Reviews

Various Artists “Barbie: The Album” Album Review

Barbie: The Album

Various Artists

  • Genre: Pop
  • Date: 21 Jul, 2023
  • Content: Not-explicit
  • Track(s): 17
  • ℗ 2023 Atlantic Recording Corporation, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. & Mattel, Inc.

The complete “Barbie: The Album” soundtrack is out today, coinciding with the theatrical release of the film. It’s produced by seven-time Grammy winner Mark Ronson, so expectations are high – but they’re justified. The 17-track album is unabashedly wonderful pure pop – it’s brimming, as you’d expect, with vibrant female performers, each at the top of their game in their various genres, who grasp the opportunity to show their goods on this.

Aside from the sunny, nostalgic, and occasionally anthem-like offerings by Haim, Dominic Fike, Khalid, The Kid Laroi, and Tame Impala, it’s the young pop princesses who completely steal the show here.

Album Cover Art

Various Artists &Quot;Barbie: The Album&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, December 10, 2023

The capital letter “B,” which of course stands for Barbie spreads out on the soundtrack album cover covered in pink. And like a package about to get shipped, a blue sticker is designed into the pink-themed background at the right top corner, indicating the package content.

Tracks and Features

Similar to the opening scene of the movie, Lizzo’s vocals on the comical opening track “Pink” transport the listener to Barbie’s make-believe world as she describes the doll’s ideal day. The song works well as a tool to improve what the audience is seeing and experiencing. It’s better for the album that it doesn’t take itself too seriously just yet.

After Karol G finishes her beach-themed Barbie song, “Watati,” Sam Smith performs “Man I Am” from the perspective of a “super sleazy, sexy, and freaky” Ken. They comically respond to jokes that Ken is a secret gay man by saying, “No, I’m not gay, bro, but I’ve been on that lay low.” Smith, who identifies as non-binary, is ideal for the song.

Another genre explored on this soundtrack is the corny power ballad, courtesy of actor Ryan Gosling’s “I’m Just Ken,” which is just heaps of fun. His voice is a pleasant surprise, and we’re sure we’re not the only ones looking forward to seeing the full version on the big screen.

A Barbie album without Nicki Minaj would be absurd, as “Barbie World,” her collaboration with Ice Spice, seamlessly transports Aqua’s iconic “Barbie Girl” from the 1990s to 2023. One minor critique is that the songs’ lyrical substance is repetitive, with many references to catching a Ken, being a Ken, and being chock-full with ‘Ken-ergy.’

Due to its appearance in the film’s trailers, Dua Lipa’s song “Dance the Night Away” is already considered one of the summer’s top hits. There are more original songs on this album, but this one is unquestionably a superb demonstration of the pop star’s retro disco pop sound.

The single “Speed Drive” by Charli XCX is a perfect example of what Barbie: The Album aims to achieve since it is quick, angry, and in-your-face, instantly recognizable, and incredibly catchy. Throughout the album, especially later on Ava Max’s “Choose Your Fighter,” the record’s 80s video game sound effects are employed in a thematic way.

PinkPantheress’ song “Angel” is a mesmerizing and intriguing one. “Angel” is able to be a magnificent fusion of wistful early 2000s indie pop, canine woofs, and a heavy dose of Irish folk music. It is entirely original, has excellent lyrics, and is simply unexpectedly fantastic. Then there is a blissful moment when Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?” gives a drastic change of tempo and feel. It is a song that is filled with honesty and emotion.

Tracklist

NOTITLEARTISTTIME
1PinkLizzo2:23
2Dance The NightDua Lipa2:56
3Barbie World (with Aqua)Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice1:49
4Speed DriveCharli XCX1:57
5WATATI (feat. Aldo Ranks)KAROL G2:46
6Man I AmSam Smith3:07
7Journey To The Real WorldTame Impala1:27
8I’m Just KenRyan Gosling3:42
9Hey BlondieDominic Fike2:21
10HomeHAIM3:46
11What Was I Made For?Billie Eilish3:42
12Forever & AgainThe Kid LAROI2:19
13Silver PlatterKhalid2:45
14AngelPinkPantheress2:03
15butterfliesGAYLE2:16
16Choose Your FighterAva Max2:17
17Barbie Dreams (feat. Kaliii)FIFTY FIFTY2:29

Album Theme

“Barbie: The Album,” which was executive-produced by Mark Ronson, stands out on its own as an entertaining musical reinvention of the Barbie plot with a touch of nostalgia.

Production Credits

Andrew Wyatt, BloodPop®, Charlie Puth, Chase Worrell, Cirkut, Count Baldor, Danielle Haim, Denis Kosiak, EASYFUN, FINNEAS, Jason Kellner, Louis Bell, Mark Ronson, Ovy On The Drums, Picard Brothers, PinkPantheress, Reed Berin, Ricky Reed, RIOTUSA, Rostam, Space Primates & watt produced the soundtrack album.

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