Rio 2 is the sequel to the 2011 hit Rio which follows the story of two blue macaws, Blu and Jewel who are sent away to, (you guessed it), Rio de Janerio. Whilst Rio 2 received mixed reviews from critics, it became a box office hit thanks to its vibrant animation and uplifting story. The soundtrack for Rio 2 is filled with stars from music and film alike, and each leave their own mark on the film and its soundtrack.
What is Love is a track penned by Janelle Monae especially for the Rio 2 soundtrack. The mid-tempo pop track has tribal music elements and great vocals from Monae; however, these vocals become a little overpowered toward the end by the melody. Nonetheless it is the kind of sweet song you would expect to find in a children’s movie. What Is Love also makes a comeback at the end of the soundtrack, sung by members of the main cast. Whilst one or two members of the cast are obviously not great singers, this version of the track is uplifting, fun and the perfect way to close out a movie or soundtrack.
Broadway superstar Kristin Chenoweth and actor Jemaine Clement make an appearance on the soundtrack as the devious pair Gabi and Nigel. Poisonous Love sees Chenoweth take centre stage and her theatrical background in the song shows, as she talks/sings her way through a tale of an obssessive crush. Chenoweth and Clement’s cover of I Will Survive is also written to induce laughs; Clement takes the track to new places with a rap melody and makes fun of artists’ use of autotune. These two are sure to put a smile on your face and are highlights on the soundtrack.
Don’t Go Away showcases Anne Hathaway’s surprisingly fantastic voice (as we all heard in Les Miserables), and is a beautiful and sweet lullaby sung from a mother to her children. Favo De Mel is also slower paced, featuring the same melody as Real In Rio from the first movie. However, Favo De Mel has slightly different lyrics and a much sadder tone than Real In Rio.
Phillip Lawrence’s It’s A Jungle Out Here is a laid back tune that has a bit of a samba groove to it. Lawrence delivers some great vocals and the track showcases some great percussion work from the band. Singing sensation Bruno Mars also penned an original song for the Rio 2 soundtrack, and made his movie debut as character Roberto. Welcome Back is not a very long track, but ‘magical’ is the correct word to describe it. The intro features birds chirping in the background, which blends effortlessly into the melody. Mars delivers amazing vocals filled with emotions, making Welcome Back another highlight of the album.
The Rio 2 album is filled with vibrant, uplifting tracks as well as the sadder, softer songs that must come in any children’s movie. The songs also take into account the fact that the movie is set is Rio de Janerio/the Amazon rainforest and inject a bit of cultural flair into the tunes. The Rio 2 soundtrack and all the songs that come with it are perfect to accompany the Rio 2 film.