The soundtrack for the Barbie film goes way beyond Aqua’s tinny Barbie Girl, with a complex ensemble that completes the cinematic experience. Spoilers ahead.
Upbeat, catchy, yet at times introspective, the Barbie soundtrack is perfectly intertwined with its record-breaking film. With taglines like “If you love Barbie, this movie is for you. If you hate Barbie, this movie is for you,” and the hilariously iconic “She’s Barbie, he’s just Ken,” the lead-up to this film was as exciting as the film turned out to be.
Already last May, Dua Lipa released the soundtrack album’s lead single, Dance The Night, which we eventually catch during Barbie’s blowout party sene in the film.
With George Drakoulias as the film’s music supervisor and award-winning executive producer Mark Ronson (Uptown Funk, Shallow) calling the shots on Barbie: The Album, the soundtrack of our journey through Barbieland and in and out of the “real world” is as dazzling as the disco balls in Barbie’s dreamhouse.
While some tracks from Barbie: The Album are played sparingly throughout the film, the soundtrack in its entirety makes up the whole Barbie experience, inviting viewers to discover and relive the fantasies of Barbieland (and the realizations of womanhood) on the ride home. In this edition of Listening Party, we’re taking Ronson up on this offer with our five favorite tracks from Barbie: The Album.
Barbie Dreams – FIFTY FIFTY, Kaliii
An ode to late 90s pop and early Eurodance, Barbie Dreams is the perfect encapsulation of the glitz and glamor we associate with Barbie. Sampling Together Again by Janet Jackson, K-Pop group FIFTY FIFTY channels everyone’s “lucky girl syndrome” as the song transports us to our very own Barbielands:
When I close my eyes, it’s a fantasy
Perfect plastic life from a magazine
Then when I wake up, it’s reality (Pretty girls)
I can have it all (Yeah), live my Barbie dreams (Kaliii)
Angel – Pinkpantheress
Played just as Barbie is moments away from finally meeting the disgruntled Sasha, the cheery, upbeat tunes of Angel make for the perfect background track to our “finally” moments.
‘Cause one day (One day)
One day, my baby just went away (Went away)
My angel (My angel)
You’re what haunts me now that you’re away (You’re away)
Hey Blondie – Dominic Fike
Having also just worked on a track for the Spider-verse soundtrack, alt-indie singer-songwriter Dominic Fike seems to know exactly how to accompany moving pictures with music. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself subtly nodding along to the upbeat tempo and cheerful beats of Hey Blondie, as Dominic Fike paints a picture of Ken’s plight with last-song-sydrome-worthy lyrics:
Hey, blondie, there’s a million eyes on you
Do you ever get curious?
Hey, blondie, there’s a million minds on you
Do you ever get furious?
Hey, blondie, if I ever took mine off you
Would you even get curious?
Home – HAIM
In Home, the HAIM sisters tak us on a whirlwind of nostalgia, trust, and defiance mixed in with the pop-rock band’s distinctive harmonies and an intense, frenetic beat pattern that tie it all together. The track’s upbeat instrumentals complement reflective lyrics on looking back and trusting oneself—tying in perfectly with the unexpectedly introspective themes of Barbie. The lyrics in this one are a personal favorite, which go along perfectly with any “real world” soundtrack:
I know that
We’ll be looking back one day
But I trust that I (I trust that I)
I could never stay the same (I could never stay the same)
When everything felt so wrong
It led me to where I belong
What Was I Made For? – Billie Eilish
The existential crisis-inducing, tear-jerking What Was I Made For has to be the best track of the film, as Billie Eilish reflects on the grand meaning of happiness and a deeper life’s purpose. The film’s most melancholic track, What Was I Made For? reflects Barbie’s own personal journey to discover her life purpose. Be ready, because the scene this one plays in definitely requires some kleenex:
When did it end? All the enjoyment
I’m sad again, don’t tell my boyfriend
It’s not what he’s made for
What was I made for?