Kicking Joker to the curb, beloved DC Comics character Harley Quinn finally received the marquee treatment with her own movie, 2020's Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). The accompanying soundtrack, Birds of Prey: The Album, follows 2019's female-centric Charlie's Angels compilation, highlighting a crop of up-and-coming hip-hop, R&B, and pop artists with a bombastic, party-starting set that compliments the onscreen antics of the titular anti-hero. Rappers Doja Cat ("Boss Bitch") and Megan Thee Stallion ("Diamonds" with Normani) slide up beside pop singer/songwriters Charlotte Lawrence ("Joke's on You") and Maisie Peters ("Smile"), while R&B singer Summer Walker delivers smooth gem "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby" and Jurnee Smollett-Bell (who plays Black Canary in the film) transforms James Brown's classic "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" into an appropriately girl-power anthem. While the set sticks close to cool rhythmic numbers fit for parties and mischief, Halsey's throat-shredding contribution, "Experiment on Me," provides the best dose of mayhem, a corrosive shot to the system that's backed by Oliver Sykes and Jordan Fish of metalcore outfit Bring Me the Horizon. While the album whips around genres at breakneck speed, everything fits together nicely, an ideal blend of energy, menace, and danger from a team of badass women. As Memphis emcee Jucee Froot shouts on album highlight "Danger," "It's a all girls party and no boys can come!"
AllMusic Review by Neil Z. Yeung