Andrea Arnold's latest coming of age feature has a diverse and passionate soundtrack to accompany the wild journey from child to adult.
The film itself is pretty much a road trip movie focusing on Star (Sasha Lane) as she runs away from an abusive care home and into a gang of travelling salespeople and ensuing hedonism. As a result, the music alternates between childlike vulnerability and the confusion of burgeoning adulthood.
The group make their way to Kansas City and the soundtrack reflects this with a nod to the States' musical heritage by way of Steve Earle's Copperhead Road and Lady Antebellum's American Honey. In between the mellow acoustics of the album, including the dreamy Fade Into You by Mazzy Star, the album has some urban vibes which clearly reflect youth culture. The attraction between Star and Jake (Shia LaBeouf) an older but reckless young man is a key focus of the film and the soundtrack flips from rocky passions to tenderness in just the same way.
Jeremih's All The Time and Bricks' Carnage add some hip hop style tension and carefree youthful swagger. Robbie Ryan's cinematography for the film has received critical acclaim, and the feel of the soundtrack is a perfect match for his vast landscape and sunshine soaked images.
The music narrates the characters journey throughout the film and takes on its own life force. The diegetic track list could easily be an alternate playlist for many youngsters, and that is part of its charm. There are songs here that could be used as a backdrop to pretty much any situation from a drunken, sexed-up party, to a deflated and depressed cuddle up with Häagen-Dazs on the sofa. It's music for the characters to live their life by and as clearly thought out as Arnold's striking shots.
Groupie Rating 4/5