#MusicMonday | Suicide Squad Soundtrack Review
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Although the soundtrack to Suicide Squad doesn’t suffer the same mega budget malaise as its movie companion, it shares a similar noisy, chaotic uneven feel of entertainment that aims for bigger over better. Both were equally hyped after assembling some all-star talent and a can’t miss premise of bad boys and girls teaming up to kick ass.
And, at times the soundtrack delivers on its promise. I also appreciate marrying movie characterization with songs to evoke emotion or empathy, but even when it works it’s either overdone (the bad to the bone classic rock anthems) or feels on-the-nose, from the rap-rock team-ups to the new bands playing old songs. Sometimes too much of a good thing is just bad. Here’s a rundown of when it works and doesn’t.
“Purple Lamborghini” – Skrillex & Rick Ross
This single pretty much sums up the movie itself: an uneven, loud, mindless mash-up with Rick Ross playing big baddie, making bold boasts over thundering trap beats, “You wanna know my gang: Suicide Squad/Pistol on my waist, I might make a mistake?/Dead shot, head shot, oh my god, am I crazy?/Drugs every corner, this is Gotham City/ Killer Croc came to kidnap you, to cut out your kidney.” Okay, not exactly Kendrick Lamar’s lyrical genius, but Rick Rozay does name drop two members of the Suicide Squad in one verse! Skrillex lurks in back like a villain’s sidekick, waiting for his signature bass drop to rain down.
The just released “Purple Lamborghini” music video features Jared Leto going full method as a grill-grinnin’, strip clubbin’, speedboat ridin’ Joker. It’s just as ridiculous and kinda, sorta entertaining as the song and movie itself.
“Sucker For Pain” – Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Logic, Ty Dolla $ign, Imagine Dragons, X Ambassadors
The soft-rock-meets-hip-hop track features a lurching G-funk rhythm and a sensitive guy chorus that sets a playful, albeit hokey tone for the hip hop murderers row lineup: Ty Dolla $ign, Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa. All in all, a streaming-friendly song perfect for a popcorn movie.
“Standing In The Rain” – Action Bronson & Dan Auerbach featuring Mark Ronson
A modern equivalent of The Good, Bad and Ugly team up for this Ennio Morricone-flavored ditty. Mark Ronson sets the cinematic tone with a windswept spaghetti western soundscape that Action Bronson crashes into, unleashing a hail of rapid fire raps that are both comical and threatening. Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach shows up at the music stand-off to deliver a bluesy chorus. This instant classic is so good it probably deserved a Quentin Tarantino flick instead of this expendable comic book movie.
“Medieval Warfare” — Grimes
Maybe the Suicide Squad movie makers should’ve followed Grimes’ lead and taken some chances. The Canadian multi-hyphenate steps way out of her electro-pop comfort zone with this gritty and industrial banger that catches you off-guard in a good way. Ironically, in a testosterone-filled movie where Harley Quinn ends up stealing the show, Grimes does the same with the soundtrack.
“Heathens” – Twenty One Pilots
This shadowy alt-rock hit has everything you love or hate about Twenty One Pilots. The beat is slick as is the white boy wordplay and wailing chorus.
“Gangsta” by Kehlani
This slow-burning, glitchy R&B serenade has Kehlani channeling Harley Quinn’s “ride or die chick” to her bad boy Joker boyfriend. After a sultry start this comes off more as B-rate Rihanna is it flames out by song’s end.
“You Don’t Know Me” – Grace featuring G-Eazy
This reimagining of Lesley Gore’s iconic feminist 1960s anthem came out in 2015 and was No. 1 hit in the UK. I first heard it in one of the early Suicide Squad trailers and it worked perfectly with the playful visuals, giving me hope that DC didn’t fuck up another movie. Oh well, at least the song lived up to the hype. Aussie newcomer Grace has the spooky eeriness of a young Dusty Springfield, while G-Eazy comes into remind us that this is indeed 2016.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” – Panic at the Disco
Musically this is not as bad as Fall Out Boy’s desecration of Ray Parker Jr’s Ghostbusters theme, but that was an assault on our childhood. This is a dick punch to a timeless classic.