I loved Stranger Things. I loved Winona Ryder, I thought Millie Bobby Brown's performance was superlative levels of excellent, I enjoyed all the gushy emphasis on friendship and loyalty, and, heck, I even liked the monster a little bit. I mean, I think it basically got a bad rap: it was just a predator doing the thing predators are designed to do. But the think I really, really loved was the Stranger Things soundtrack, so praise be to Apple Music for releasing Stranger Things Volume 2. The soundtrack unites my two favorite things — synth and intense creepiness — into one dynamic musical package.
But beware: if you're easily creeped out, like yours truly, you might find it a difficult soundtrack to listen to in your room in your apartment alone. You might even position your chair in the center of the room so that, if a monster were to attempt to come through the wall, you'd see it coming. You might even consider stringing up fairy lights. This is all theoretical, obviously. Obviously this isn't something I did. But, if you enjoy getting creeped out, then I suggest you head straight to the tracks I recommend for maximum nervousness in minimum time.
1. Track Five — "Gearing Up"
Starts like an '80s synth pop track, moves into minor-key ominousness. Gulp.
2. Track 10 — "Where's Barb?"
Even creepier than the fact that bespectacled heroine Barb was only in the show alive for a total of three freakin' episodes is this track. Listen to that profoundly unsettling reverb and get even more nervous about lack of cool female characters on TV shows. More Shannon Purser soon please.
3. Track 12 — "Danger Danger"
That double blast of the horn just makes my skin crawl because it played at all of the tensest moments on the show. Can't deal.
4. Track 14 — "Flashback"
This track, though. Not manic enough to be during some horrific action sequence, but still moody enough to be saying "Don't relax, never relax, the worst is still to come."
5. Track 18 — "See Any Rain?"
Casual enquiries about the weather will never be not chilling after you listen to this track.
6. Track 19 — "Coffee & Conversation"
Sweet and terrifying all at once, like that clown doll in Child's Play.
7. Track 20 — "Inside The Black Room"
One word: Lynchian.
8. Track 23 — "Time For A 187"
The synth equivalent of machine gun fire. The audio embodiment of the jitters.
9. Track 24 — "Something In The House"
The ominous single key being repeated over and over is like every creepy thing ever: that footstep on the stair in the middle of the night, that refrain in the ghost story your sibling won't stop telling you.
10. Track 26 — "Abilities"
This track manages to be borderline industrial, with the opening half bringing to mind the government facility where El is detained in.
11. Track 27 — "Tendril"
Sheer unadulterated dread in audio form.
12. Track 35 — "Let's Go"
Eerie because it's an off-key version of the theme tune, which makes this track feel like it's coming at you from the Upside Down.
If you want to sleep well tonight, whatever you do, do not listen to the above. Consider yourself warned. This said, a sleepless night is totally worth checking the synth wonder that is Stranger Things: Volume 2 out.
Images: Netflix; Giphy (12)