Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Artists bring Gatsby to life


Baz Luhrmann, director of “Romeo + Juliet” and “Moulin Rouge!,”  is no stranger to turning antique stories into modern day films with his narrative plots and catchy tunes.

The big question going into the soundtrack of Luhrmann’s newest film “The Great Gatsby,” in stores now, is how would the songs display the themes of; partying, hopeless love, and murder as well as reflect the main characters of F. Scott Fitzgerald original tale.


Much like the story women run the show on this musical joy ride we experience during the album 14 songs. The soundtrack blends Fitzgerald’s “Jazz Age” with modern day pop, hip-hop, dance, and alternative rock elements ensemble together exquisitely creating a Bollywood feel that either leaves you hating or loving Luhrmann’s creative style.

Each song is set to fit a particular scene in the movie featuring new music from; the soundtrack executive producer Jay-Z, Florence + the Machine,, The xx, and Lana Del Ray. Jack White does one of many covers as he provides a rendition of U2’s “Love is Blindness.”

We get the grace to hear artist Beyoncè Knowles twice throughout the album as she provides vocals alongside superb lyricist Andrè 3000 paying tribute to the late Amy Whinehouse in “Back to Black”. Also Scottish recording artist Emeli Sandè collaborates with The Bryan Ferry Orchestra to cover “Crazy in Love.”

“Jay Gatsby, I park things/ Yellow cars, yellow gold like Slick Rick,” raps Jay-Z on “$100 Bills,” (the albums only formal rap song).  This track is by far the most parallel comparison to an individual character as Jay-Z compares his personal life to the movie protagonist Jay Gatsby, (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) an archetype of the self-made man who drives a yellow Rolls-Royce which plays a major factor in the plot of the story.


1. “Young and Beautiful” by Lana Del Rey: This ballad leaves me wondering how could you take a situation that is so ugly, Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan’s complicated relationship, and make it so beautiful.  Del Rey doesn’t disappoint being that black rose we know her to be providing life where there is death.

2. “Over the Love” by Florence + Machine:  “Cause you’re a hard soul to save with an ocean in the way, but I’ll get around it,” sings lead singer Florence Welch.  Welch does what she does best with her soulful voice captivating distance love through profound lyrics pointing out key parts in the movie such as Buchannan’s yellow dress and the green light outside of her house separating her from Gatsby.

3. “Where the Winds Blows” by Coco O. of QuaDron:  I literally had to stop what I was doing and figure out who this artist was that I had been missing out on for so long.  The simple 1929 piano melody playing in the background alongside a drum and bass instrumental is a timeless song someone of any age could enjoy. “I just want to have a good time/ Can’t I have fun for the rest of my life/ Just go where the wind blows,” sings free spirited Coco.

Leave in the corner:

1. “Bang Bang” by  What is the most obvious blend of 20’s jazz and futuristic elements, the Black Eyed Peas star had a great concept however I feel it was delivered improperly.  Kudos to for his Louis Armstrong tribute but the only time I see myself listening to this song again is when it’s played during the movie.

2. “Back to Black” by Beyoncè and Andrè 3000: With the two artist on this track one would assume it is a instant hit instead its nothing more than an tiresome R&B song.  The duet would be perfect if their were two less people singing on it.  While the beat is nice the rendition of Winehouse song sounds like a mash-up between the movies “Idlewild” and “Glitter.”

Notable Mentions:

1. “Together” by The xx

2. “Kill and Run” by Sia


If the trailers have not convinced you to go see the movie this soundtrack definitely will.  English professors are in for a treat as the album is full of symbolism allowing them to add another form of art to their lesson plan.  I can’t wait till May 10th to see if the songs appear in the movie where I expect them to.  I will definitely be adding this to my collection.  How about you?

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor

Comments (0)

All Valencia Voice Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *