“Joy” Soundtrack Is A Surprisingly Entertaining Collection Of Songs

Courtesy:  ABKCO Records

Courtesy: ABKCO Records

Actress Jennifer Lawrence’s new starring vehicle Joy has made quite the noise since its release late last month.  It was nominated for two Golden Globes, one of which–BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE, MUSICAL OR COMEDY—was a win for Lawrence. It was also nominated for a Critic’s Choice Award for BEST COMEDY while Lawrence was nominated for BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY.  Lawrence has also been nominated for an Oscar in the BEST ACTRESS category.  Audiences will find out Sunday, February 28th if she brings home yet another big win.  While they wait to see if Lawrence can win yet another major acting award they can now enjoy the movie’s soundtrack for themselves.  Music From The Motion Picture Joy was released in stores just last week via ABKCO Records.  And it is just as applause-worthy as the movie, in which Lawrence stars as the woman that created the Miracle Mop and in turn a business empire.  The central reason for that is the list of songs and performers that make up the body of the soundtrack.  It isn’t just another forgettable run-of-the-mill compilation that throws out a bunch of Top 40 songs for the sake of marketing current charting acts.  Rather it takes audiences back in time with songs that fit the era in which the movie’s story is set.  It crosses those songs and couples them with original tunes crafted specially for Joy.  Even Lawrence and cast mate Edgar Ramirez get to stretch their proverbial wings and put their own vocal chops on display throughout the course of the disc.  Between those performances, the songs specific to the movie, and the classic original songs featured in the compilation, all twenty-one songs featured in this recording make it a surprisingly enjoyable soundtrack that is worth at least one listen.

Music From The Motion Picture Joy is 2016’s first truly surprisingly enjoyable soundtrack.  That is thanks in large part to the mix of material that is presented over the course of the compilation’s twenty songs.  It doesn’t just present a bunch of songs from the latest Top 40 pop and rock acts for the sake of marketing their big singles alongside the movie.  Rather it mixes original classics alongside songs crafted specifically for the movie and songs performed by Jennifer Lawrence and co-star Edgar Ramirez.  The classic songs that are featured throughout the soundtrack’s body are not necessarily standards.  And in some cases they are likely known only by very specific audience groups.  But they are still entertaining in their own right.  The Salzburg Bach Choir’s performance of Notre Pere Opus 14 and that of ‘In The Bleak Mid Winter’ by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge prove that argument.  The same can be said of Cream’s classic ‘Feel Free’, The Rolling Stones’ ‘Stray Cat Blues,’ and Ella Fitzgerald’s ‘I Want To Be Happy’ just to name a few other classics included here.  Whether through those songs or any of the other classics included in the body of this soundtrack, the whole of said songs makes for plenty of enjoyment for audiences in itself.  The classic songs featured as part of Joy’s soundtrack are doubly important to its overall presentation.  They are important primarily in that they aren’t just a bunch of popular top 40 hits thrown together to market said songs and acts.  They also don’t require audiences to have seen the movie to have any appreciation for them.  Audiences can simply appreciate them for the great works that they are.  Speaking of having seen the movie in accordance with the soundtrack, there is a small handful of compositions included in the soundtrack that was specific to the movie, which are just as important to the soundtrack as the more popular and well-known compositions. They are collectively yet another reason that audiences will want to hear this collection of songs.

The mainstream and semi-mainstream songs that are featured as part of Joy’s soundtrack are in their own right plenty of reason for audiences to pick up this collection of songs. They are just one part of what makes it an interesting collection of songs. There is a small handful of scene-specific compositions included in the soundtrack’s body, too. Considering that the soundtrack is composed of twenty one total tracks, six scene-specific songs really is not that many songs in the grand scheme of things.  And even with said songs being linked to specific scenes from the movie, the songs themselves are actually enjoyable.  ‘Joy Romantic Theme’ shows that clearly.  The song, crafted by David Campbell, harkens back to the days of George and Ira Gershwin with its gentle, flowing string arrangements.  Considering that, it’s too bad that it only runs a total of one minute and eight seconds.  ‘Mop Drawing’ is another example of how enjoyable the instrumental, scene-specific songs prove to be. This is one of those songs that audiences will enjoy even if they have not yet seen Joy. That is because of the urgency in the song’s tempo and its sound. Knowing at least the movie’s backstory one can deduce from that urgency what is going on here. ‘Joy Theme’ is one more example of how the soundtrack’s instrumental compositions are just as important to its whole as the more well-known pieces that have been included. The slow, gentle strains of the piano in the West Dylan Thordson composed piece generate an emotionally powerful impact for audiences. The combination of that composition and the others crafted specifically for Joy shows in whole why they are collectively just as important to this soundtrack as the more well-known pieces included in the soundtrack’s body. They are still not the soundtrack’s only remaining elements that make it an interesting listen. The pieces performed by Lawrence (yes, Lawrence actually gets to put her vocal chops on display) and cast mate Edgar Ramirez round out its most notable elements.

The more well-known songs that make up most of Joy’s soundtrack and its scene-specific instrumentals collectively give audiences plenty of reason to hear the compilation in whole. While both are important in their own right they are not all that should be noted of the soundtrack. Jennifer Lawrence and co-star Edgar Ramirez actually get to stretch their artistic wings in this movie, getting the chance to actually perform their own numbers. The songs in question are not necessarily their own. Lawrence and Ramirez tackle the classic tune ‘Something Stupid’ in quite the surprisingly enjoyable duet while Ramirez also takes on Antonion Carlos Jobim’s ‘Aguas De Marzo’ (March Water) and famed composer Randy Newman’s ‘Mama Told Me Not To Come.’ This song is a far cry from anything that audiences have come to know from Newman. It’s far more grown-up and almost Dr. John-esque for lack of better wording. He is joined in this song by The Pedrito Martinez Group. The combination of all involved leads to a song that will have any listener on his or her feet in no time.  Regardless of which song one picks, it can be said that the combination of all three songs makes for even more enjoyment for listeners. It rounds out the elements that make Music From The Motion Picture Joy such an interesting and overall enjoyable collection of songs. Each element is in its own right important to the soundtrack’s overall presentation. All things considered Music From The Motion Picture Joy shows in the end to be a surprisingly enjoyable new soundtrack that is worth at least one listen.

Music From The Motion Picture Joy is one of 2016’s early surprises in terms of movie soundtracks. That is thanks to its mix of music. It presents more than just one type of music over the course of its twenty-one songs. There are some familiar songs included in the record’s body. They are songs not just tossed in for the sake of being there. They are specific to the era in which the story took place. They also play a specific role in the movie thanks to their placement. The choral pieces that were incorporated into the record are just as important to the record as are the scene-specific instrumentals included in the record. The same can be said of lead stars Jennifer Lawrence and Edgar Ramirez’s outings. Even their performances make for their own share of interest. Together with each of the other noted elements, the whole of Joy’s soundtrack proves to make the record in whole one of the year’s early surprises. It is a record that is worth at least one listen if not more. Music From The Motion Picture Joy is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct via ABKCO Records’ online store now at http://www.abkco.com/index.php/store/release/316/. More information on this and other titles from ABKCO Records is available online now at:


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