If you didn’t know already, Jay-Z was executive producer of ‘The Great Gatsby‘ alongside Baz Luhrmann and Anton Monsted. The trio did an amazing job producing the screen version of the famous book by F. Scott Fitzgerald, written in 1925. The film is an eclectic mix of Baz Luhrmann’s signature colourful outrageous style, with a hip hop (in parts) sound track and a modern-day sitcom / comical vibe from the, in places comical, naration by Tobey Maguire. If you havent seen it already, you should, its out in 3D too, should you wish to don the shades.
The most controversial song on the soundtrack is the Amy Winehouse cover, ‘Back to Black’ performed by Beyoncé and Andre 3000. Mitch Winehouse (Amy’s father) is said to be furious about the cover and has publicly voiced his view on the new version. If you listen to it in comparison to the original, hands down, Amy wins – there is no question there. But as I have listened to the Beyoncé & Andre 3000 version more it has definitely grown on me and deserves credit in its own right. It also works a treat in the movie – which I guess it what its purpose was – so that’s a tick for Jay-Z.
The soundtrack is a strange mix of artists and melodies that somehow work together. My favourite track has to be Jay-Z’s ‘100 $ bill’. The song is used to set the scene for the era at the start of the movie, showing the boom of the stock market and the party scene. Although weird at first for hip hop to be used for a movie set in the 1920s – again somehow, maybe with the vivid Technicolor and other ‘out of place’ features – it works.
Black Eyed Peas’ Fergie’s ‘A little Party never Killed Nobody (all we got)’ is bound to be a club hit for summer 2013. A pumping house tune with a 1920s flapper vibe and vintage mic vocals. Doesnt really float my boat but no doubt, along with the film being a hit, this one will fill many a dance floor.
Lana Del Ray excels herself with her sugar sweet ballad ‘Young and Beautiful’. Perhaps grows on you more if you’ve seen the movie and appreciate the meaning of the song in the context of the story. It wreaks of romantic tragedy, which is what the movie’s all about.
Beyoncé wasnt the only one doing a cover on the album, Emeli Sande does her own 1920s cover of Beyoncé’s ‘Crazy in Love’. The tune sounds more like the Puppini Sisters than Emeli Sande – but nice to hear her doing something different for once.
Other artists on the album include Will.I.AM, Bryan Ferry, Florence and the Machine, Coco O, The XX (every song sounds the same – and this one is no exception) Gotye, Jack White, Nero and Sia
The full album tracklist:
1. 100 $ Bill – Jay-Z
2. Back to Black – Beyonce and Andre 3000
3. Bang Bang – Will.I.AM
4. A Little Party never Killed Nobody (All we Got) – Fergie & Q TIP & GOONROCK
5. Young and Beautiful – Lana Del Ray
6. Love is the Drug – Bryan Ferry and The Bryan Ferry Orchestra
7. Over the Love – Florence and the Machine
8. Where the Wind Blows – Coco O. of Quadron
9. Crazy in Love – Emelie Sande and The Bryan Ferry Orchestra
10. Together – The XX
11. Hearts a Mess – Goyte
12. Love is Blindness – Jack White
13. Into the Past – Nero
14. Kill and Run – Sia
- The Great Gatsby (smaxtedreviews.wordpress.com)