By Amanda Wicks
The erotic film series Fifty Shades of Gray returns to movie theaters with Fifty Shades Darker today (February 10th), and brings with it another highly anticipated soundtrack.
The original 2015 soundtrack combined instrumental tracks from composer Danny Elfman with hits like The Weeknd’s “Earned It” and Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do,” but for the sequel, things are going bigger and bolder. With 19 tracks to choose from and an array of artists like John Legend, Tove Lo, Sia and more, there’s a lot to choose from. Here are the five best tracks on the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack.
Corinne Bailey Rae – “The Scientist” Rae covers Coldplay’s 2002 single “The Scientist,” and gives it a darker spin than the original track. Keeping the song’s foundational piano, Rae adds a cello (among other strings) and builds a slow burn with her initially timid vocals. She doesn’t keep to that register long, as her voice climbs on the aching chorus when she sings, “Nobody says it was easy.”
Nick Jonas & Nicki Minaj – “Bom Bidi Bom” For their first collaboration, Minaj and Jonas infuse island vibes with a guitar-heavy riff to produce one of the more upbeat songs on the soundtrack. Between Jonas’ smooth vocals and Minaj’s rap, “Bom Bidi Bom” has the touch of fun Fifty Shades Darker could have used more of, alongside its more sensual tracks.
Anderson East – “What Would It Take” The country singer-songwriter provides a thoughtful, earnest break from the soundtrack’s typical brooding music. “What would it take to make you want me?/ What would it take to make you love me?” East sings in the opening lyric, playing with the meter to give the slow tune a bit of pizzazz.
Halsey – “Not Afraid Anymore” Halsey knows how to build agony into ecstasy, and she puts that training to work on “Not Afraid Anymore.” Beginning quietly, the song’s beating pulse reaches new heights when Halsey hits and electrifies the chorus. “And touch me like you never/ And push me like you never,” she sings, holding the last word in each line so it practically aches with longing.
Taylor Swift and Zayn Malik – “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” Of course, Swift and Malik’s collaboration marks the number one song on the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack. Besides showing off a more sultry side of Swift with breathy vocals and big build-ups, the hit reflects the film’s quintessential mood. It’s push and pull meets passion and pain. Malik meets Swift on equal footing, and their voices mirror the taut relationship between the film’s main characters.