The non-score soundtrack for director Josh Boone's big screen rendering of author John Green's wildly popular 2012 young adult novel The Fault in Our Stars was curated by Boone and music supervisor Season Kent, and dutifully reflects all of the hope, anger, heart, and pain that lie at the center of Green's tale of two teens wrestling with the incredible complexities of love and cancer. The task of tackling the film's title track went to soulful Brit Ed Sheeran, and the resulting "All of the Stars" tastefully wraps book references and character lines in an appropriately weepy melody that's both familiar and emotionally charged, but manages to avoid coming off as too maudlin. Sourced track highlights include previously released offerings from Jake Bugg ("Simple as This"), Tom Odell ("Long Way Down"), and M83, the latter of whom's "Wait" is lent gravitas by the director through a moving story he spins in the liner notes, but the majority of the soundtrack is stocked with exclusives. Effusive California indie rockers Grouplove offer up a buoyant and wholehearted balm for what ails us with the likeable (and danceable) "Let Me In," alluring Swedish songtress Lykke Li unveils the ballad "No One Ever Loved," a lush bit of languid, piano-led melancholy that sounds like the lost tenth track from her excellent 2014 long-player I Never Learn, and Charlotte Emma Aitchison, better known as Charli XCX, drops a big, radio-ready slab of electro-pop goodness with "Boom Clap," rounding out a more or less solid collection of heartfelt pop songs that, refreshingly, feel genuinely connected to the film, and not just cobbled together for the sake of commerce.
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger