Go la la for the “La La Land” soundtrack
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May 8, 2018
April 24, 2018
“La La Land” topped box offices and became one of the top movies of the year. The soundtrack deserves just as much recognition for bringing jazz into mainstream media and making great songs to keep people interested while still contributing to the plot.
“Another Day of Sun”
Complete with a dance number in the middle of Los Angeles traffic, “Another Day of Sun” exemplifies the typical opening song for a musical. This song introduces the theme of jazz music, prevalent throughout the film, but still manages to set the basis for the actual movie. The hopeful lyrics describe people moving to L.A. to follow their dreams of stardom and show anything can happen.
“Someone in the Crowd”
Similar to “Another Day of Sun,” “Someone in the Crowd” follows the obvious jazz theme, yet somehow manages to sound different from the opening number. With all female vocals, the girls push Mia (Emma Stone) to go out to a party to find her true love. The best part of the song happens near the end when the music cuts off and Mia sings her own interlude. Her simple melody breaks up the intensity of the song before launching into the big climactic ending.
“A Lovely Night”
Full of teasing and a simple melody, “A Lovely Night” captures the feeling of begrudging infatuation found after Mia and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) meet at a party. The lyrics, although not blatantly romantic, still show the relationship between two people who do not want to like each other, but do. The song continues the signature use of jazz, but sonically draws more attention to the lyrics by keeping the music lowkey.
A memorable instrumental, “Planetarium” keeps the feel of the scene and makes it easy to imagine Mia and Sebastian dancing around the planetarium. Placed in the same timing as the Waltz, the song brings a welcome change by straying from the jazz theme, yet the strings keep the romantic tone of the scene. Most people feel bored when listening to instrumentals, but “Planetarium” keeps the listener interested because the music changes throughout the song so it does not feel stagnant. Although instrumentals can often end up the butt of a musical soundtrack, “Planetarium” claimed its place as one of the best songs on the soundtrack.
“City of Stars”
The title track from the movie easily takes the title as the best song on the soundtrack. With simple piano, the song captures the melancholy and nostalgic feel of the movie as Mia and Sebastian try to navigate love and their desire for success. Along with laughter sprinkled throughout, Gosling and Stone’s singing sounds just bad enough to make the song better because it draws attention to the romantic lyrics and adds to the vulnerability of the song. “City of Stars” acts as the perfect soundtrack for a film about chasing dreams and trying to fall in love at the same time.