MusicThe Appraisal

Barbie The Album: A Review of Hollywood’s Hottest Soundtrack

Article by Nehilah Grand-Pierre

Like its blockbuster, “Barbie The Album” conveys the emotional rollercoaster that is existence. Glittered with the hottest names in pop, the album eludes dancing with Dua Lipa, zoning out with Tame Impala, holding back tears with Billie Eilish, and much more. All in all, the soundtrack takes a look into life’s ups and downs through rose-colored glasses. 

Produced by pop’s hot pink secret, Mark Ronson was sought after by directors for his melodically driven songwriting skills, which certainly sparkle track to track. 

The album opens with none other than Barbie’s philosophy: pink! Sung by Lizzo, “Pink” sets the scene of Barbie Land with its groovy instrumentals, disco strings and chill synths over Lizzo’s walk through a perfectly pink day. The perfect day spirit is kept through a perfect night with Dua Lipa’s, “Dance the Night Away” coming right after. Once again, swift strings and a funky bassline are heard on this track, with claps and a driving beat that any Barbie can get down to. 

Next, sampling Aqua’s classic, “Barbie Girl”, producer RIOTUSA brings listeners to “Barbie World”. None other than the Barbie herself, Nicki Minaj, and rising superstar, Ice Spice collaborate over a head bopping 808 bass and drill-like hi-hats that make any listener feel “bad like the Barbie”. 

The movie and album both express how life is not always as plastic and perfect as desired. Tame Impala’s track acts as a “Journey to the Real World”, as the rest of the soundtrack explores this reality. Almost straight out of an 80’s workout video, the cascading synths and whimsical keys all contribute to the dream-like sound Kevin Parker is known for. 

“I’m Just Ken” with Ryan Gosling highlights the less glamorous feelings of doubt and trouble with self-worth. Starting soft with piano instrumentals, the song picks up “Kenergy” before returning to the original melody as “I’m Just Ken” transitions from a drawback to a proud declaration. Continuing with the heavier feelings, “What Was I Made For” starts with a piano that blooms into reverberated violins and harps over Billie Eilish’s delicate falsetto. A real tear-jerker, the song ends on an unresolved key, assuring that though there is uncertainty, someday the answer might be found. 

Every low is a chance for a new high. “Forever + Again” stands as a reminder that through it all, one is never alone. Acoustic guitar, a kick drum beat, piano, synths, and The Kid LAROI’s vocals blend together to paint a message of hope. “butterflies” by GAYLE brings a grunge 2000’s rock rager to pick the energy back up. 

Despite all the bad times, the good ones come back in the end. “Barbie Dreams” by FIFTY FIFTY featuring Kaliii concludes the album on an upbeat note as the shimmering K-Pop energy collides with Kaliii’s fun flow. 

If Barbie preaches that “you can be anything”, this album tells us, “you can feel anything”. Overall, the movie’s soundtrack offers a range of emotions that all properly demonstrate what it’s like to be part of the real world.

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