First released as Ballerina in 2016 to European audiences, the renamed Leap! comes out in the U.S. nationwide on Aug 25. Fortunately, the music to the movie remains the same, and the Leap! soundtrack is an infectiously upbeat collection of pop hits interspersed with instantly recognizable classical pieces.
Leap! is the story of plucky young Félice (Elle Fanning), an orphan living in a remote 19th century French town. Determined to live her dream of becoming a ballerina, she and inventor friend Victor run away to Paris, where Félice comes under the wing of enigmatic cleaner Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen). Intercepting an acceptance letter meant for their boss' spoiled daughter Camille, Félice assumes her identity to attend the famous Paris Opera Ballet school. With no formal ballet training and the possibility of her lie coming to light, she must work hard as she can to avoid elimination from the class, and win the coveted lead role in Swan Lake.
Jepsen voices one of the film's characters, so it's no surprise she shows up more than once on the soundtrack. What is odd is the official U.S. tracklist lists her quietly emotional song :Runaways", but not Jepsen's joyfully catchy, uptempo dance tune "Cut To The Feeling", despite it being featured in the film. It's a shame, as the song was already orphaned twice, left off both E·MO·TION and E·MO·TION: Side B.
Jepsen's not the only singer on the list, of course. Formerly a backup singer for Taylor Swift, Liz Huett steps further out on her own with her anticipated second single "Rainbow", a yearning, earnest ballad about seeking the bright side of a dark situation. Fans of her debut single "STFU and Hold Me" won't be disappointed. Capturing the difficulty and excitement of finding your way in a new world, "Rainbow" fits Félice's difficult start at the Paris Opera Ballet. Struggling with cold classmates and an exacting teacher, she quickly finds out living your dream includes tough realities along with the joys.
Then, performing as Magical Thinker, songwriter and frequent Sia collaborator Chris Braide joins newcomer Dezi Paige on "Blood, Sweat, and Tears". Not just a clever title or name, the song's pop-anthem chorus with quiet interludes reflects the key elements to Félice's success — positivity and putting in the work. Braide appears again on the film's opening and closing number, "You Know It's About You", the kind of song you pop on to get pumped for facing the world. Amped and optimistic, it carries the film's message of believing and trusting in yourself, whatever the surrounding situation.
Sia herself makes an appearance with swirling power-ballad "Suitcase", a piano layered with overlapping waves of forceful vocals. There's a jarring moment where we suddenly drop into the club mid-song, but that only makes the argument this is the perfect 'push through the workout' soundtrack stronger. Joining that tier is Camila Mora's "Unstoppable", a crescendoing positive affirmation in song form. You might want to listen to it before asking for that raise or going into the big meeting.
Demi Lovato's "Confident" provides all the sass and brass needed for the film's climactic dance-off. For all the challenges Félice faces, she may get frustrated or feel out of place, but doesn't doubt her abilities. This song puts us squarely in her headspace as she drags Camille with snappy comebacks and cabrioles, trusting herself to ultimately pass the test.
No official release date is set for the Leap! soundtrack, though the previous Ballerina release is available via iTunes, missing both Jepsen songs unfortunately. When the full soundtrack finally drops, you'll have a soaring set of songs covering every emotional occasion. Whether that's getting over a breakup or not dying during spin class, Leap! will give that extra boost of confidence you need to push through it.