Releasing physically on vinyl and digitally today, December 18, 2020, the Soul soundtrack is a blend of such a vast number of styles and emotional elements. It is easily one of the most fascinating (and great) Pixar soundtracks to date.
Of course, it makes sense that it would be such a unique soundtrack since the score was composed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross — while the jazz compositions and arrangements were crafted by Jon Batiste. Watch a short video from Pixar showcasing the music from Soul embedded below. Then, read on to review our top 3 tracks from each artist.
The approximately 64-minute digital soundtrack is presented in the same fashion as if you were watching the movie, with the music bouncing between Trent/Atticus’ score and Jon’s compositions.
The vinyl soundtracks on the other hand (and this is very cool) are split into two separate packages divided by the score and soundtrack. One disc will get you Trent and Atticus’ score, while another disc will present Jon’s arrangements (artwork is shown below).
In true vinyl fashion, there are also retailer exclusives (with different packaging and clear vinyl as well).
OUR FAVORITE TRACKS AND REVIEW
It’s hard to identify a favorite track from all 42 songs, but we wanted to highlight a few that stood out to us.
JON BATISTE — TOP 3 JAZZ FAVORITES
- Track 3 — Bigger Than Us — This song appears at quite a pivotal moment in the film, but it’s not the story connection that we’re drawn to by itself. It’s also the wonderful blend of jazz and classical music that are fused together with really dark (and beautiful) undertones as well.
- Track 17 — 22’s Getaway — The jazz drumming on this track and the mix of the song is worth it alone. Make sure to listen with headphones and pay attention to the cymbal, horn, and piano hits as they bounce between the left and right channels — the energy is fantastic.
- Track 29 — Cristo Redentor — This is just one of those jazz songs that you want to put on, lay your head back, and close your eyes to. It’s so smooth and takes you places with its beautiful piano and saxophone, as well as the steady-as-can-be stand-up bass and drums.
TRENT REZNOR AND ATTICUS ROSS — TOP 3 SCORE FAVORITES
- Track 20 — Terry Time Too — I had a hard time choosing between this track and Terry Time (track 11), but ultimately chose Track 20 because of its added length and additional world-music feel in the background. This song is so haunting and adds to the intensity of Terry’s character with its ominous clock ticking (countdown) feel. The uneasiness is real!
- Track 34 — Epiphany — This track really grew on me and in fact, the movie was enhanced after I listened to the track a few times. It added to the weight of the scene because of the really tender notes. I also appreciate the slightly uncommon chord progressions which were used — they are so dark but are still so beautiful (I feel like I’m repeating myself). It added to the ache of the scene.
- Track 6 — Falling — What a song! The fact that this is where the introductory credits roll while Joe is falling through many planes of existence is wonderful. This is a true representation of the complete score and summaries the feel of the impending weight of the movie in one song.
Excitingly, the song Parting Ways (track 22), by Cody ChesnuTT (not improperly using capital letters) is the first time this stunning song (which was used in a Soul trailer) has been made available outside of a YouTube performance and in Dave Chappelle’s Block Party documentary.
HOW TO LISTEN / BUY
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Purchase the Vinyl:
- Jon Batiste (red cover) — Black Vinyl (cover art below) available at Amazon, Disney Music Emporium or buy from a local record store.
- Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross — Black Vinyl (cover art below) available at Amazon or buy from a local record store.
- Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross — Clear Vinyl (cover art below) available exclusively at Target. I always love clear vinyl for some reason.
Have you listened to the soundtrack yet? Be sure to let us know what your favorite tracks are (and why) by chatting about them with other fans in the Pixar Post Forum thread all about the score, or by leaving a comment below.
Pixar Post – T.J.