The day has finally come! Today (October 5), Lady Gaga’s highly anticipated A Star Is Born arrives in theaters across the globe. The icon plays the role of Ally, a rising vocal talent, in the latest iteration of the musical film. She has big shoes to fill – previous versions of her character have been played by Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand. Early reviews suggest Mother Monster exceeded even the loftiest expectations. And she did the same with the soundtrack, which also arrived today. The 32-year-old and co-star Bradley Cooper already dominated iTunes with their country-tinged “Shallow” off the project. At the time of publication, the single reclaimed its throne at the top of US iTunes. It goes without saying that the 34-track collection provides a wealth of equally stirring new material.
Lush ballad “Is That Alright?” is close behind on the charts. Gaga’s voice soars to gorgeous heights over piano keys on the gentle love song. “I want you to look right in my eyes. To tell me you love me, to be by my side,” she gracefully belts. “I want you at the end of my life. Wanna see your face when I fall with grace. At the moment I die.” The chorus alone is legitimately chill-inducing. As is “Always Remember Us This Way.” Here the “I Want Your Love” siren dazzles with another stunning love song. “When the sun goes down, and the band won’t play, I’ll always remember us this way,” she vows.
Themes of love and loss ground several songs. A Vogue feature described “Before I Cry” as a heartrending ballad, and it lives up to expectations. Over a more pop-forward production, Gaga pleads with a lover to stay by her side. Meanwhile, heartbreak and loss drive the teary “I’ll Never Love Again.” There are two versions of the song on the soundtrack, and both will leave you sobbing.
Unsurprisingly, the soundtrack hops genres with ease. After the rich Americana of Joanne and the jazz standards of Cheek To Cheek, we know Gaga is comfortable lending her voice to just about any production. “Diggin’ My Grave,” another collab with Cooper, is a rollicking country anthem. “Six feet under baby. That’s where I’ll be by the time that you’re done with me,” they harmonize. She adds some international flair with a piano-led rendition of Edith Piaf’s classic “La Vie En Rose.”
But the “Bad Romance” diva also contributes several pop classics. Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter flex their mighty pen on the lush “Heal Me.” Produced with assistance from DJ White Shadow, the cut is an ethereal lover’s anthem. “Treat me like your patient. Just don’t keep me waiting, or I’ll just be wasted,” she coos over swooping synths. She lands another hit with the Diane Warren-assisted “Why Did You Do That?” “Hair Body Face” throws it back to Gaga’s earliest days as she drops some of her most crystalline vocals over a rousing production.
Aside from their duets, Cooper contributes several equally compelling solo tracks to the mix. He rides a rock-inspired production with ease on the stomping “Black Eyes” and “Alibi” before slowing it down a bit on the acoustic “Maybe It’s Time” and “Too Far Gone.” His voice resonates with a power that makes him a fair match for Gaga. It is hard to pick a favorite here, but I think I’ll have “Alibi” on repeat moving forward. The rebellious track is fun and smart, and the gravelly tone Cooper brings to the chorus is a welcome addition.
All things considered, I wouldn’t be surprised if A Star Is Born claims the top spot on the Billboard 200 next week. Gaga and Cooper definitely brought the heat with the collection. Their chemistry is on full display across the duets, and plenty of their material is strong enough to flourish on the charts for months to come. Give the full soundtrack a spin below and pick a fav song!
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