“Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” And yet, I’m quite sure I haven’t had all or even any of the advantages each of the shallow and damned central characters in the movie – or those involved in the creation of the soundtrack. Yet that is the whole point in itself, the advantages they had would put them in a pretty good position to be tastemakers, and yours truly in a good position to get up to some guilt-free criticism. That said, the album itself is pretty great.
This was the soundtrack I envisioned when I first read The Great Gatsby way back. Jazzy, swinging, grandeur rimmed with golden despair. The decision to have Jay-Z on board as producer reflects perfectly the tone of the movie- wealthy hip hop musicians being the ultimate representation of this century’s decadent, shallow nouveau riche. Then there is Lana Del Rey (who did the single “Young and Beautiful”). Lana Lana Lana, where do I begin? The wealth, the looks, the vacuous overwhelming sadness and the plastic fame – she IS the movie/book. Other contributions from a stellar cast include Florence + The Machine, The XX, and Gotye, with Jack White doing a decently frenzied and emotive cover of U2‘s Love is Blindness.
The album encompasses the wide range of moods in the movie, updated for modern sensibilities, from the fever pitch and opulence of the parties (100$ Bills/ Bang Bang) to the creeping ennui and melancholy foreshadowing events (Young and Beautiful/Love is Blindness). It however does fall short in measuring up to Luhrmann’s highly stylised technicolor dreamscape, being somewhat tame when compared to the orchestral splendour of Moulin Rouge’s soundtrack.
Check out our review of The Great Gatsby here: http://popspoken.com/2013/05/20/the-not-so-great-gatsby/. For pictures of the Singapore premiere, check out our Facebook page.
Picture credits : Yahoo Movies, Warner Bros. Pictures