Sunday, February 5, 2023

“Fifty Shades Freed” soundtrack

On the cover of the third installment in the Fifty Shades of Grey series, we are taunted with a view of Christian Grey’s hard and shadowy abs with his fiancee Anastasia Steele pressed up against his body.

The Fifty Shades series is meant to lure in audiences with promises of a flirty and dangerous chemistry–both in and out of the velvet torture playroom. But these are false promises. Like the film, the soundtrack is as cheap and hollow as the Valentine’s Day chocolate for sale all this month.

Expecting Fifty Shades of Grey soundtracks to be anything above the bar of spectacular goes without saying, but the Freed soundtrack, in particular, lacks some of the saving graces that were present on its predecessors. The Liam Payne and Rita Ora collaboration, despite being one of the few highlights, doesn’t quite live up to the Hollywood grandness of “Love Me Like You Do”, or to the explosive mystique in Tove Lo’s “Lies in the Dark”. Opening track “Capital Letters” revives the same arpeggio synths in BloodPop’s other collaboration with Bieber, but the overall result feels nondescript. Julia Michaels brings in a clever line in “Heaven”: “They say all good boys go to heaven/but bad boys bring heaven to you”. Despite appearances by Dua Lipa, Sia, and Mike Snow, one is bound to accidentally find themselves on the cloud of boredom as the album takes a nosedive in its capacity to retain the listener’s attention. Besides, most of the songs sound as if they have been crafted thrice for mass consumption already – each time for a different Fifty Shades release.

The soundtrack is void of musical personality and star power, as well as the enticing atmosphere one would expect for a series shallowly fixated on the most taboo and intense of fetishes and sexual subcultures. Instead of the ascension of carnal feelings this love holiday, one would be treating themselves to flaccidity trying to look for anything in this soundtrack other than a collection of half-assed leftovers for the final film in a mediocre series.

Email Kevin Ramos at cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

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