Soundtrack Review: Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020)

WaterTower Music has announced that the soundtrack for Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is finally available for purchase. The soundtrack features 27 tracks composed for the motion picture by Daniel Pemberton. He is a multi Golden Globe, Emmy and Bafta Award-nominated composer who has been regularly cited as one of the most exciting and original new voices working in modern film scoring today. Constantly working with some of the most renowned names in the industry Pemberton has scored projects for the likes of Danny Boyle (Yesterday, Steve Jobs), Ridley Scott (All The Money In The World, The Counsellor), Aaron Sorkin (Molly’s Game), Darren Aronofsky (One Strange Rock), Edward Norton (Motherless Brooklyn), Louis Leterrier (Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance) and Guy Ritchie (The Man From UNCLE, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword).

Regarding the score, composer Daniel Pemberton had the following to say:

One of the best things about writing this score was the fact I felt Harley Quinn as a character would be into anything – I can see her listening to whatever she wants: opera, metal, hip-hop, EDM, rockabilly, gospel, pop. I always felt she didn’t really care for one thing – she’d absorb them all and not give a f*** if anyone thought it was cool or not. So, I felt I’d do that with the music. In the same way she dresses like no one else, pulling disparate styles together to make something her own, I wanted to do the same with the score. Then couple that with a crew of other great larger-than-life characters and the completely unique take on Gotham that director Cathy Yan has created, a world with a kaleidoscopically colorful palate, you have something very special to inspire you.

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And the soundtrack for Birds of Prey truly is an eclectic collection of musical styles befitting the insane mind of Harley Quinn and the twisted world of Gotham. Anyone who describes this soundtrack as being “not much to listen to” really  hasn’t been paying attention. While it’s true that several of the tracks firmly belong to the pop rock genre, others, and I must cite “The Black Mask Club” by name, are more traditional, with an aura of menace generated by the strings.

I’m also a really big fan of the fast-paced electronic music that characterizes the early parts of the films (particularly Harley getting really drunk at the club). It really gets you into Harley’s state of mind, not just in the moment but as a whole. You have to remember that Harley Quinn is a crazy person at the core, and the electronic music fits that part of her perfectly. It’s frenetic, almost manic, and it symbolizes Harley’s insane mind racing along from one idea to the next with little to no concept of the consequences. “Harley Gogo Agogo” is a great example of this idea.

Of course a lot of the soundtrack is just fun to listen to, like “Battle Commences” and “Fight Together.” Pemberton is really skilled at weaving together music that heightens the action on the screen or making potentially dull moments interesting, it’s one of the reasons I like his work so much. There is always something going on in this soundtrack, and in this case that’s a good thing.

Track List

  • Flying High (Birds of Prey)
  • The Fantabulous Emancipation Explosion
  • Harley Quinn (Danger Danger)
  • Birds of Prey
  • Harley Gogo Agogo
  • The Black Mask Club
  • Stolen Diamond
  • Bad Ass Broad (Whistle MF)
  • Lonely in Gotham
  • Black Canary Echo
  • The Bertinelli Massacre (The Huntress Story)
  • Bump It!
  • Roman Sionis
  • Lockdown
  • Bruce and the Beaver
  • Lotus Flower
  • Femme Fatale
  • Breakout!
  • The Bertinelli Revenge
  • I Want To Kill You Because I Can
  • Zsasz Showdown
  • Work Together
  • Battle Commence
  • Fight Together (Birds Of Prey)
  • Founders Pier
  • Roller Vs Rollers
  • The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

I hope this review has inspired you to check out Daniel Pemberton’s soundtrack for Birds of Prey, which is available for purchase now. I certainly enjoyed listening to it, and it proves once again why Pemberton is one of my all-time favorite film composers.

Let me know what you think about the soundtrack in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020)

Film Soundtracks A-W

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1 thought on “Soundtrack Review: Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020)

  1. Pingback: My Thoughts on Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) | Film Music Central

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