The sounds now 50 Shades Darker
SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil (The Philippine Star) - February 27, 2017 - 12:00am

There are earworms and there are earworms surrounding us all day and all night but I do not think any of them is as earwormy as I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker) by Zayn and Taylor Swift from the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack. The song has involuntarily also become our soundtrack.

Talk about melody, lyrics, arrangement and all those things that go into creating a record and I say that there is really nothing outstanding in I Don’t Wanna Live Forever. But  the song is so earwormy that it gets into your ears and then creeps, crawls, twists and contorts itself until it reaches your brain where, horror of horrors, it stays.

Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding with its pounding beat from the Fifty Shades of Gray soundtrack two years ago had the same earworm quality but there is a sweetness about that song that is quite charming. I Don’t Wanna Live Forever has no such pretentions.

Anchored by Zayn’s shrill falsettos, the song gets down to the basics in an abrasive way. Well, this is much like what happens in the second installment of the Fifty Shades trilogy based on the books by E.L. James. Sex is the driving force of everything that takes place in the story and the song’s theme effectively mirrors the situations.

Swift co-wrote the song with Sam Dew and Antonoff who also produced. Hats off to this guy who hit on a clever way to make the song arresting, irresistible and most important of all unforgettable. It was also fortunate that there are two really big pop stars doing the vocals. Whoever was the genius who thought of this pairing must be in huge demand right now to come up with something similar.

Just think, it has been so long since Swift has dropped a record and fans were at the stage when they would welcome anything she sings. Ex-One Direction Zayn was also ripe for a follow-up after his first solo effort, that biggie Pillowtalk. And so it happened they met up for Fifty Shades Darker and a song that I can’t get out of my head is the result. I am sure it will still be around long after the movie has lapsed into occasional replays on TV and other conduits. 

Now the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack album was one of the best ever, a unique case wherein songs culled together from various sources come together to provide effective themes for a motion picture. The result is a soundtrack album that is as seductive as the book and the movie but which comes off better in terms of content and coherence. Hats off, too, to whoever chose those songs. The Fifty Shades series has a very good music editor.

Aside from Love Me Like You Do, it also produced other hits like Earned It by The Weeknd, I Know You by Skylar Grey and Salted Wound by Sia. It also has two stellar cuts by Beyoncé, Haunted and an acoustic take on Crazy In Love. The contents though varied make for seamless listening, movie or no movie to play back in your imagination.

Fifty Shades Darker also has an excellent soundtrack album of assorted tunes by various artists. Again, this must be the same music editor. These are mood sounds of a motion picture that can also stand on its own as a compilation set. Simmering behind I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker) by Zayn and Swift is another chart candidate, Not Afraid Anymore by Halsey, that exciting newcomer from The Chainsmokers’ star-making tune Closer. Watch out, too, for One Woman Man by John Legend and if you like making love to a hip-hop beat, Bom Bidi Bom by Nick Jonas and Nicki Minaj.

Also included are: Pray by JRY feat. Rooty; Lies In The Dark by Tove Lo; No Running From Me by Toulouse; Code Blue by The Dream; Helium by Sex; Cruise by Kygo feat. Andrew W. Jackson; The Scientist by Corrine Bailey Rae; They Can’t Take That Away From Me by Jose James; Birthday by JP Cooper; I Need A Good One by The Weeknd feat. Mark Asari; Empty Pack Of Cigarettes by Joseph Angel; What Would It Take by Anderson East; What Is Love? by Frances; and from the score, two titles by music director Danny Elfman, On His Knees and Making It Real.

(FIFTY SHADES DARKER
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