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Album Review: Fifty Shades of Grey [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] by Various Artists
Fairly Good, Based on 4 Critics
New York Daily News (Jim Faber) - 60 Based on rating 3/5
Strings flutter, synths ooze and women moan through the soundtrack to “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Would you expect anything else from the music to the most hyped sex movie of the millennium? Then again, the eros being served up in most of the tracks rarely has much of the S&M danger that fueled the book. More lyrics speak of romanticized sex than the rougher kind. And the core of the music sounds like something you’d sooner hear at a spa than in an S&M dungeon.
If the soundtrack to Fifty Shades of Grey -- EL James' Twilight fan fiction-turned-erotic literature sensation -- is any indication, Sam Taylor-Johnson decided to tackle the tricky problem of dramatizing the book's sex scenes by swapping seduction for S&M. Apart from Danny Elfman's cheekily titled "Did That Hurt?" -- a selection from the score that closes the album -- there isn't any musical indication that Fifty Shades of Grey plays with taboos. Although Beyonce taps into a bit of dark, creepy sexuality via remixes of "Haunted" and "Crazy in Love," a vibe the Weeknd trumps with his originals "Earned It" and "Where You Belong," most of this is textbook big-screen sex -- all slow, slinky beats and glistening surfaces, the sound that scored nearly every seduction movie that followed in the wake of Adrian Lyne's 9 ½ Weeks.
Taking cues from the Twilight and Hunger Games soundtracks, this companion to Fifty Shades of Grey is a blockbuster in its own right. Sexing up the affair are new songs by artists like Sia and Ellie Goulding, a couple of hot Beyoncé remixes and the occasional classic (Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra). There's even a Springsteen cover: Awolnation's smoldering "I'm on Fire." On "Meet Me in the Middle," Jessie Ware oozes soulful sensuality over a Prince-style bump-and-grind.
It’s pretty clear what many moviegoers are looking for from “Fifty Shades of Grey,” director Sam Taylor-Johnson’s big-screen adaptation of E.L. James’ mega-selling erotic novel. But what is it that we want from the film’s soundtrack, which despite a lack of sex scenes that you can watch with your eyes is selling robustly enough that it’s at No.