First off, we need to remind you that Jay-Z is overseeing it. And he’s enlisted the help of Beyoncé, Gotye, Fergie, Florence and the Machine, will.i.am and Lana Del Ray (among others). So, this soundtrack is obviously poised to be one of director Baz Luhrmann’s greatest album hits. And that’s saying a lot considering the soundtracks for “Romeo + Juliet” and “Moulin Rouge!” are pretty stellar and unforgettable. “Elephant Love Song Medley,” anyone?
This album is both party-ready and full of longing, which perfectly encapsulates the mood of the film. It’s all based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s legendary novel (duh!) about a self-made millionaire, Gatsby (go-to Luhrmann heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio), who reunites with his lost love, Daisy (the new Claire Danes, Carey Mulligan). But, back to the music. Somehow these incredibly modern artists traveling back in time and getting all jazzy, with touches of modern pop, rock, hip-hop, R&B and even EDM, works in a way that only Baz—the king of taking something old and putting modern flourishes on it—can make it work.
Florence’s track swells and Lana’s track is heartbreaking. The XX get moody, as does Sia later on. Jack White gets characteristically trippy. But Emeli Sande’s ’20s-influenced take on Bey’s “Crazy In Love” is pure magic, and we’ve only heard 30 seconds of it.
And, just for fun, we’ve decided to try and lay out the soundtrack based on the story. Along the way Gatsby and Daisy, party (see Fergie’s song), do the Charleston (see will.i.am’s tune), stare longingly at one another across the Long Island Sound (see Florence’s track) and fall in love again (see Emeli’s remake), only to have it all end rather tragically (see Sia’s song).
It’s an earful that we’re sure will match the 3-D spectacle that Baz has created. The soundtrack comes out on May 6, while the movie premieres May 10. That gives us just enough days to play it on repeat, sew together some flapper dresses and make some bathtub gin before hitting the theater.
What do you think of the sampler songs? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!