Top Original Film Songs of 2015

Posted: January 5, 2016 by filmmusicreporter in Film Music News

Film Music Reporter’s Top Original Film Songs of 2015:

creedRyan Coogler‘s Creed not only features one of our favorite scores of the year, but is also easily our top choice for best use of original songs in a movie in 2015. The way Ludwig Goransson‘s score is integrated into the film’s songs and vice versa makes this a standout example of how a unified musical concept can shape a film’s narrative and help the overall quality. In addition to co-writing the tracks for Tessa Thompson’s character’s band in the film, the composer co-wrote the song Waiting for My Moment with Coogler, as well as Vince Staples and Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) who are performing the track with Jhene Aiko. Goransson and Coogler also co-wrote the song Fighting Strong, which is performed by Aiko. All original songs are featured on the Creed soundtrack album available on Republic Records.

spyComposer Theodore Shapiro teamed up with Craig Wedren to pen the original song Who Can You Trust for Paul Feig’s action comedy Spy starring Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne & Jude Law. The track inspired by numerous title songs in the James Bond series is performed by Ivy Levan and is featured in the movie’s opening titles sequence, which also pays homage to the 007 franchise. The song is featured on both the song and score soundtrack albums released by Milan Records.

youthIn terms of its use of pre-existing music, one of our favorite titles of the year is Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth, which features many excellent musical moments such as The Retrosettes’ rendition of You Got the Love in the drama’s opening sequence. The movie also features original songs, including Simple Song #3 written by the film’s composer David Lang and performed by opera star Sumi Jomi. The track’s central melody is used in several variations throughout the movie and culminates in the version performed on screen by Jomi and the BBC Concert Orchestra at the end of the movie. Lang also composed the song Just (After Songs of Songs) performed by Trio Mediaeval, Garth Knox, Agnes Vesterman and Sylvain Lemetre, which is used effectively several times throughout the movie. Both songs are available on Milan Records’ soundtrack album

shaun-the-sheepOur favorite original song for an animated movie of 2015 was featured in Aardman’s highly enjoyable feature Shaun the Sheep Movie. The film’s composer Ilan Eshkeri collaborated with regular collaborator Tim Wheeler (of the rock band Ash), as well as Nick Hodgson to create the song Feels Like Summer. Introduced during the film’s opening credits, the catchy pop song performed by Wheeler returns several times throughout the movie to great effect. The song is featured on the soundtrack album available on Silva Screen Records.

chi-raqAnother movie that should be singled out for its use of songs is Spike Lee’s satire Chi-Raq. Among the movie’s original songs is the track Pray 4 My City written by Rico Cox, Robert Amparan, Leroy Griffin, Jr. and Nick Cannon. Cannon also performs the song, which is introduced in an inspired opening titles sequence with the lyrics appearing on screen and later returns at an appropriate moment in the film. The song is featured on the movie’s official soundtrack album released by RCA Records.