Monday, August 1, 2016

A Mixed Mix, The Suicide Squad Soundtrack Is Mostly Good!

The Good: Good mix of classic songs, new songs and covers, Some wonderful lyrics, Dark sound
The Bad: Heavy sound, Short
The Basics: A generally good mix of hip-hop/rap and rock, the Suicide Squad Soundtrack has potential to be satisfying independent of the movie!

As Summer Blockbuster Season enters its final stretch, the second to last film of the year that I am excited about is hitting theaters. The film is Suicide Squad and in advance of seeing it, I've been eagerly pursuing a DC Comics-themed week! Getting my hands on the Suicide Squad Soundtrack is a nice little perk and I decided to review it in advance of seeing the film because I thought it might be fun to review it completely independent of the movie it accompanies. Sure, knowing it is affiliated with Suicide Squad instantly makes the listener imagine what horrible Harley Quinn and The Joker scene "You Don't Own Me" by Grace might accompany, but the nice aspect of reviewing the album first is that it allows me to listen to it and consider it as a musical work, as opposed to a film tie-in.

Suicide Squad Soundtrack is a generally heavy album. It is biased toward hip-hop and rap, but it includes covers of classic songs like "I Started A Joke" and "Bohemian Rhapsody." The inclusion of fairly recent hits like "Without Me" by Eminem are balanced by fresh music like "Heathens" by Twenty One Pilots, which is an electropop anthem that borders on trip hop and could easily become the anthem for every prison work for the next twenty years.

With fourteen tracks clocking out at 50:58, one of the biggest strikes against Suicide Squad Soundtrack is that it is short. The musical variety makes for an intriguing mix, even if the music is consistently moody - between anger and somber. As one who has not listened to much rap or hip hop, the Suicide Squad Soundtrack is intriguing in that it introduced me to new (to me) artists like Kevin Gates and played off familiar lyrics with a new sound with ConfidentialMX's "I Started A Joke."

Suicide Squad Soundtrack is not for the feint of ear. While Panic! At The Disco does a surprisingly good cover of "Bohemian Rhapsody" (not using Queen's version might upset some, but the truth is, Panic! At The Disco did the song justice by presenting the song with a strong sense of fidelity to the original), the album is a lot less tame than that. The song most explicitly tied to the film is the album's opener, "Purple Lamborghini." With lines like "Drugs every corner, this is Gotham City / Killer Croc came to kidnap you, to cut out your kidney / Ain't no mercy, got that purple Lamborghini lurkin' / Rozay, don't you know that pussy worth it / Flooded Rolex at the Grammy awards / They still sellin' dope, that's those Miami boys / Killers everywhere, it ain't no place to run / Forgive me for my wrongs, I have just begun" ("Purple Lamborghini") Skrillex makes a movie tie-in song with lines Will Smith wouldn't use in his music!

It's easy to see why Twenty One Pilots is getting attention with its song "Heathens." When they sing "Just because we check the guns at the door / Doesn't mean our brains will change from hand grenades / You're lovin' on the psychopath sitting next to you / You're lovin' on the murderer sitting next to you / You'll think, 'How'd I get here, sitting next to you'" ("Heathens"), they define in a surprisingly poetic fashion how broken the American prison system is.

The mix for the Suicide Squad Soundtrack is good, but it is not likely to win over those who do not already like hip-hop and rap, as at least half the album is made up of tracks that have that heavy sound. Between the loud, angry sound of several of the songs and the darker themes of many of the songs, the Suicide Squad Soundtrack is not for everyone . . . but then again, neither is Suicide Squad.

The best track is "Heathens," the low point is "Medieval Warfare."

For other soundtracks from films based on works from DC Comics, please check out my reviews of:
Watchmen Soundtrack
Batman Returns Soundtrack
Watchmen Two-Track Single


For other movie reviews, please check out my Film Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2016 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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