Review: La La Land Soundtrack
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The film La La Land has been loved all over the world, becoming one of the most popular movies of 2016. In addition, its soundtrack has gained just as much attention and praise from award shows and people everywhere due to its quality music and composition.
The first song, Another Day of Sun, is a personal favorite. It sets the jazzy tone of the entire soundtrack as the ensemble sings about coming to Hollywood to pursue their dreams of becoming famous. It has a good overall sound, including the instrumentals, singing, and upbeat rhythm. It also has a really catchy tune that’s really easy to get stuck in your head.
City of Stars is the most iconic song from the movie. It reoccurs throughout the album three times: once as an excerpt, a duet between Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, and then a humming version.
Gosling’s voice is almost like a lullaby in the first appearance, making the listener bask in the peacefulness. The duet’s recording was very natural with the two of them laughing under their breath as they sang. It has an open, unedited sound that actually sounds like a recording from a phone, but not in a bad way. It gives the song more authenticity, which is an uncommon yet good thing in this case.
Gosling and Stone’s singing was a surprise. Although they don’t seem like the kind of people who would be able to sing, they have great voices. It’s hard to believe that it’s actually them and not someone else.
For someone who has never seen the actual film, almost all of the music can make one imagine what the scenes would look like. Planetarium, one of the instrumentals, does a good job of this by giving listeners the idea of Gosling and Stone waltzing together.
The tenth song on the soundtrack, Start a Fire, features the unmistakable voice of John Legend. It’s a very upbeat, pop song, which differs from the rest of the soundtrack. The track has people cheering in the background, so one can only assume it takes place at a concert. It veers away from the already established jazzy atmosphere that the soundtrack has.
Audition (The Fools Who Dream) starts with Stone telling a story of her aunt, who is her role model and transitions into singing. It’s a song for the people, such as her aunt, who aspire and dream. “Here’s to the ones who dream, foolish as they may seem,” Stone sings.
Epilogue is a reminiscent montage of a few songs in the soundtrack, such as Another Day of Sun and City of Stars. It’s appropriately towards the end of the soundtrack, acting as a conclusion and wrapping it all together.
Don’t get your hopes up thinking that there is a lot of singing in the music, because almost half of the soundtrack is focused on the instrumentals. They consisted of heavy presences of flute, piano, brass, and percussion and undertones of bass. But it’s not too bad when the musicians are obviously talented, know what they’re doing, and doing it well.
Although a beautifully constructed soundtrack, the music from La La Land is not for everyone. It’s not a casual listen, seeing as how almost half of the songs do not include lyrics, but it’s definitely more for those who have a real passion and enjoyment for orchestral type music. The soundtrack has been doing great receiving glory and awards, and it deserves all of it.