x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

The Great Gatsby soundtrack is an intense mix

In The Great Gatsby soundtrack, sparks fly when Baz Luhrmann meets Jay-Z.

Lana Del Rey. Angelika Warmuth / EPA
Lana Del Rey. Angelika Warmuth / EPA

Various Artists (Interscope Records)

"The exhilarating ripple of her voice was a wild tonic in the rain." Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby gets to be reincarnated on the film's soundtrack under the guise of artists such as Beyoncé, Lana Del Rey, Sia and Florence Welch.

Their honeyed charm work on the listener in the same indiscriminate, intense manner that Buchanan's does on the narrator and her entourage. The Jay-Z-produced musical roller coaster mixes electronica, hip-hop and rock with jazz-age sounds into a breathy, sexy, dangerous, electric result.

It was to be expected from the master of mind-blowing pastiche, Baz Luhrmann, to create a totally anachronistic companion to his lush film that works to drive the story's point home - illusionary love, the excess of the leisure classes, the curse of money.

The album is full of new cuts, previously released ones and covers. They all work, except for Emeli Sandé's strange version of Beyonce's Crazy in Love, which fails to combine modern sound with Charleston. Jay-Z's own tracks - $100 Bill and the Grammy-winning jam No Church in the Wild - hit techno-rap notes that propel us into the seediness of Gatsby's life.

Beyoncé and Andre 3000's rendition of Amy Winehouse's Back to Black embraces a dark, twisted mood with a hypnotising dub beat.