The Bling Ring [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

Original Soundtrack

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The Bling Ring [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] Review

by Heather Phares

The soundtracks to Sophia Coppola's films can be counted on to craft a distinctive atmosphere while boasting immaculately curated track lists; the music from The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation, and Marie Antoinette delivered stylish commentary on the films' subject matter. The Bling Ring is another of Coppola's portraits of poor little rich girls (and boys), in this case the gang of privileged teens who ransacked celebrity homes (most notably those of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan) in the late 2000s to the tune of about three million dollars in cash and belongings. The film's soundtrack is an inspired distillation of the brazen entitlement and glitzy desires of the kids (and arguably their targets) in its mix of in-your-face rap and pop, which is occasionally tempered by more atmospheric tracks reflecting the emptiness at the heart of their lifestyle. This may be the most literal-minded soundtrack to a Coppola film yet; where Lost in Translation's music channeled jetlag and heartbreak via dream pop and Marie Antoinette embodied let-them-eat-cake decadence via '80s new wave, most of The Bling Ring is unmistakably of the film's time and place. Yet it may be the most stylized of these soundtracks, painting a musical portrait of an impatient, arrogant, hyper-materialistic world with songs like Rick Ross and Lil Wayne's "9 Piece," 2 Chainz's "Money Machine," and Reema Major's "Gucci Bag," which mixes sweetness, venom, and brand loyalty in a deft snapshot of a popular girl gone bad. Indeed, The Bling Ring makes the most of the women on its track list, from Rye Rye to Azealia Banks to M.I.A., all of whom help make the soundtrack a punchier and more complex complement to a tale of girls who seem to have everything but still want more than the music to the similarly minded Spring Breakers was. Ambient pieces like Oneohtrix Point Never's "Ouroboros" and Brian Reitzell and Daniel Lopatin's "The Bling Ring Suite" provide welcome breathers to the soundtrack's larger-than-life personalities and attitudes, and while there are a few nods to indie (Sleigh Bells, Phoenix) here, they don't distract from the album's flow. Listeners expecting another collection of washy indie might be disappointed (or pleasantly surprised, depending), but in its own way The Bling Ring has as much nuance and depth as the soundtracks to Coppola's previous films.

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