Soundtrack Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

In the modern digital world we all live in today, one can argue that “print is dead”. To read a book may seem like an activity not many engage in and this is true in some capacity. However books like E.L. James’  Fifty Shades of Grey get made and usher in a new “era” of the printed word being consumed by the masses. Grey is a highly popular series of novels and with a provocative plot and steamy moments which has become a worldwide phenomenon. Obviously a feature film was destined to be made and a corresponding soundtrack was also released. Fans of Grey can now listen to the songs on the album which are almost as sexy and seductive as the book itself.

The film which is based on the book is a provocative and slick tale which focuses on the unorthodox relationship between two young people. College student Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) meets Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and the two heartthrobs soon begin a steamy union which involves bondage and sadomasochism. The film serves as slight softcore porn and superficial entertainment for romance-thirsty audiences. The soundtrack reflects this yearn and is a predictable and somewhat inspired collection of moody and sexual tunes.

Grey features a healthy dose of hip and dark songs that adeptly underscore the popular film. Annie Lennox, Laura Welsh, The Weeknd, Jessie Ware, Ellie Goulding, Sia, AWOLNATION, Frank Sinatra, Vaults, Skylar Grey and Danny Elfman all contribute to the album and the results are more than adequate and suitable for any couple’s evening soundtrack. The music perfectly fits the mood of the film and can definitely be enjoyed by real-life couples. It’s that effective.

Annie Lennox opens things nicely with I Put a Spell On You and her vocal strength certainly sets a strong mood. Laura Welsh’s Undiscovered is a fun little ditty which adds a some zest to the proceedings and more of that can be said of Ellie Goulding’s Love Me Like You Do. Sia’s Salted Wound expertly mirrors the bizarre relationship between Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. These are just a few examples of the kinky fun that translates from book to movie to soundtrack, three mediums which take the sexy story to great heights.

While the album’s roster of musicians may seem eclectic, each of their songs beautifully flow into one another, creating a very deep and rich musical tapestry. With the majority of the songs containing lyrics, it is actually refreshing to hear a bit of the film’s musical score, courtesy of Mr. Danny Elfman. His two pieces are a welcome addition to this commercial and otherwise single-note soundtrack. In fact, a score-only album was also released to showcase the gifted composer’s talent.

Basically if you’re a fan of throaty ballads and flirty music, the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack is right up your alley. The songs fit beautifully in the film but once they are taken out and put on your iPod, something gets kind of lost in the transition. Soundtracks are made for movies so when they are taken away from that environment, it is up to the listener to decide if the album is worth enjoying on its own. The choice is yours and yours alone but Grey pretty much hits all the right notes.

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