauty fades but love is supposed to last forever. Supposedly. It’s a lingering feeling that we all hope at one point goes away and you trust that love trumps all.
Emeli Sande’s big band sounding version of Crazy in Love (by Beyonce’ for those living under a rock) sounded so much like Bey I had to look at the title to make sure it wasn’t.. Of course the beat was different, but the similarity in Emeli’s voice to Bey’s is very eerie.
What I enjoyed the most about the soundtrack was how it flowed.. the latter part of the album flowed very nicely from one song into the next. Very mellow but still pretty nice. I am assuming it goes with the theme of the movie. Still not as good as the Romeo and Juliet Soundtrack but the flow was the same. Powerful voices singing about love and loss and stability. Can’t go wrong.
One downside: Excerpts from the movie. I hate that. Jay could have added another song instead of excerpts. Such a waste of time.
Overall, I approve. It wasn’t perfect, but it was definitely solid.
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