Sounds From La La Land


Photo Credit: Permission from Moxie

La La Land Movie Cover

Justin Hurwitz composed and orchestrated the La La Land soundtrack, as for the song lyrics, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul collaborated together.

The La La Land soundtrack was released on December 9, 2016. It is available on Itunes at nine dollars and ninety – nine cents. There are 15 songs in the playlist:

1) Another Day of Sun

2) Someone in the Crowd

3) Mia & Sebastian’s Theme

4) A Lovely Night

5) Herman’s Habit

6) City of Stars

7) Planetarium

8) Summer Montage/ Madeline

9) City of Stars

10) Start a Fire

11) Engagement Party

12) Audition (The Fools Who Dream)

13) Epilogue

14)  The End

15) City of Stars

Another Day of Sun is sung by the entire La La Land Cast. The song foreshadows the entire plot of the movie by talking about the struggles of living in a city like L.A. while trying to land a job in the acting business; the song is pretty ironic because the melody is very cheery and optimistic, but concept is very serious.  Another Day of Sun was filmed on a jam packed highway on a bright sunny day in Los Angeles, and the dance was formatted in a dance troupe (a group of dancers who work together who perform dances as a form of entertainment). It was a great opening song!

Someone in the Crowd is sung by Emma Stone, Callie Hernandez, Sonoya Mizuno, and Jessica Rothe. In this video Mia (Emma Stone) has gone through a bad audition, and her roommates are trying to persuade her to go to a party with them. As for the costuming, there was some use of vibrant colors. For example, Mia was wearing a very dark, blue dress. This song as well is very happy and upbeat.

  Emma Stone sang Audition (The Fools Who Dream) . The song starts off with Mia telling a story from her childhood and it transitions into a song.  Her singing is soft and gentle in the beginning and then starts to project louder towards the end which gives the scene more of a dramatic feeling.

A Lovely Night is sung by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Before they began to sing this song, Mia and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) were taking a stroll together to go find their cars. Sebastian begins to feel forced to give company to Mia, so he starts to sing, while implying to Mia that she isn’t his type, and that there will never be anything between them. This sparks an interest to Mia, so she starts to throw insults at Sebastian, teasingly. A Lovely Night foreshadows that romance that will occur between them later in the movie. It’s a great song with a romantic concept.

There are six instrumental songs in the soundtrack: Mia & Sebastian’s Theme, Herman’s Habit, Summer Montage/ Madeline, Engagement Party, Epilogue, and The End. They are all composed and orchestrated by Justin Hurwitz. Mia & Sebastian’s Theme is played entirely on piano. The melody is calm and serene, and this is my most  favorite instrumental.  Herman’s Habit is a jazz melody, however, jazz has never been of interest to me. After listening to Herman’s Habit, my views about jazz changed completely. I love how well orchestrated the song was.

Summer Montage/ Madeline is a song you would typically hear at a bistro. The song contains a jazz melody, which keeps you on your toes.The piano played the slow, romantic melody of Engagement Party. Epilogue consists of a mix of songs from the soundtrack, but are all instrumental. I think the variety of songs makes the song itself so much more unique and special. The End is played on a flute and piano, and there is a very loud, dramatic ending to it which I enjoy. You also hear very faint vocals towards the end, but it uplifts the tune. 

 There are three versions of City of Stars: a solo by Ryan Gosling, a duet by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, and a humming version by Justin Hurwitz. I don’t enjoy this version because I feel that Gosling is trying too hard to match the tune. I also don’t find his singing to be great. As for the duet version, I feel that Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling’s voice don’t harmonize well together. Gosling’s voice doesn’t match pitch with Stone’s. I didn’t enjoy the last version of City of Stars. Stone was basically humming to the whole song, and I believe this song is unnecessary. 

John Legend sings Start a Fire. In the film, Sebastian finally takes his love for jazz to the next level by collaborating with Keith (John Legend). Start a Fire is the song that takes their band to the next level of fame and fortune. In an interview with Billboard, Legend says: “The main instruction was make it a fun song that you can see as a single that still has some jazz influence, but could tell it was leaning in more of a pop direction than most music you would call jazz.”   I think the twist of pop and jazz made this song unique, and it turned out to sound pretty good.