What do Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, John Legend, Sia, Halsey, Zayn Malik, and Nick Jonas all have in common? Besides being some of the music industry’s biggest stars, these pop artistes are also featured in the “Fifty Shades Darker” soundtrack.
Based on E. L. James’ best-selling adult fiction trilogy, “Fifty Shades Darker” continues where “Fifty Shades of Grey” left off. This time, Christian Grey (played by Jamie Dornan) is on a mission to win back Anastasia Steele (played by Dakota Johnson) after falling out with each other.
Fans of the erotic “Fifty Shades” franchise may be disappointed that “Fifty Shades Darker” has been banned in Malaysia because of its graphic nudity and sexual content, but we’ve got the next best thing for you guys: the original motion picture soundtrack.
“We wanted to find classic, quality, and timeless songs. In the story, Christian and Ana have a complicated relationship so the soundtrack organically reflects that,” said the film’s music supervisor Dana Sano.
Staying true to the film’s theme, the different genre of songs found on this record are dark and sensuous. If you’re a pop music lover, prepare yourself for an incredible eargasmic experience:
1. Zayn & Taylor Swift – “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever”
What better way to set the mood than with Zayn Malik and Taylor Swift’s sizzling duet. Shot at the historic St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, the music video begins with the former One Direction member looking suave in a black sports jacket and dress shirt as he enters the lavish hotel.
The quintessential mood is reflected in the push and pull meets passion and pain setting where the singers are smashing lamps against walls and tearing up hotel pillows. Malik’s brooding falsetto and Swift’s breathy vocals perfectly mirrors the relationship between the film’s lead characters.
2. Halsey – “Not Afraid Anymore”
Don’t expect Halsey’s new song, “Not Afraid Anymore” (which is also the 2nd single off the soundtrack), to sound anything like her previous singles – “Castle” (from last year’s “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” soundtrack) and “Closer” (her mainstream hit with The Chainsmokers).
“Not Afraid Anymore” is all about confidence as well as coming into one’s own sexuality and owning it as Halsey (real name Ashley Nicolette Frangipane) sings, “I am not ashamed anymore/I want something so impure/ You better invest now/Watching my dress now/ Fall to the floor.”
3. Tove Lo – “Lies in The Dark”
Tove Lo is not new to the “Fifty Shades” franchise. Some of you may remember that the Swedish star contributed writing credits for Ellie Goulding’s international pop mega-hit “Love Me Like You Do” on the “Fifty Shades of Grey” soundtrack. This time around, she returns with “Lies in The Dark”. Although it’s a decent song with catchy beats, the track is too mediocre to stand out.
4. John Legend – “One Woman Man”
Now that John Legend is done messing with other women, he promises to be a “One Woman Man” after finding the woman of his dreams. In this full-chested soul song, the 38-year-old crooner belts out about being fully committed to having a monogamous relationship. “You made me believe that love was forever/ And love could sustain us through every fight/ I’ll let go of all of the other pretenders/ They were wasting my time,” he sings.
5. The-Dream – “Code Blue”
The-Dream (real name Terius Nash) is feeling blue. While we wait for his upcoming album, “Love Affair”, to be released, fans can check out his new slow jam titled, “Code Blue”. Over the sultry electric guitar laced track, the North Carolina native takes listeners on an emotional ride as he sings about the difficult lessons that follow any meaningful romantic relationship.
6. Nick Jonas & Nicki Minaj – “Bom Bidi Bom”
What happens when you have Nick Jonas and Nicki Minaj on the same track? Well, one fantast-nick tune of course. The pair’s sultry collaboration is reportedly featured during an explosive sex scene in the movie. “Bom Bidi Bom” is full of sex appeal as Jonas brags about his skills in the bedroom.
Minaj, in return, amps up the raunchiness with her aphrodisiac. “He said, if he can’t hit my bullseye, he’d rather die/ He put it on me better than any other guy,” she raps. “Uh, assume the position when you see a bad one/ The D so good, he just got a And 1/ I’m about to blow, and I ain’t talking Samsung/ I’m about to show him what I do with that tongue.”
This song seriously needs a music video treatment ASAP!
7. Sia – “Helium”
One of the more emotional moments comes in the form of Sia’s gorgeous piano ballad, “Helium”. Her vocals are always on point and this track is no different as she sings about being vulnerable. The hit-maker’s voice soars as she belts around a familiar visual metaphor (“Your love lifts me up like helium/ And if you let go, I float towards the sun”). Yeah, she may be a strong independent woman, but even superwoman needs her superman sometimes.
8. Corinne Bailey Rae – “The Scientist” (Coldplay cover)
As suspected, Corinne Bailey Rae’s “The Scientist” is not an original song but a cover of Coldplay. On this cover, the 37-year-old singer-songwriter provides an even darker interpretation of the British band’s 2002 single. Her timid vocals here blends nicely with the piano and cello instruments as she sings, “Nobody said it was easy/ It’s such a shame for us to part“.
Other tracks that are included in the album include:
- JRY (feat. Rooty) – “Pray”
- Toulouse – “No Running From Me”
- Kygo (feat. Andrew Jackson) – “Cruise”
- Jose James – “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”
- JP Cooper – “Birthday”
- The Avener (feat. Mark Asari) – “I Need a Good One”
- Joseph Angel – “Empty Pack Of Cigarettes”
- Anderson East – “What Would It Take”
- Frances – “What Is Love?”
9. Zayn – “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” (Acoustic)
Ever since Zayn Malik and Taylor Swift’s “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” collaborative effort debuted, there has been plenty of cover versions. However, we have to hand it to Malik for delivering the best cover in the form of a solo acoustic version. It sounds better slowed down and without Swift. Plus, the black-and-white video offers fans a newfound intimacy.
Despite some hits and misses, there were some pleasant surprises that gave this “Fifty Shades Darker” soundtrack the edge it needed. Standout tracks include “Bom Bidi Bom” and the acoustic version of “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever”. What about you? Did any of these songs made it into your favourite playlist?