When Jay Z was appointed executive producer of The Great Gatsby soundtrack the music industry stood still for a moment but opinions regarding the announcement were certainly divided. After the unveiling of the track listing eyebrows were raised for a number of reasons which is evident when listening to the soundtrack of what is set to be one of the best movies of 2013, but will the soundtrack hinder the chances of winning the most prestigious of awards?
Taking all into account with the Great Gatsby with the theme of the movie being set around the 1920s, the artists representing the movie soundtrack are too modern and ‘mainstream’ which is evident in the music, unfortunately. Opener ‘100$ Bill’ by Jay Z is an uninspired three and half minutes illustrating the dip in form ‘Hova’ is experiencing at this present time.
A mouth-watering collaboration in the form of Andre 3000 and Beyoncé follows with a rendition of Amy Winehouse’s classic ‘Back To Black’, looks sure to step things up a notch but unfortunately the results are cringe worthy and unbearable to listen to. Beyoncé offers the only worthy listening time as Andre sounds out of his depth and boring.
Keeping with the mainstream appeal of the soundtrack, Will.i.am’s ‘Bang Bang’ is an lacklustre, typical track which showcases his knack for regurgitating electronic music to the worst extent, a minute into the track and the skip button becomes all that more appealing. The same can be said for fellow Black Eyed Pea; Fergie and her attempt of making her mark on the soundtrack with the help of Q-Tip on ‘A Little Party Never Killed Nobody’. Although these two tracks are clearly meant for the luxurious party scenes at the Gatsby mansion, they are certainly ones to forget.
It takes five tracks in to stumble across the first standout on the soundtrack, in the form of Lana Del Rey’s ‘Young and Beautiful’, which will be labelled as one of the most iconic and compelling tracks from the soundtrack. Lana showcases her beautiful, elegant vocals on a stripped down dark instrumental melody about love, ageing and insecurity.
The next four tracks could be viewed as album filler as Bryan Ferry’s ‘Love is The Drug’ is fitting to the Gatsby theme, a stripped down jazz number which is nice to hear after a dull opening to the soundtrack. Florence Welch punches her weight with ‘Over The Love’ displaying her incredible, elegant vocals yet will remain in the shadows of Miss Del Rey, while Coco O’s ‘Where The Wind Blows’ fails to impress on any scale. Emeli Sande’s rendition of Beyoncé’s ‘Crazy in Love’ is a mediocre attempt of ‘jazzing’ up the soundtrack, Sande is a wonderfully gifted singer but it’s not match for the original.
The xx provide listeners with another standout moment on the soundtrack in trademark ‘xx’ style, with superb, gloomy vocals from Oliver Simms and Romy Madley Croft with a backdrop of a brooding, romantic tale of entanglement and passion that pulsates like a throbbing heartbeat highlighting the subtle atmospherics in which The xx are renowned for. Unsurprisingly, one hit wonder Gotye’s ‘Hearts A Mess’ fails to impress along with Jack White’s cover of a U2 classic ‘Love Is Beautiful’. Eyebrow raiser ‘Into The Past’ from Nero is surprising to say the least, surprising that they were even considered for the soundtrack at all, albeit a stripped back, wobble less Nero track with hazy atmospherics. Sia’s ‘Kill and Run’ finalises the soundtrack on a positive surprisingly considering her recent work with David Guetta and Flo Rida, which displays her excellent vocals
Unfortunately this soundtrack has not lived up to the glitz and glam that the movie seems to portray, even with Hip Hop and music giant Jay Z jumping on board. With only a mere three tracks standing out the soundtrack can only be seen as a disaster to what is set to be a brilliant movie, leaving listeners bitterly disappointed by the accompanying music.