Suicide Squad D-Day fast approaches, and increasingly, the possibility of an indifferent reaction seems unlikely. It’s going to be big and gaudy — love-or-hate-watching in the Deadpool vein. Based on all of the characters and mythologies it is synthesizing, the movie is implicitly a pastiche; like its source comic, it will milk that format for all of its over-the-top, overstimulating worth for over-two action-packed hours.
Therefore, is the industrial-grade rap-rock-tronica stylistic precedent for the soundtrack surprising? Some of the songs we’ve heard; some of them are categorically suspect just in concept. Though it’s been leaked online through Reddit, the official release of the Atlantic Records soundtrack album doesn’t come until the film’s premiere date — August 5th.
It’s not just the trunk-rattling Rick Ross/Skrillex provocation “Pink Lamborghini” I’m talking about. It’s the sinister, creeping pop-rap of “Sucker for Pain” — a collaboration for fading icon Lil Wayne and tedious-but-successful pop-rockers Imagine Dragons. If that weren’t enough to grapple with, it’s also tagged with the additional credits “w/ Logic & Ty Dolla $ign ft X Ambassadors.”
To say that there is too much going on in the song is a understatement; it’s a deluge of verses by artists who hardly belong on a song together (the motormouth post-backpack rap of Logic against Ty Dolla $ign’s salacious melodies), with a maudlin yet earworm-y hook which seems designed to run over movie credits.
There follows, on the official track listing, an almost-joke idea of a song. New York alt-rap icon and food aficionado Action Bronson seems like he’s been put up against star pop producer Mark Ronson — who is just cruising through life on “Uptown Funk” money at this point — just because their names are similar to one another. And then, just to make things more ludicrous, there’s Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys to add rock authenticity.
Like superhero movies in general, the Suicide Squad soundtrack seems designed for mass, demographic-wide appeal, especially among young men. Whether or not you will enjoy the Suicide Squad soundtrack is probably most dependent on whether or not you have an interest in rap (though, for the more misguided teenage male, there’s a new Twenty-One Pilots song). It’s the album’s primary common denominator. More appealingly, there are as-yet-unheard solo tracks from interesting artists to get excited for: exclusive releases from trap superstar Kevin Gates and rising West Coast ratchet&B singer Kehlani.
But across most of the soundtrack’s new submissions, the impulse to cram EDM, radio-rock, and hip-hop together within tracks seems destined to satisfy no one who cares about how music sounds. Neither will the Panic at the Disco! “Bohemian Rhapsody” cover, which is more a funny on-paper concept than something which risks being replayable, even if you’re a fan of the band’s evolving, smart emo-pop style.
It’s a theoretical experiment that very much in line with the ethos of the film itself: playful, genre-hopping, ridiculous, designed for maximum #WTF reactivity.
Here’s the full track listing:
Check out a snippet of the orchestral soundtrack here: