Here’s what makes Licorice Pizza’s soundtrack one of the best of 2021

Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest movie takes place in the San Fernando Valley in 1973 Drop pizza star musician and HAIM orchestra member Alana Haim and late Philip Seymour Hoffman’s son Cooper Hoffman. It also features Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Bradley Cooper and Benny Safdie in an excellent supporting cast. This exuberant watch is a perfect escape from reality, but it’s the soundtrack that truly seals the deal, capable of transporting people to 1970s California and immersing them in the dreamlike SoCal environment of beautiful cars and vintage gold. dipping orange shades.

Republic records’ Drop pizza soundtrack contains songs by David Bowie, Nina Simone, Paul McCartney and Wings, Donovan, Sonny & Cher, Gordon Lightfoot and more. It also features the new title track “Licorice Pizza” created by Paul Thomas Anderson’s regular collaborator Jonny Greenwood, the Radiohead member who became an excellent film composer over the years. The movie, Paul Thomas Anderson’s first film since Phantom Thread, has been showing at movie theaters since Christmas Day and has been the talk of the season since then.


Related: Licorice Pizza Review: Paul Thomas Anderson delivers an enchanting romance from the 70’s

The film takes place in the Los Angeles area where Anderson himself grew up, and the movie focuses on Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman), a teenage actor and entrepreneur, and Alana Kane (Alana Haim), a 25-year-old photography assistant which Gary meets while waiting to have his school photo taken. Under unlikely circumstances, the two team up on a series of business ideas starting with a waterbed company, all while auditioning for movies while Alana engages in a mayoral campaign. Amidst political change, a changing popular culture, furious hormones and a gas crisis, these two unlikely companions have won over audiences in their intricate efforts to win each other over, much like a musical dance on an excellent soundtrack (which is crucial for the film’s success). Here are five reasons why the original soundtrack of Drop pizza is the best that came out of 2021.

Haim and Hoffman run
MGM / United Artists

Eclectic mix of showers

From the melancholic “July Tree” by Nina Simone, written by Eve Merriam and Irma Jurist and first recorded and released by Simone in 1965, to people like Bing Crosby, Clarence Carter and Chuck Berry, it is fair to say that there is a song for everyone and every mood in this soundtrack. The eclectic mix of tracks creates an old-fashioned outing through melancholic woodwinds and bittersweet piano riffs to soft and spicy vocals and the poppy sounds of the 60s and 70s that all help illuminate the story. Tracks like Johnny Guarnieri’s “Sometimes I’m Happy” set the scene perfectly with his warm, light contemplative piece that enlightens the ears with ivory-thinking melodies and layered instruments to compliment the characters and how they intertwine. Every emotion in the movie seems to have its corresponding sound.

The title track adds to the film’s significance

Radiohead lead guitarist and keyboardist Jonny Greenwood created the instrumental title track for the film. Greenwood is a regular contributor to Paul Thomas Anderson, after watching several of his movies, such as There will be blood, inherent vice, en The Master. Greenwood had a busy 2021 and most recently created the score for Pablo Larraín’s movie Spencer, a creative depiction of the late Princess Diana one Christmas weekend in the days before the end of her marriage to Prince Charles. He also worked on Jane Campion’s The power of the dog, creating his atmospheric and tense music, which The New Yorker called “the best movie score of the year.” The title track has a mysterious anticipation about it, constantly captured in the consistent drumming along with the syncopated appearance of various instruments, creating an anxious and energetic mood that comes and goes among the rest of the soundtrack.

Greenwood’s title track is perfect for a movie that was literally titled after an old record store. About the title of the movie Drop pizza, Anderson said Variety:

After many months of bumping my head against the wall trying to figure out what to call this movie, I came to the conclusion that these two words pushed together reminded me most of my childhood. When he was growing up, there was a record store chain in Southern California called Licorice Pizza. It seemed like a catch for the feel of the film. I suppose if you have no reference to the store, these are two wonderful words that fit well together and might capture a mood.

We fall twice as much in love with the characters

Paul McCartney’s “Let Me Roll It” perfectly captures the relentless hope of love as audiences wait for romance to unfold from the charming and energetic main character Gary, in his classic ‘teen’ way of crushing an older woman who he is trying to win.

Related: Paul Thomas Anderson Movies To Watch In Front Of Licorice Pizza

Then there is Alana, the enthusiastic, fiery and often drastically immature female lead whose playful and unpredictable charm is captured by the melancholy like “Stumblin ‘In” by Chris Norman and Suzi Quatro, along with the melancholic and fiery guitar riffs throughout the movie. The contrasts within the soundtrack echo the story of the entrepreneurial and intricate spirits of the movie’s two protagonists. “Lay our hearts foolishly on the table, stumble in,” reads the Norman and Quatro number, which perfectly describes the vulnerabilities of love portrayed in the film.

Haim and Hoffman look at the camera
MGM / United Artists

Teen nostalgia

The trials and tribulations of teenage romances are captured in the various selection tracks that remind viewers what it is like to feel young. The presence of Sonny & Cher on the soundtrack seems to echo the relationship of our protagonists Gary and Alana in their unlikely and bumpy love story. The music mimics their hypnotic cat-and-mouse game as they see who can pretend to care the least. “This story has just come to light,” Anderson told Variety. “I love the way it unfolds. You meet these two people. You make them fall in love and see their relationship blossom, and there are several episodes that challenge them in different ways. I did not redesign it. I was just happy. ” Paul Thomas Anderson highlights American graffiti and Fast times at Ridgemont High as two major influences for the film, and his music brings appropriate tribute to their nostalgic teen Americana and other inspirations for Drop pizza.

It perfectly sets the scene for the era-appropriate outing

Of course, the appearances of David Bowie, Paul McCartney and Wings, The Doors and others reflect the movie’s 1970s era. The soundtrack itself becomes something of a love letter to the San Fernando Valley of the 1970s, with the distinctive rugged hairstyles of the time, the waterbeds and the short shorts worn by men. Combined with Anderson’s warm, nostalgic lens through which he depicts’ 70s California, the timely sounds of “Let Me Roll It” and “Diamond Girl” will haunt viewers for the days after you watch the movie.

Whether one has watched the film and is still daydreaming about it, or one has not yet experienced the joys of Gary and Alana and their young love, this soundtrack will only add to the magic. It stays just as good outside of the film, but is an essential part of the viewing experience and raises the mood of the movie more than possibly any other 2021 release.

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