La La Land (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by Justin Hurwitz / Pasek and Paul
From angry and politically-charged at #18 we now cross-fade to the sappiest, treacle-filled music around: musical theater. I know there are many many lovers of the movie La La Land out there (it won five of the 12 Oscars it was nominated for, not including Best Picture), but the anecdotal evidence from my friends and acquaintances is that to enjoy this movie, with its predictably cheery disposition and supreme Hollywood narcissism, is to have a dissenting opinion.
Then dissent I shall. I loved this movie, I love these songs. It’s magical, I dare say. I don’t gravitate towards musicals or broadway as a rule, but this isn’t my first musical rodeo. The Broadway smash Hamilton soundtrack was #11 in 2015. And Singin’ in the Rain is one of my favorite movies (if you’ve not seen it, please correct that ASAP). Granted, it did take me a couple listens to get used to Gosling and Stone’s singing, but after a few times through I no longer get hung up on them. I just smile and dance (in my head) along to the songs.
The music for the soundtrack was composed by Justin Hurwitz, who went to Harvard with the writer/director of La La Land, Damien Chazelle. The lyrics were written by the writing duo Pasek and Paul. Together, the group has made a fantastic movie and soundtrack, and if you’ve not seen or heard either, I implore you to correct your mistake post haste.
P.S. — Feel free to skip the John Legend song (“Start a Fire”). That song is garbage.
18. The Underside of Power by Algiers
19. What Now by Sylvan Esso
20. 50 Song Memoir by The Magnetic Fields
21. Plunge by Fever Ray
22. DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar
23. Capacity by Big Thief
24. The Tourist by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
25. CCFX EP by CCFX
26. Woodstock by Portugal. The Man
27. MASSEDUCTION by St. Vincent
28. On the Spot by Hot 8 Brass Band
29. A Deeper Understanding by The War on Drugs
30. Planetarium by Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner, & James McAlister
31. A Moment Apart by Odesza