As you may have noticed, soundtracks have been slowly making their way into becoming cool again. With movies with strong musical elements like The Greatest Showman, Black Panther, Love, Simon, etc. Film soundtracks go in wave of being cool or not.
To prove it, here is a quick list of the most popular soundtracks since 20 years courtesy of Billboard:
March 17, 2018
No. 1 – Black Panther: The Album
No. 2 – The Greatest Showman
June 26, 2010
No. 1 – Glee: The Music, Journey to Regionals
No. 2 – The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Sept. 1, 2007
No. 1 – High School Musical 2
No. 2 – Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus (Soundtrack/Miley Cyrus)
July 25, 1998
No. 1 – Armageddon — The Album
No. 2 – City of Angels
June 13, 1998
No. 1 – City of Angels
No. 2 – Godzilla — The Album
As you can see, there is not a whole lot of consistency with soundtracks being popular, it is very wavy. It goes from action, to musical movies, to romantic movies and back to musical and action. How did Black Panther and The Greatest Showman revive the trend?
I didn't like The Greatest Showman. There, I said it. With no plot points and music sounding repetitive, I was not sure how it resonated with so many, as it literally has a 55% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. After thinking about it, many say it is the dreamy musical that gives an escape. All the songs are positive, celebratory and everyone can enjoy it. It may not be for me, but I am more understanding.
Black Panther was a home run for me. Being a causal superhero movie fan (they do exist), I was excited to hear that Black Panther was a change of pace. The energy behind Kendrick's beats, and using the music as a storytelling device is nothing short of genius. I haven't felt that pumped in a movie before, and the music definitely had a huge part in doing that.
Love, Simon was not on Billboard's list, but it made mine. After seeing the movie in theaters twice (and planning a third trip), the music helped make the movie as powerful as it is. The songs and scenes. in Love, Simon pay an homage to the greatest coming of age films. One of the characters holds a boombox over his head like in Say Anything for example.
Love, Simon does a wonderful job of capturing way teenage angst feels like with their music choices. It's a love letter to past teenage films. The soundtrack literally has me listening to The Jackson 5"s "Someday At Christmas" in March crying and feeling reminiscent.
Music can be a powerful tool that can help drive an emotion home to the audience watching at home, in the theater, anyhwhere. I am excited to see what the next big movie soundtrack will be and will for sure be singing loudly along in traffic.