To quote John Cusack, “You gotta kick it (the mixtape) off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you gotta take it up a notch, but you don’t wanna blow your wad, so then you gotta cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules.”
Yes kids, when it comes to mixtapes, there ARE a lot of rules. More so, when a mixtape, or in this case, a soundtrack is meant to latch onto the precedent that the film sets. Essentially, a soundtrack is a mixtape. A mixtape that is carefully curated to capture and (hopefully) deliver the same vibe that the film has. Think of it as an aural companion pack. You have to understand that making a mixtape can seem to be pretty self-indulgent, at the end of the day. It can be a “let me show you what good music is” ego trip, OR, it can and should be an almost evangelical activity.
Hearing a song, in the context of the album it was originally released on, can permanently effect how you think of it. Some songs just sound like opening tracks and some sound like closers. I am a believer that compilations are best served themed. That way, there is always a fluidity and a cohesion, and it doesn’t degrade itself to a random collection of songs. These themes do not necessarily have to be complex, and usually said themes can relate to lyrics or song titles, or at times, they can be about a certain mood that the film tries to capture. Some of the greatest movie soundtracks of our times are exactly that. A mixtape of songs that capture an era, a theme, or a certain mood. The possibilities are endless.
Therein lies the problem with Suicide Squad: The Album. Do not misunderstand me. There are a couple of good tracks in there; however, much like it’s cinematic counterpart, it falls flat once you start to pay enough attention. Kehlani’s ‘Gangsta’, Action Bronson, Dan Auerbach, & Mark Ronson’s Standing In The Rain, and Skrillex/Rick Ross’ ‘Pink Lamborghini’ capture the manic energy that David Ayer tried to interject into the DC Cinematic Universe. However, this is undone by some clearly uninspired (Skylar Grey’s Wreak Havoc), boring (twentyone pilots’ Heathens), and shoehorned (Eminem’s Without Me) song choices. These not only ruin the overall flow of the album, but also leave the listener with a feeling of what could have been.
Fret not. Like an unsolicited opinion, we have taken it upon ourselves to curate the Suicide Squad soundtrack. An alternative playlist, if you will. Therefore, without further ado, I give you, Suicide Squad: Take Deux.
- The Animals – The House of the Rising Sun
- Kanye West – Black Skinhead
- Sweet – The Ballroom Blitz
- Kehlani – Gangsta
- Rick James – Super Freak
- Skrillex/Rick Ross – Pink Lamborghini
- Norman Greenbaum – Spirit in the Sky
- Lesley Gore – You Don’t Own Me
- K7 – Come Baby Come
- The Rolling Stones – Sympathy for the Devil
- The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army
- AC/DC – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
- Action Bronson, Dan Auerbach, & Mark Ronson – Standing In The Rain
- Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa & Imagine Dragons w/ Logic & Ty Dolla $ign ft X Ambassadors – Sucker for Pain
- Creedence Clearwater Revival – Fortunate Son
- Etta James – I’d Rather Go Blind
- Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
What did you think about the Suicide Squad soundtrack? Sound off in the comments below