10 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2013
The days of studios releasing movie soundtracks containing second-rate material from little-known artists are long over. 2013 saw the continued influx of soundtracks created with care. Musicians such as Jay-Z and the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl spearheaded soundtracks that stand as artistic statements in their own right. These 10 soundtracks provide not only strong support for their respective films, but they also offer music enthusiasts some terrific songs to savor.
"The Great Gatsby"
Producer Jay-Z taps into the glitz and glamour of director Baz Luhrmann's hit adaptation of the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel to deliver a dynamic soundtrack that stays true to the film's setting of the 1920s. It also evokes a party vibe that is decidedly true to the 21st century. Album highlights include Jay-Z's own "$100 Bill," Lana Del Ray's haunting "Young and Beautiful," and Jack White's "Love is Blindness."
Director Richard Curtis consistently delivers pleasing romantic comedies with great soundtracks, and "About Time" is no exception. Ben Folds, Ellie Goulding and Jon Boden all offer new songs that convey the complex emotions on display in this film about a man who is capable of bouncing around the timeline of his life. Smartly, Curtis incorporates hits from other decades that stay true to the spirit of the plot, such as The Cure's 1990s smash "Friday I'm In Love."
This documentary marks Dave Grohl's directorial debut. The film's soundtrack places a heavy emphasis on rock as it celebrates the famed recording studio Sound City. Instead of simply offering a soundtrack full of songs recorded at Sound City, Grohl goes the extra mile by bringing in artists such as Stevie Nicks and Paul McCartney to record new material that manages to trace a fascinating journey through music history.
"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"
Though Ben Stiller's movie about a shy man who lives in a fantasy world was met with a collective shrug by critics and audiences, the music used in the film perfectly showcases the feeling of wonder Stiller hoped to achieve. Jose Gonzelez and Junip each contribute two uplifting songs that serve as the heart of this soundtrack. An update of David Bowie's classic “Space Oddity” (featuring the unexpected vocal talents of Kristen Wiig) makes for a touching addition.
"Dallas Buyers Club"
Though the film is set in 1985, the soundtrack of "Dallas Buyers Club" mostly contains contemporary artists. It offers vibrant material that reflects the larger-than-life personality of the movie's main character. One of the film's stars, Jared Leto, delivers a highlight with an acoustic recording of the song "City of Angels" from his band Thirty Seconds to Mars. This soundtrack also captures the film's sly sense of humor with tracks like Capital Cities' cover of "Stayin' Alive."
Skrillex and Cliff Martinez team up to create a unique soundtrack for the controversial Harmony Korine film. While Skrillex lays down slick beats on tracks such as "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites," Martinez offsets those party tunes with haunting instrumentals that emphasize the desperate intensity expressed by the main characters in the movie.
After delivering one of the best records in recent years with 2011's "Hurry Up We're Dreaming," M83 had a lot to live up to with its next release. Instead of offering a straightforward follow-up, the French band opted to release the stirring soundtrack for this Tom Cruise sci-fi film. The epic feel of "Oblivion" is right in line with M83's ascension as artists, further cementing the band's reputation as one of music's most promising new acts.
"Inside Llewyn Davis"
In 2000, directors Ethan and Joel Cohen teamed up with music producer T-Bone Burnett for the award-winning soundtrack for the movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" The team reunites for the soundtrack of this tale of a struggling folk musician. The "Inside" soundtrack features more than a dozen songs sung by the stars of the film, including Oscar Isaac and Justin Timberlake. The king of 1960s New York folk, Bob Dylan, offers a touching version of "Farewell."
"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"
One of the biggest movies of 2013 deserves one of the biggest soundtracks, with a wide range of artists contributing new songs for use in this "Hunger Games" sequel. New songs from Coldplay, Christina Aguilera and Of Monsters and Men highlight the soundtrack. Selections like Lorde's surreal cover of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" add the right amount of edge.
It's no secret that Disney's old-fashioned animated hit is propelled by a bevy of catchy songs. Tracks such as "Let It Go" and "For the First Time in Forever" harken back to a time when Disney placed as much emphasis on the music in a film as on the animation itself.
These 10 soundtracks prove that rumors of the death of the movie soundtrack have been greatly exaggerated. Each soundtrack here adds nuance to its respective film while offering enough excellent material to stand alone as an artistic statement.