Your average romantic comedy soundtrack is full of day-dreamy, "when, oh, when will my prince come?" ballads and introspective singer-songwriter jams, and you know what? That's just fine. But How To Be Single isn't pushing that agenda. Whether you got down with the Dakota Johnson/Rebel Wilson girls-on-the-prowl comedy, its soundtrack is worth a listen. More than that, it's worth some discussion. How To Be Single 's soundtrack deviates from the tone set by its predecessors, putting the focus on the ladies and their good time rather than their search for a man. Is the movie a benchmark for modern feminism? How To Be Single is much too steeped in ultimately traditional gender roles and nowhere near as diverse as I'd like it to be. But the soundtrack stands just find on its own. Keep reading for the six most feminist things about the How To Be Single soundtrack, and get ready to blast that record the next time you need a pep-talk with a beat.
When I think of romantic comedy soundtracks, I think about When Harry Met Sally and Harry Connick Jr.'s jazzy, date-night standards. I think about Notting Hill opening with Elvis Costello's "She," a perpetuation of the myth of flawless femininity if I've ever heard one. But the rom-com soundtrack that How To Be Single most emulates is actually the accompanying album to Pretty Woman, or at least Natalie Cole's tribute to independent ladies: "Wild Women Do." Dated as it is, "Wild Women Do" wouldn't be out of place on this record. In fact, it'd be an accurate subtitle to the How To Be Single soundtrack. Here's how How To Be Single has gifted women with a new and empowering party mixtape. (Check out the full track listing here.)
1. "Give It To Me, I'm Worth It"
The soundtrack opens with girl group Fifth Harmony's self-esteem anthem, "Worth It," setting the tone right off the bat. This is an album for straight-up bosses, with no songs about changing yourself to impress anyone else.
2. Women Can Rage, Too
I don't know Charli XCX, but I'd trust her with the best and craziest night of my life. Her track "Superlove" is pure dance floor candy, perfect for letting go with a group of your best girl friends.
3. It's About You, Actually
Actress Hailee Steinfeld reinvented herself as a pop princess with an affirming message of self-love (physical and otherwise) with her first single "Love Myself." It's important to let your suitors know that they can only ever hope to be the second greatest love of your life. You should always be the first. (Also, that there are plenty of vibrating objects waiting to replace them at any time.)
4. No, Your Self-Worth Isn't Defined By Anyone Else
"I found gold in the wreckage, put it on a necklace," newcomer Phoebe Ryan sings in "Mine." "Keepin' it cause, I know that it's mine." If you or anyone you love needs a break-up jam to put things in perspective and remind you that life does in fact go on, here it is.
5. You Are Iconic To Everyone
I love Peaches' banger "Boys Wanna Be Her," for challenging the subtle, pervasive message that it's lesser to be female. It's such a different message than "Boys Want Her," which is usually the best women are told to hope for. Why wouldn't boys want to be you? You're awesome.
6. SO Many Female Artists
Boys are allowed on the How To Be Single soundtrack, but only sparingly. The movie may give in to some old-school ideas about romance and womanhood, but at least it stays with the perspective of its heroines. The soundtrack is full of women's voices too.
If you're in the mood to set it off and smash the patriarchy at the same time, the How To Be Single soundtrack is your new essential album.
Images: Warner Bros. Pictures; Giphy (6)