Times have changed since the days where movie soundtracks took on a life of their own, being success stories separate from the movie they were based on or in some cases, completely outranking the movie itself. Remember the film City Of Angels? If so, it’s probably thanks to the soundtrack. Nowadays, movie soundtracks are merely an afterthought. Put out for the sake of having one exist. The Great Gatsby as a film has been anticipated discussion amongst movie buffs for some time now while the soundtrack has been producing its own buzz since it was announced that Jay-Z was the executive producer. After that, as names of the artists featured on the soundtrack were revealed, the excitement kept growing as it contains some of the top names in indie rock (read: mainstream indie).
The highest buzz was around the new tracks from Florence & The Machine, Lana Del Rey and the cover of Amy Winehouse‘s Back To Black as done by Beyoncé and André 3000. Both Florence’s Over The Love and Lana’s Young And Beautiful are within their comfort zones but just sit there. Young And Beautiful is serving as the soundtrack’s primary promotional single but it is hardly a standout track to do the job, especially considering Lana’s lack of hit singles compared to some of the other artists on here. Back To Black is quite a step away from the original as Beyoncé and André 3000 strip the song bare to just a synth and beat. The cover is polarizing for those true to the original, however it’s different for Beyoncé though I can’t help but wonder how it would have sounded with Frank Ocean instead of André, who is the weakest link for the song.
The album’s high points come from unexpected places. Emeli Sande provides a cover of Beyoncé’s Crazy In Love with the Bryan Ferry Orchestra and she does it spot on. The xx slow it down with an electro blast on Together that builds up to a great orchestral finish. The real highlight comes from Fergie, who once again shows that she’s wasting her talents with the Black Eyed Peas. A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got) is a perfect jazz-fused electro-pop recording that Fergie was meant to sing for this soundtrack.
Many of the songs incorporate jazz into them to help place them in the era the movie is set in. Not having seen the film yet, I can’t imagine how songs like Jay-Z’s 100$ Bill or Jack White‘s great cover of U2‘s Love Is Blindless would fit into a roaring twenties setting but for a soundtrack, they help show the epic variety and spread the musical ground covered without anything really feeling out of place.
1. 100$ Bill – Jay-Z
2. Back To Black – Beyoncé & André 3000
3. Bang Bang – will.i.am
4. A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got) – Fergie featuring Q-Tip & GoonRock
5. Young And Beautiful – Lana Del Rey
6. Love Is The Drug – Bryan Ferry with the Bryan Ferry Orchestra
7. Over The Love – Florence & The Machine
8. Where The Wind Blows – Coco O of Quadron
9. Crazy In Love – Emeli Sande and the Bryan Ferry Orchestra
10. Together – The xx
11. Hearts A Mess – Gotye
12. Love Is Blindness – Jack White
13. Into The Past – Nero
14. Kill And Run – Sia
The deluxe edition also includes
a. No Church In The Wild – Jay-Z & Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean & The-Dream
b. Over The Love (Of You) – Florence Welsh with SBTRKT
c. Young And Beautiful [DH Orchestral Version] – Lana Del Rey