The Barbie world has left us a rich legacy of entrancing music. It is no wonder that Greta Gerwig and Mark Ronson continue on that path by selecting the perfect Barbies and Kens to voice the soundtrack of the highly anticipated ‘Barbie’ movie, released over the weekend. Judging by names like Dua Lipa, Nicki Minaj, Lizzo, and Sam Smith, the promise of another blockbuster film featuring big soundtracks was ripe. Hence, an extra layer of buzz was added to this already insanely marketed film.
Barbie:The Album’ is a vibe—a euphoric vibe on a fabulous dance floor where happiness is the order of the day. With songs like Lizzo’s peachy 80’s girl boss anthem ‘Pink’ (”What you wearin'? Dress or suit?/ Either way, that power looks so good on you”), Fifty Fifty’s (featuring Kaliii) upbeat ‘Barbie Dreams’ (“Glitter nirvana/ mascara on my eyes/ Can't see the drama, under my sequin sky”), the funny ‘Man I Am” heralded by Sam Smith with robo-like vocals as well as a catchy chorus in their stirring voice (“See / I'm the groove catcher/ hottest thing / Six pack and tight G-string/ No, I'm not gay, bro”), and ‘I'm Just Ken’ a melodramatic ballad performed by actor Ryan Gosling ("Cause I'm just Ken/ Anywhere else I'd be a ten/ Is it my destiny to live and die a life of blonde fragility?"). It’s clear that the album doesn’t take itself seriously. According to actress Margot Robbie, the songs on the album were crafted to “add an extra layer of comedy” to the plot. We are invited to listen mostly for the purpose of fun.
Nevertheless, Barbie: The Album is a gift that keeps giving. There are a few selections that work fantastically even outside the context of the movie. 'Barbie World' a rap collab between Ice Spice and Nicki Minaj breathes pure fire on the original Barbie anthem, ‘Barbie Girl’ by Aqua. On ‘What I was Made For?’ a piano-led ballad, Billie Eilish lends her melancholic breathy vocals to provide a poignant feel to the album—a sharp contrast to its overall vibe ( “I used to float/ now I just fall down/ I used to know, but I'm not sure now/ What I was made for/ What was I made for?”). Just like Billie’s track on the album, ‘Forever & Again’ by The Kid Laroi and ‘Home’ by Haim, offers an emo feel to the soundtrack that may have you going back for another listen.
'Hey Blondie' an acoustic summery track by Dominic Fike, 'Dance the Night' by Dua Lipa a carefree synth-pop song, 'Watati' by Latin trap singer Karol G and 'Speed Drive' by Charlie XCX which reinvents ‘Mickey’ by Toni Basil, capture the picture-perfect, fun essence of Barbie. This Barbie concludes that Barbie: The Album provides an exciting sonic recreation of the Barbie storyline, with an array of sounds for anyone living it up in their own (Barbie) world!