A Star Is Born Soundtrack Review – Music Monday

The 2018 remake of A Star Is Born is defined by incredible talent. The artistry goes beyond the big screen, however, as the A Star Is Born soundtrack boasts one of the best original music compilations for a film in recent memory.

Given Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, and Kris Kristofferson’s association with the 1954 and 1976 versions of A Star Is Born, the 2018 soundtrack has hefty competition. The music in the Bradley Cooper-Lady Gaga film not only stands on its own merit, but is notable for how well the lyrics mesh with the movie. Each song serves a purpose in the film and the words enhance the depth of the main characters.

The soundtrack is mostly comprised of Americana music written by Lukas Nelson (Willie’s son) and Lady Gaga. Nelson’s band, Promise Of The Real, backs lead performers Jackson Maine and Lady Gaga during the film’s concert scenes.

Lukas Nelson played a vital role in creating the soundtrack for A Star Is Born. Not only did he co-write much of the film’s music, but he shreds the guitar that Jackson Maine appears to be playing. Cooper explained on The Tonight Show that he does not play guitar during those scenes. The chords are actually Nelson’s handiwork.

These segments produce some of the best music in the film. The instrumental “Out of Time” and the song “Black Eyes” are legit rockers.

Lady Gaga’s best solo moment comes in the dramatic “I’ll Never Love Again.” Two versions of the song appear in the album. The first is the live version cut for the film. The second is an extended take. The singer also contributed a brilliant rendition of Edith Piaf’s “La Vie En Rose” that appears early in the movie.

The signature track in the film is “Shallow,” a brilliant duet from Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. The future Oscar Nominee is powering the early sales numbers for A Star Is Born, which is already on pace to rank as one of the week’s top five albums.

The best song on A Star Is Born is “Maybe It’s Time,” a song that prominently appears early in the film. Sung by Cooper, the lyrics were written by Jason Isbell. The Americana musician does not appear in the film, but his words define Maine’s troubles with alcoholism:

“All the scars, all the lines
On my face they show the times
I’ve abandoned my own life
I can’t breathe, I can’t eat
So I just drink myself to sleep
And embrace this morbid price”

The A Star Is Born soundtrack is a testament to Cooper’s touch as a filmmaker. He recruited musicians that make sense for the film, adding an extra layer of ingenuity. The album is a wonderful companion to the movie, but the music is so integral to the plot that it is best to watch the drama before listening to the soundtrack.

For The Flat Circle’s review of A Star Is Born (2018) click here

Music Monday is a recurring series on The Flat Circle. You can read the most recent Music Monday post on Petal’s cover of Tom Petty’s “You Got Lucky” hereSubscribe to the Flat Circle to read every Music Monday post. The option to subscribe is locating at the bottom of the page. 

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