Barbie: The Soundtrack
This weekend was pink, plastic and fantastic as millions flocked to theaters to see the summer’s most highly anticipated motion picture, Barbie. The feminist comedy directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling hit the big screen July 21st and gained a record breaking $155 million during its debut weekend. Barbie also made history by becoming the biggest North American opening for a film directed by a woman, giving women a sense of empowerment and just one more reason to love it. The movie was visually stunning and wonderfully pink, but of course, we’re here to talk about the soundtrack and just like the film, it’s sure to be a summer hit. Featuring artists like Lizzo, Tame Impala and Dua Lipa, the soundtrack has given us the perfect album to dance to all season long and will have you seeing (or hearing) pink.
We should start off by addressing the big pink elephant in the room, which is the obvious absence of the hit song “Barbie Girl” by pop sensation, Aqua. The single was released back in 1997 by the Danish-Norwegian Europop band and became an instant, international success. Some may argue that the song is the most annoying song ever created, but love it or hate it, it has become synonymous with Barbie — you can’t think of one without the other. The song’s exclusion may be due to the lawsuit Mattel launched against the band’s label, MCA Records, shortly after the song’s release. The suit claimed the song sexualized and damaged Barbie’s reputation and quoted lyrics, “Kiss me here, touch me there, hanky-panky.” After years of battling it out, the court finally ruled in favor of MCA, noting that the song was a parody and thereby protected under the first Amendment.
Despite the song “Barbie Girl” missing from the soundtrack, the album still manages to sneak a piece in thanks to Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice hit song, “Barbie World “. The powerhouse rappers combined forces to drop an updated Barbie theme song for the film’s new generation of pastel fans. With lyrics like “Barbie ain’t nothin’ to play ’bout,” Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice give a more powerful, strong, girl-boss image and the song passes along a more empowered vision of the classic doll. Exactly what you would expect from masters of the rap game, the song is fun, pop-inspired but has a hardness and edge to it that makes it universal. The song has so much hype, it placed on both Spotify and Apple Music’s Top 5. It’s safe to say this song alone has guaranteed this summer will be painted pink.
The showstopper and first single off the album is “Dance The Night” by Dua Lipa, who also plays Mermaid Barbie in the film. “Dance The Night” sets the tone and brings the fun, party energy exclusive to Barbie Land, but also establishes a deeper feeling of pain. The song conceals Barbie’s inner thoughts and doubts of identity with an addictive hook and upbeat music, but lyrics “I’ll still keep the party running not one hair out of place, when my heart breaks (they never see it, never see it)” hide in plain sight. It’s a great song that makes you want to dance but also has deeper meaning.
The soundtrack has so many perfectly selected songs that are tailor-made for the Barbie world. A few more noteworthy tracks include Billie Eilish’s latest single “What Was I Made For?,” “Pink” by Lizzo, and “Hey Blondie” by Dominic Fike. The album was released along with the film last friday and Barbie fans can purchase the album along with special edition vinyl and cassette tapes on the film’s website. If you’ve been swept away in the pink haze of Barbie, the album needs to be in your summer rotation. Check out the album linked below and dance the night away in your own dream house.