Netflix continues its transformation from being seen just as a streaming service to a formidable production studio, and it's just taken its biggest leap yet with the new movie Bright. The Will Smith action-fantasy has the blockbuster budget and star power normally reserved for big theatrical releases, yet people are able to witness the spectacle from the comfort of their couch. Netflix appears to have spared no expense on the film, and that includes the movie's music, as the Bright soundtrack is particularly impressive.
The film's soundtrack is such a big deal that it's actually being billed as Bright: The Album, rather than as a mere soundtrack. The album also received extensive marketing, with ads for the film routinely touting the album's release date of Dec. 15 alongside the film's release date of Dec. 22. So what's so special about the soundtrack, err, album? Well, it contains songs by a number of the most popular artists in music today — mostly from the hip hop genre — including two tracks which have already been released as singles: "Danger" by Migos and Marshmello, and "Home" by Machine Gun Kelly, X Ambassadors, and Bebe Rexha. You can view the album's full track list below.
- “Broken People” - Logic & Rag'N'Bone Man
- “World Gone Mad” - Bastille
- “Home” - Machine Gun Kelly, X Ambassadors, and Bebe Rexha
- “Crown” - Camila Cabello & Grey
- “Darkside” - Ty Dolla $ign & Future (Ft. Kiiara)
- “Danger” - Migos & Marshmello
- “That's My N—a” - Meek Mill, YG, and Snoop Dogg
- “Smoke My Dope” - Steve Aoki & Lil Uzi Vert
- “FTW (F—k the World)” - A$AP Rocky & Tom Morello
- “Cheer Up” - Portugal. The Man
- “Hares on the Mountain” - Alt-J
- “Campfire” - DRAM & Neil Young
- “This Land Is Your Land” - Sam Hunt
As you can see, the track list is practically a "who's who" of acts that currently dominate the charts. You've got straight pop acts like Camila Cabello, indie rockers like Bastille and Portugal. The Man, big DJs such as Steve Aoki and Marshmello, country artist Sam Hunt, classic rocker Neil Young, and loads and loads of rappers from Meek Mill to A$AP Rocky to Ty Dolla $ign and even Snoop Dogg. In other words, the album pretty much has something for everyone who likes modern music.
But the most notable achievement of the album is the sheer amount of original songs that were made for it. Typically, it's common for movies to have one or two big new songs produced for the soundtrack while using existing tracks to fill out the rest, but every track on Bright: The Album was recorded for the film. All of the songs are original compositions, too, save for one: Sam Hunt's cover of Woody Guthrie's folk classic "This Land Is Your Land."
Another soundtrack that may draw comparisons to Bright: The Album is the Suicide Squad soundtrack. Both films star Will Smith and were directed by David Ayer, and both albums were released by Atlantic Records and tend to lean hip hop. And while Suicide Squad's soundtrack featured a number of memorable original songs — like Twenty One Pilots' "Heathens" and "Purple Lamborghini" by Skrillex and Rick Ross — it still featured a number of existing songs and wasn't as ambitious or cohesive an effort overall as the Bright soundtrack. And with a focus on teaming up unexpected artists, like DRAM and Neil Young, Bright: The Album looks to build a reputation all its own as a risk-taking and memorable soundtrack.
Bright: The Album is as much of an original production as the film itself, and is such an accomplishment that you may find yourself wishing Netflix would get into the music game full-time after giving it a listen.