Have you ever wished your life had a soundtrack? The right song, at the right time, can make a large impact on the emotion of any interaction and the mood of any scene. Five Original Songs were nominated for Oscars this year as recognition for their ability to make us feel something new and memorable.
“Skyfall” from “Skyfall”; Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
According to Huffington Post, this “brassy and soulful” melody fits the bold and dramatic storyline of the latest Bond movie, “Skyfall.” Sung by famously talented songstress Adele, the song will be performed at this year’s Academy Awards as a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Bond franchise. As we all know well, Adele’s voice pulls on heartstrings harder than a picture of a Pomeranian cuddling with little brown bunny. This song is even more intense, deep and memorable than the opening scene that proceeds it, so it makes sense that “Skyfall” would be the first Bond theme song to receive as Oscar nomination since 1982. Expect that this frontrunner nominee will be taking home the award (rightfully so, too).
“Suddenly” from “Les Misérables”; Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil
The most talked about musical, and predictably, soundtrack, from 2012 has a new song in it these days. “Suddenly,” sung by Hugh Jackman, adds a new happy and hopeful tune to a soundtrack of depressing ballads. While Hugh Jackman was largely criticized for his – let’s say less than angelic – voice, the new musical number really caters to his strengths, as his huskiness adds a layer of genuine emotion to the song. “Suddenly” was likely nominated for its originality and heartfelt lyrics that add significantly to the loving feeling of a scene that captures the budding father-daughter relationship. But, in all honesty, outside of the context of the movie, the song is nothing more than delightful pleasant and regrettably unmemorable.
“Pi’s Lullaby” from “Life of Pi”; Music by Mychael Danna, Lyric by Bombay Jayashri
Lullaby indeed. This song, sung in Tamil, has beautiful instrumentals paired with the harmony of an ancient poetic language. It’s intentionally peaceful and beautiful and has the grandeur of history that’s clearly supposed to highlight and accompany the intense visuals of “Life of Pi.” And while beautiful, and a true contender for the award, there is nothing in particular that makes this song noteworthy or stand out enough to take home the Academy Award.
“Everybody Needs A Best Friend” from “Ted”; Music by Walter Murphy, Lyric by Seth MacFarlane
“Everybody needs a best friend/I’m happy I’m yours!” This jazzy tune from the “TED” movie soundtrack is so catchy, the lyrics stick for days. But what do you expect from the creator of “Family Guy,” whose theme song is one of the catchiest on TV? Seth McFarlane, Walter Murphy and vocalist Norah Jones go throwback with a melody reminiscent of the Swing Era and Frank Sinatra. The words, while in theory should be particularly cheesy refrains about childhood friendship, are witty and adorable. This song is even a hit when it’s listened to outside of the jovial montage of Ted and John Bennett (played by Mark Wahlberg) growing up together. It’s a shame this song has to go up against the likes of “Skyfall” because it sure is a winner in my book.
“Before My Time” from “”Chasing Ice”; Music and Lyric by J. Ralph
Okay, let’s be honest. This song really never stood a chance. I mean, the movie is about glaciers. It’s actually just a time-lapse of glaciers. It’s an important issue, sure – global warming and all of that. And the song’s nice too: tranquil, calming. Plus, Scarlett Johansson has an interesting, borderline-husky voice that almost makes you want to melt. Unfortunately, while it has found its rightful place on my study playlist, I don’t think it’ll make it to the list of songs to take home the Oscar.
As a whole, while each song has its musical merits, we will have to wait and see who the Academy decides truly brings a new sound that defines the cinematic spirit of 2012.