‘The Great Gatsby’ is one of the most anticipated movies of 2013, directed by Baz Luhrmann he’s bringing Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel back to the big screen. The movie follows Nick Carraway who is an aspiring stock broker in 1920s New York. Living on the outskirts of town, he re-establishes a friendship with his cousin, Daisy and her husband. Nick also befriends golfer Jordan who is pressured by Daisy to begin a romance with Nick. Jordan informs Nick of his neighbor, the rich and enigmatic Jay Gatsby who is famed for staging large, flamboyant parties for the region’s elite. While getting to know Gatsby, Nick learns of a love affair between Gatsby and Daisy that was broken by the First World War Now Nick is caught in the crossroads of a staged game aimed at recreating the past. Soon it begins to show that greatness can sometimes be a front to one’s true identity. This adaption of the story stars Leonardo Dicaprio, Tobey McGuire, Carey Mulligan, Isla Fisher, Elizabeth Debicki and Joel Edgerton.
But the movie is not the thing that has everyone talking for once, it’s the soundtrack. Yes so what’s all the fuss about? This soundtrack has been produced Jay-Z and he has put together a selection of songs which represents the Jazz Era, the party themes and the epic love story surrounding the plot. The soundtrack wouldn’t be complete without a all star cast including Beyonce, Lana Del Rey, Florence And The Machine, Sia, Will.I.Am, Fergie, Jack White, The XX, and Australia’s own Gotye. It’s a very diverse collection of sounds and even though the 1920’s sound was primarily Jazz, Luhrmann decided to showcase the Hip Hop and Electronic culture which is very popular at the present time. I’m going to up front with you all, this is possibly one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard and what I love about it is that it’s so diverse and different.
Lana Del Rey brings the true highlight on this album with her hauntingly beautiful song ‘Young And Beautiful’. It captures the thoughts of the character Daisy wanting to forever be young with the lyrics “Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful” showing her vulnerable side.
One of the surprising moments comes from Emilie Sande who does a cover of ‘Crazy In Love’ by Beyonce. First of all I’m confused why Jay-Z didn’t just get Beyonce to do this Jazz version herself but it strangely works with Sande. She brings the song a new voice, a new story and a new feeling. The new arrangement is very Jazz and honestly just makes me want to get up and dance. This is a big honour for Emilie Sande too, being chosen by Jay-Z personally to sing possibly his wife’s biggest hit.
Andre 3000 and Beyonce cover Amy Winehouse’s song ‘Back To Black’ and honestly I don’t know what anyone was thinking allowing this onto the soundtrack. It absolutely ruins the song and feeling that Winehouse created and its plain horrific. I’m not even being over dramatic here, Andre’s vocals are auto-tuned talking and sound lazy and bring no emotion. Beyonce’s vocals are much better and if it was just her singing it would have been okay. No one should have touched that song, this version brings no emotion whatsoever and makes the listener want to push the skip button.
Fergie sings main vocals on the track ‘A Little Party Never Killed Nobody’ and at first I didn’t know what to make of this track. Her vocals are very raw and not as defined as we are used to hear which may put off some listeners. It mixes the jazz influences with a dance track which honestly captures the heart of parties from these two eras. It’s a perfect representation of what Baz Luhrmann and Jay-Z set out to create and make the listeners feel.
Florence And The Machine brings another highlight with ‘Over The Love’ which is a typical Florence song. It’s emotional and boasts her massive vocal range which will send Goosebumps down your arm. It tells the story of a girl crying over the love for her boyfriend and the distance that’s separating them.
Sia yet again wows everyone with her incredible talent, writing and performing this ballad ‘Kill And Run’. It’s already receiving comparisons to Adele’s ‘Skyfall’ because of it’s gradual build and its true and raw emotion. Australia gets represented again on the Soundtrack with one of our biggest exports, Gotye. He has given Jay-Z his song ‘Heart A Mess’ from his 2007 album ‘Like Drawing Blood’ which belts the line “I’m desperate to connect”.
The rest of the soundtrack will keep amazing you from Will.I.Am’s upbeat techno track “Bang Bang” to Jack White’s take on U2 classic ‘Love Is Blindness’ and Jay-Z showing everyone who’s boss with ‘100$ Bill’. It is a very diverse soundtrack and really takes the listener on a rollercoaster of emotions. Jay-Z has done an incredible job composing and putting together this ensemble of tracks, so make sure you purchase a copy and listen to this yourself.
The Great Gatsby opens up in Australian cinemas on May 30 and the Soundtrack is available from Sanity and JB Hifi on May 10.