Birds of Prey: The Album (Atlantic)
The Suicide Squad movie, released in 2016, didn’t have a lot in the way of redeemable qualities. The plot was a mess, some of the cast (cough, Will Smith, cough) seemed to phone their performances in, and Jared Leto was inarguably a very bad Joker (especially given the fact that he’s sandwiched between career-defining performances from Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix). But what that film did have was Margot Robbie having an absolute blast as Harley Quinn.
Halloween 2016, you couldn’t move for the Harley Quinn’s in the streets. Robbie (and some awesome costume design) caused a minor cultural phenomenon that threatened to mask the fact that Suicide Squad wasn’t very good. It didn’t, but it nearly did.
It was only a matter of time, then, before Robbie’s portrayal of Harley returned to the big screen, and the studio has decided that the most appropriate vehicle for her will be an oddball team up with female superhero team the Birds of Prey, which features Huntress and Black Canary in their ranks. There was, incidentally, a live action version of the Birds of Prey in the form of a 2002 TV series, but that only lasted one season because, like the Suicide Squad film, it wasn’t great.
Here, all the marketing points to the fact that Harley Quinn/Margot Robbie will be the star of the show. And this bad-ass, tough-talking, psychotic yet undeniably sexy character deserves a soundtrack to match. Atlantic have pretty much delivered.
Rapidly rising rapper Megan Thee Stallion teams up with silk-voiced singer Normani on “Diamonds,” a bling-heavy tune that is entirely appropriate in context given Quinn’s penchant for crime.
Singer/songwriter Charlotte Lawrence’s “The Joke’s On You” is a sultry gem while Doja Cat’s “Boss Bitch” could signal the entrance of Quinn at any point during the movie. Best of all is Halsey’s frankly stunning “Experiment On Me,” a metallic, near-industrial beast that seems far removed from any of her previous material.
The album, like the film, is packed with strong, talented, powerful females. Which is surely the point.