Music - What I'm Listening To

Friday Jam Session: The Great Gatsby

When I heard that The Great Gatsby was being adapted for film I was super excited.
And when I heard who was casted, I was beside myself.
And THEN when I heard who producing the soundtrack, I knew we were in for something special.

I first read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald for AP Language when I was a junior in high school and fell in love. Fitzgerald’s neatly crafted prose, symbolsim and character depth, developed around both common and extravagant themes that portray the time period that continues to fascinate generations after it. It is a true American classic. While the critics at Rotten Tomatoes weren’t quite as thrilled with the movie, I was impressed by the adaption, directed by Australian director Baz Luhrmann { the same man who brought us Moulin Rouge,} because it brought to life so much of what I remember reading and loving in the book. It was colorful and swept you away in its over the top, shallow glamour,  and, in my mind, Leonardo was the perfect Jay Gatsby.

But before I get too carried away, and spoil the book or movie for you, we are here to talk about music. Let me say this. Without the book and the movie, the soundtrack is one that could stand alone in telling this story. I imagine when I reread the book {which is high on my to-do list,} I am going to appreciate the soundtrack even more.

Jay-Z was brilliant.

To many, who might not enjoy his music, this guy is associated as the husband of Beyonce and besties with Justin Timberlake and the oh-so not lovable Kanye West. And I’m not going to ask you to like his music, honestly some of it I love, and some of it I don’t care for whatsoever. It’s not his rapping, but his creative mind and entrepreneurial spirit that I respect. As executive producer of the soundtrack I think he took the essence of what we love about that time period and fused it with a modern sound that, we, as listeners, could enjoy and relate to.

This is just a snapshot of my favorites, but I highly encourage you to listen to the entire soundtrack, which features other artists like, Sia, Emeli Sande, Gotye, Kanye West and Beyonce. And if I still haven’t convinced you, please note that I did NOT have enough room to feature Florence + The Machine’s contribution, who is one of my all-time favorite voices. That is depth folks. Enjoy!

1. A Little Party Never Killed Nobody – Fergie, Q-Tip, GoonRock
This song and the sequence it plays in during the movie was overwhelming and swoon worthy. I definitely could have rocked the Roaring 20’s.

2. $100 Bill – Jay-Z
The botton line is that Jay-Z understood this story. I also love the blend of segments from the movie, love the instruments and LOVE how this sounds in my car.

3. Love is Blindness – Jack White
This is actually a cover of a U2 song. Who knew? Yah, me neither, but I love it.

4. Where The Wind Blows – Coco O.

5. Young and Beautiful – Lana Del Ray
If I was only allowed to recommend one song from the soundtrack, without a second of hesitation, this would be my choice. It has a permanent spot on many of my playlists. It’s haunting, timeless and absolutely beautiful.

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