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Album Review: A Star Is Born [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] by Lady Gaga
Great, Based on 4 Critics
AllMusic - 80 Based on rating 8/10
There's a narrative to the soundtrack for Bradley Cooper's 2018 remake of A Star Is Born, one that mirrors the one told in the movie. Often, the album features dialogue ripped from the screen -- a full 15 tracks, actually, amounting to seven minutes of this 74-minute album -- which means A Star Is Born almost plays like a Disney record from the '60s or '70s: it's designed to tide listeners over until they get a chance to see the movie again. Of course, A Star Is Born is a musical, so its soundtrack is filled with full-fledged songs, all of which serve the story that the dialogue gooses along.
A Star Is Born has no right to be as good as it is. Directed by Bradley Cooper, the third remake of David O. Selznick's 1937 film has been in development for most of the decade and at one point counted Clint Eastwood as its director with, impossibly, Beyoncé in the lead role that Lady Gaga now occupies. The immersive and romantic narrative of singer-songwriter Ally (Gaga) and her relationship with veteran rocker Jackson Maine (Cooper) as the latter watches the former rocket to pop stardom is imbued with the sort of rockism that typically triggers derision in the current cultural climate.
Download | Listen and subscribe via Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | Radio Public | Stitcher | RSS The Lowdown: As winter turns to spring, as the phoenix dies to be reborn, so does old intellectual property become new again. A Star Is Born was made in 1937 and remade as musicals in 1954 and 1976. Bradley Cooper steps into the leading man's guitar strap, last worn by Kris Kristofferson, and the first few songs of the soundtrack belong to his surprisingly soulful voice.
A film like A Star Is Born has one of the most ambitious tasks in Hollywood: to convince the audience that its fictional musical megastars really could be megastars in our world. It's not enough to have the charisma-wattage of Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga - you need the songs as well. An example: the otherwise enjoyable TV series Empire was kept firmly in soap territory by the ersatz swag of its middling, specially penned rap tracks.