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Soundtrack Review

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Music Inspired by the film Roma


Artists: Beck, Billie Eilish, El-P, Ibeyi, Jessie Reyez, Laura Marling, Patti Smith, T Bone Burnett, Unkle, et al.
Label: Sony Masterworks
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 08 February 2019

Sony Music release an album of music inspired by the film Roma. After completing work on the film, director Alfonso Cuarón was struck with the notion of having his favourite musical artists create songs inspired by the film. Interested in hearing what the movie might inspire in artists across the globe, Cuarón and his music supervisor Lynn Fainchtein began exploring possibilities with the help of their friend Randall Poster. They approached artists of all genres and backgrounds, inviting them to contribute either an original piece of music or a cover of one of the songs heard in the film...

For fans of the movie Roma, this album is an interesting exploration of how others interpret the movie. For some, Roma inspired new originals, including Billie Eilish’s 'When I Was Older' which, like most of the original songs contributed to the collection, incorporates various sound elements from the films audio tracks. From shouts of student protests to barkings of Borras to the grinding of knives, artists drew inspiration from the cinematic sonic landscape.

Over the course of this album's 15 songs (58 min, 06 sec) 16-year-old Bu Cuarón makes her musical debut with her contribution 'Psycho', opening with a dramatic audio clip from the film before descending into a synth-heavy, electro-pop track. Beck contributes a reimagining of 'Tarantula', a 1982 B-Side by 4AD artists Colourbox. British singer-songwriter Laura Marling covers the Mary Hopkin original 'Those Were The Days', which is heard in the film as a cover by Ray Conniff & The Singers.

The legendary Patti Smith records a new version of her 1996 track 'Wing', while French musical duo Ibeyi draws inspiration from the character of Cleo and her story. The album closes with renowned producer, musician and songwriter T Bone Burnett’s 'Roma'. From hip-hop’s El-P to R&B breakout Jessie Reyez and electronic producers UNKLE and DJ Shadow, the remainder of the collection is a diverse tapestry that transcends genre, geography and age.

It's an interesting collection that is sure to find a wider audience outside those that have seen the movie.

01 - Tepeji 21 (The Sounds of ROMA) - Ciudad de México
02 - Wing - Patti Smith
03 - Tarantula - Beck
04 - When I was Older - Billie Eilish
05 - Psycho - Bu Cuarón
06 - On My Knees - UNKLE featuring Michael Kiwanuka
07 - Con El Viento - Jessie Reyez
08 - Marooned - El-P & Wilder Zoby
09 - Cumbia del Borras - Sonido Gallo Negro
10 - La Hora Exacta - Quique Rangel
11 - Cleo Who Takes Care Of You - Ibeyi
12 - We Are Always Alone - DJ Shadow
13 - Between These Hands - Asaf Avidan
14 - Those Were The Days - Laura Marling
15 - Roma - T Bone Burnett


Darren Rea

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