Welcome to a new segment that straddles the worlds of music and movies, and brings them together. In these weekly installments, we’ll explore movie soundtracks, scores, and track lists, why they matter, fun facts, and more.
This week we’ll be keeping things topical by looking at a recent release: Deadpool 2. It may seem unconventional to showcase a sequel before its predecessor, but since Deadpool is anything but conventional, it seems appropriate to take a non-linear path.
Theme: Celine Dion’s “Ashes”
Probably the most impressive combination marketing play/talent grab of Deadpool 2 was landing Celine Dion to sing the film’s theme song, “Ashes”. They even made a great music video with Deadpool dancing in heels.
If you’ve seen the film, you’ll know that the song plays throughout the title sequence. And of course it’s in the style of the cinematic title sequences of the Bond films, which only makes it more of a laugh when it pops up in the movie.
While it’s played like a big joke in the film, the heart of “Ashes” still manages to touch on the more sentimental themes of Deadpool 2. In the chorus, Dion sings, “Let beauty come out of ashes”. Again, if you’ve seen Deadpool 2, you’ll have seen Wade Wilson reach rock bottom, at the point of giving up, and not knowing where to turn. He is almost literally reduced to ashes early on, and his inner journey throughout the movie echoes these lyrics.
As far as themes’s go, while “Ashes” was unexpected, it cements its place as one of the best, as well as one of my personal favorite theme songs. At least as far as the superhero genre goes.
The tracklist for Deadpool 2 features a mix of new hits and old classics that perfectly showcase Deadpool’s eclectic taste.
- “Ashes” by Celine Dion
- “Welcome To The Party” by Diplo, French Montana & Lil Pimp (Ft. Zhavia Ward)
- “Nobody Speak” by DJ Shadow (Ft. Run The Jewels)
- “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel (Ft. Youssou N’Dour)
- “Take On Me” by a-ha
- “If I Could Turn Back Time” by Cher
- “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton
- “All Out Of Love” by Air Supply
- “We Belong” by Pat Benatar (Ft. Neil Giraldo)
- “Tomorrow” by Alicia Morton
- “Mutant Convoy” by Tyler Bates
- “Bangarang” by Skrillex (Ft. Sirah)
Some of the more well known songs, like “Tomorrow” from Annie, and Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” play in the background of some of the more violent scenes in Deadpool 2. In true Deadpool fashion, the jolting juxtapositions are both satisfyingly weird and endearing.
Tyler Bates’ Score
Soundtracks are great and all, but a lot of the emotional undercurrent of a film comes through a good score. When Junkie XL, the composer of Deadpool chose not to return for the sequel, Tyler Bates was hired to come in and write the score. Known for his work on movies like Guardians of the galaxy, 300, Watchmen, and John Wick, Bates is a highly sought-after composer. You’ve heard his work, even if you didn’t know it at the time.
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Bates commented on the role he saw the music playing in a movie like Deadpool 2. “The music’s role isn’t to add comedy, it’s already funny as hell. It’s mostly to stay out of the way and complement the action and emotional scenes,” he said.
Bates was set up with a challenge to pace the score along with the fast-paced action and quick jokes, while also maintaining an emotional balance during the more sentimental scenes. To accomplish this, Bates infused the electronic orchestral score with a bit of rock sensibility. “Specifically, he played a distorted guitar and ran it through a wah-wah pedal. He also used microsynths that offer unique colors in terms of sound.”
And that about concludes our walk through the Deadpool 2 soundtrack. If you’re not quite done with it, you can listen to both the soundtrack and Tyler Bates’ score on Spotify.