If life was a movie musical, this reviewer wishes his would turn out like La La Land. In case you don’t know, the critics’ darling written and directed by Damien Chazelle tells the story of a musician (Ryan Gosling) and an aspiring actress (Emma Stone) who meet and fall in love in the city of Los Angeles.
What’s a musical without a soundtrack album to put on loop? There is a reason why this one has peaked at number two on the US Billboard 200 and number one on the UK Albums Chart. It is a must own for every self respecting soundtrack fan. Heck, it is a must own for anyone who loves a good time out at the movies.
The 46 minute CD kicks off with “Another Day of Sun”, an energetic cue that makes you want to jump up and dance. The upbeat tune has the La La Land Cast singing about what Hollywood has in store for those dare to dream big: “Climb these hills/ I'm reaching for the heights/ And chasing all the lights that shine/ And when they let you down/ You'll get up off the ground/ 'Cause morning rolls around/ And it's another day of sun”
Stone, who is nominated for Best Actress at the 89th Academy Awards, is up next with “Someone in the Crowd”. The actress’ pleasing vocals does a great job here. Elsewhere, she impresses with her solo showcase “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)”, another hopeful cue that inspires you to dream big.
Stone’s co star Gosling, who has also been garnering Best Actor nominations at countless film awards, may not be a professional singer, but we imagine female fans gushing over his raspy voice. In the movie, he sings (and dances!) with Stone on “A Lovely Night”, then serenades to the much talked about “City of Stars”.
John Legend, who plays a mainstream jazz performer in the movie, performs radio friendly pop song “Start A Fire” on the soundtrack. Justin Hurwitz, Chazelle’s Havard University classmate, composes and orchestrates the score portion of the soundtrack. There is also a separate album featuring Hurwitz's score. If you have watched the film, you will want to relive the magical moments with cues like the hopeful “Mia & Sebastian’s Theme”, the romantic “Planetarium” and the bittersweet wrap up “Epilogue”.
Recommended Track: (13) Epilogue
Review by John Li