With Valentine’s Day passing us by for another year and while many girls were hoping for Michael Kors watches and little blue Tiffany’s boxes, Christian Grey has changed the game, making it socially acceptable to openly expect a set of chains and bullwhip. Me? I’d genuinely be over the moon to get a text. And they say romance is dead. Fifty Shades of Grey has been nothing if not polarising, and I tend to hail from the “couldn’t care less” camp. There was nothing about this film, save for the fleeting moment we could potentially see a naked Charlie Hunnam, that interested me until now. The Fifty Shades Of Grey Soundtrack is perfect, with a collection of songs so sensual, dirty and divine it’s almost making me want to see the movie, and definitely making me want to call my ex.
From what I can tell from the fanfare, Fifty Shades tells the story of Christian and Ana; his kinky, emotionless ways a stark contrast to her unassuming innocence. In lots of ways, the soundtrack is the same. We open with the Goddess that is Annie Lennox and her cover of the tantalising track, I Put A Spell On You. Her gritty voice on top of sharp piano keys and a featured electric guitar spanking us with an exquisite introduction to the playlist that is challenged later on with Frank Sinatra’s Witchcraft. Adding a dash of class and humour, it balances Lennox’s (and Christian’s) erotic explosion with some old fashioned romance. And they’re not the only heavy weights gracing this soundtrack, with The Rolling Stone’s gorgeous and suggestive Beast of Burden juxtaposing Beyonce’s re-recorded Crazy In Love, the party horns replaced with tense whispers and groans… Yep, I’m calling him. BRB.
Jessie Ware’s subtle and curious waltz Meet Me In The Middle finds opposition in the suspicious, Usher-esque Earned It from The Weeknd. Sia is heavenly. Her Salted Wound providing a soft and floaty after-glow, the scratchy guitar and breathy vocal so textural you can almost feel it, while Ellie Goulding’s addition of Love Me Like You Do is uncharacteristically hopeful in comparison to the rest of the soundtrack. Skylar Grey tugs at the heart strings with big ballad I Know You, the lyrics a kind of transcript of Ana’s inner monologue. Vaults’ One Last Night complements Awolnation’s cover of Springsteen’s I’m On Fire, giving us a vibe that falls somewhere between Cruel Intentions and 500 Days Of Summer – nice company to keep.
Danny Elfman rounds it out with his own little character depictions with instrumental piece Ana and Christian the dark, tense contrast to closing piece the gentle and tempting Did That Hurt? I can’t speak to the merits of the book or the film, but there is nothing nasty about this record. I am going to be in a constant loop of the Fifty Shades Of Grey Soundtrack, contrasted by some very, very cold showers. Someone take my phone off me.