With that said here's my choice for number 4.
A Star Is Born Soundtrack by Bradley Cooper & Lady Gaga
This post will deal specifically with the music and the songs contained within the soundtrack rather than rehashing my review of the film, (for that go here).
After seeing this film, and upon getting home I reached for my guitar and immediately set about learning "Maybe It's Time" and "Shallow". It's been a while since I was inspired enough by a piece of music to have to learn how to play it immediately. That perhaps gives you an inkling as to why this film soundtrack is at number four in my best albums of the year.
I wrestled with this one more than any other, because I don't consider it a great album. After all, half the tracks are dialogue and there are a number of tracks, the later 'pop' material that is closer to Lady Gaga's regular output, that do very little for me. But, but, but...the rest is solid gold. From the old school "Look What I've Found",
to the torch song "I'll Never Love Again", via emotional piano ballad "Always Remember Us This Way" the stunning tunes keep coming.
Whilst Lady Gaga is clear the vocal and musical star here, and boy can she sing, Bradley Cooper does not disgrace himself.
Sure this is product designed to provoke a reaction in conjunction with a film, but when the level of pure craft is so high who cares? Jim Lenahan of the excellent Rockin' The Suburbs podcast is fond of saying there is no such thing as a guilty pleasure. You either like something or you don't. There is no need to justify it. It may have taken me a few years to get there, but I have come to agree.
Now this doesn't mean I'm suddenly in love with "Just Dance", "Bad Romance" or "Born This Way", as they do not appeal to me stylistically. However, I'm more than happy to give credit where it is due and the songs on this album have been some of the most played in our house this year.
Maybe it's time to let the old ways die indeed.....