Suicide Squad may be opening to disastrous reviews, but the conception of the film and its accompanying soundtrack play off the assumption that many comic book fans adore villains. So, why not give them a team of delightful delinquents, both on the screen and in your ears?
Here, Suicide Squad: The Album assembles a motley crew of artists who try to execute the film’s intentions of fan service narration and dark, disastrous themes. The tracklist — a collection of surprising, genre-blurring collaborations (Action Bronson, Mark Ronson, and Dan Auerbach’s “Standing in the Rain”), appearances from rap’s reigning bad boys Eminem and Lil Wayne, and classic rock tunes — realizes this in an eclectic, somewhat disjointed wild ride.
Harley Quinn mega-fan Grimes, whose Art Angels’ single “Kill V. Main” was inspired by the femme fatale, goes full Bjork in her seductively scary “Medieval Warfare.” Up-and-coming alt-R&B starlet Kehlani sings of hopeful love on the breathy “Gangsta.” Dynamic duo Twenty One Pilots, known for flipping depression into upbeat rock tunes, turn their 2015 album Blurryface into “Heathens,” an unsure, paranoid slow-burner. Lesser-known artists Grace and G-Eazy choose to do something inherently haunting by giving Lesley Gore’s 1963 classic, “You Don’t Own Me,” a deceitful, rap-heavy makeover. Elsewhere, Panic! At the Disco’s cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” feels truer to its origins thanks to frontman Brendon Urie’s vast vocal range. Those songs are parried with actual classics, War’s “Slippin’ Into Darkness” and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son,” to make for a generation-spanning hour.
The result is a collection of songs that feel like theatrical moments, even when they’re just re-workings of old folk classics. At the heart are the album’s personalities, bad and bruised. But when they’re all smashed together, we’re left with a confusing, irregular attempt at soundtracking a franchise.
Wiz Khalifa, Lil Wayne, Imagine Dragons with Logic, Ty Dolla $ign ft. X Ambassadors, “Sucker For Pain”
With the help from Lil Wayne, Imagine Dragons, Logic and co., Wiz Khalifa manages to take his “See You Again” staying power to masochistic levels.
Twenty One Pilots, “Heathens”
Emo heroes Twenty One Pilots play into villain-inspired fear anxiety with warped, downward-moving synth melodies.