The new movie, “Fifty Shades Darker”, came out on Feb. 10. Novel fans were excited to see the second movie of the Fifty Shades trilogy, but not as excited for the nineteen, love song centric soundtrack. With artist like, Zayn, Taylor Swift, John Legend, Nick Jonas and Nicki Minaj, the album was an exciting release. Its diverse genres of Electropop and Alternative R&B gives the listeners, both inside the theaters and out, a sound into another world, into Christian Grey’s world.
“I Don’t Want to Live Forever”, featuring Zayn and Taylor Swift, opens the soundtrack in a boastful way. The two do a wonderful collaboration, reflecting the characters voice in a lyrical way. Like the movie, the song shares a tone of longing and pain. Also being the theme song for the movie’s preview, it pulls the audience into the characters’ world of dramatic love.
The second song on the track is “Not Afraid Anymore” by Halsey. A reflective lyrical that stews on the movie. The song is a perfect rendition of the imperfect attraction between the characters. A confident message, “I am not afraid anymore, standing in the eye of the storm,” speaks for the character Anastasia Steele, the feelings she has opposite that of the first film and novel. A new beginning, it mirrors her growth as a woman and the song signals that.
“Pray” by JRY featuring Rooty, is a fun, rhythmic love song. “I Pray. I know I’ve been cruel.” Defining the movie as a professional love story, made up of dramatic acts, this song acts as an apology’s definition. Like many of the songs on the album, the electropop sound draws the listeners in.
Also contributing is Tove Lo with “Lies in the Dark”, singing in the perspective of the character Anastasia Steele. The song refers to Christian Grey’s hidden face, adept of BDSM. The lyrics sing “love and pain go hand in hand.” An idea that defines Christian, considering his character in the novel and movie.
Toulouse with “No Running from Me” is one of the favorites from the soundtrack. A low profile artist, the song is performed in the Silver Ball scene of the movie. With its old, underground sound it creates a rousing performance, and might even begin to garner a following for the new artist.
John Legend’s “One Woman Man” is the next track, sparking connections to “Earned It” by The Weekend, which was played in the first Fifty Shades soundtrack. “One Woman Man” is a well-crafted piece by Legend, and a beautiful one as well, it manages to stand by itself regardless of the similarities.
The next track “Code Blue” by The Dream is another like many of the tracks featured, a love song. The song is featured in one of the sensual scenes, complementing the tone and setting very well. Through sound, it’s made apparent that the song reflects Christian and Ana’s connection on another level. It’s another in a series of instances, throughout the movie, in which the music is used to make a scene work where it otherwise might not have.
One of the soundtracks most exciting collaborations was “Bom Bidi Bom” sung by Nick Jonas & Nicki Minaj. Though it was performed in a short scene in the movie, the song caught listeners by the artists’ fans. Bringing the two different sounds together made this a fun strain of music.
“Helium” by Sia was a song also memorable in the movie. Her recognizable voice and her alternative sound was given room to shine. The repetition of the lyrics “Your love lifts me up like helium” captivated her listeners, in exploring the love between Anastaisa and Christian. The following track “Cruise” by Kygo could have had the same opportunity but fell a bit flat, washed in the rest of the movie.
“The Scientist” is my personal favorite on the soundtrack. The track was covered by Corinne Bailey Rae and she did a great job at it, making it her own sound. The style fitted beautifully in the beginning of the movie, and much of the audience enjoyed it as well. With the long absence in her career, along with her album released last year, her contribution to the soundtrack was a treat to her fans.
The next track is an interesting one, called “They Can’t Take that Away from Me” by Jose James. It is a pleasing tune from the past. With a Sinatra feel to it, it brings up the idea of an old time love story. The lyrics “There are many many crazy things that will keep me lovin’ you” reflects Christian’s character. I think of it a symbol for Christian’s BDSM, as so many of the tracks seem to be. He tells Anastasia his wants, his commands, though it is contradictory, it is a sort of modern day expression of love.
With the last songs, “Birthday” JP Cooper, “I Need a Good One” by The Avener, “Empty Pack of Cigarettes” by Joseph Angel, “What Would It Take” by Anderson East, “What is Love?” By Frances, and “On His Knees” and “Making it Real” by Danny Elfman, the soundtrack comes to an ending.
It’s worth looking at the list of names that make up the list, it’s a wide swath of genres that represent a lot of talent.
As a whole, the soundtrack defines the movie well. The songs chosen for this soundtrack were gratifying. And as much as I hate to say, the soundtrack made the movie.