Soul (soundtrack)

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Soul: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soul (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) - Various Artists.jpg
Soundtrack album by
various artists
ReleasedDecember 18, 2020
Genre
  • Jazz (Music from and Inspired by Soul)
  • new-age
  • space (Soul: Original Motion Picture Score)
Length60:04
LabelWalt Disney
Producer
Pixar soundtrack chronology
Onward
(2020)
Soul: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
(2020)
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross chronology
Mank
(2020)
Soul
(2020)
Jon Batiste chronology
Music from and Inspired by Soul
(2020)

Soul: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the soundtrack to the 2020 Disney-Pixar film Soul. The soundtrack is a compilation of all 23 score pieces by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross from the Soul: Original Motion Picture Score vinyl album as well as 16 original songs by Jon Batiste from the Music from and Inspired by Soul vinyl album. All three albums were released through Walt Disney Records on December 18, 2020.

Reznor and Ross composed a new-age score for the metaphysical segments of the film, while Batiste composed a number of original jazz songs for the New York City-based segments of the film. The soundtrack received critical acclaim as an integral part of the film and won both the Golden Globe and the Oscar for Best Original Score.

Writing and recording[edit]

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (left) handled the score, while Jon Batiste (right) composed a number of original jazz songs.

During the 2019 D23 Expo, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross were revealed to be composing the film's score, while Jon Batiste was set to be writing jazz songs for the film.[1] Reznor and Ross had been brought in on the recommendation of sound designer Ren Klyce, who had worked extensively with the duo in David Fincher films.[2] Batiste composed jazz music for the film's New York City sequences while Reznor and Ross wrote an instrumental score for the scenes taking place in the Great Before.[3] Batiste said that he wanted to create jazz music that felt "authentic", but also "accessible to all ages".[1] He also wanted the themes to tie into the "ethereal nature" of the Great Before while still being on Earth.[1] Batiste also sometimes worked with Reznor and Ross to "blend the two worlds, musically".[1] Cody Chesnutt also wrote, produced, and performed an original folk-soul ballad for the film, titled "Parting Ways".[4][5] It also features a hip hop interlude performed by Daveed Diggs titled "Rappin Ced".[4] Other musicians who were consulted during the creative process include Herbie Hancock, Terri Lyne Carrington and Questlove, the latter of whom also does voice work in the film.[6] Batiste drew inspiration from and wanted to pay homage to jazz legends such as Roy Haynes, Harvey Mason, Branford Marsalis, Kenny Kirkland, Charlie Parker and The Headhunters.[2] Batiste also arranged a new version of the song "It's All Right", originally performed by The Impressions, for the film.[7] This solo version debuted during a performance by Nelly on the 29th season of American competition TV series Dancing with the Stars[7] and is featured in the end credits of the film while a duet version with British soul singer Celeste is not included in the soundtrack.[8] "It's All Right" is one of only three non-original songs on the soundtrack album with the tracks "Space Maker" and "Cristo Redentor" (both performed by Batiste) having been originally composed by Walter Norris in 1974 and Duke Pearson in 1961, respectively.[citation needed] "I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart" and "Blue Rondo à la Turk" from the Music from and Inspired by Soul album are also jazz standards composed in 1938 by Duke Ellington and in 1959 by Dave Brubeck, respectively.[citation needed] In January 2021, Trent Reznor revealed to Consequence of Sound that he and Atticus Ross had composed six films' worth of music for Soul and also further explained his creative process, stating:[9]

As we started early on, it's like, "I can't wait to see this character"… that doesn't exist because he’s not even in the film anymore. Or this expansive moment where you're watching a beautiful scene for a minute and a half, which is now three seconds, because a joked popped up, and now it's a different thing. So, I think we started a lot earlier last time than we would in the future. But it was fascinating to see the process. And I remember as we were getting into it, they could say, "Let’s see. Trust the process. We’ve come up with a way to do this." And I don’t mean a factory assembly line, but a strategy of openness and collaboration between not just two or three or four or five people but possibly lots of people.

Release and promotion[edit]

Soul: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released digitally on December 18, 2020, a week before that of the film. The two vinyl albums, namely Soul: Original Motion Picture Score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross and Music from and Inspired by Soul by Jon Batiste, were also made available for purchase on December 18, 2020.[10][11][12][13][14] Despite not featuring on any of the three albums, the duet version of "It's All Right" with Celeste that features during the end credits was also released digitally as a standalone single on December 18.[15][16]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Exclaim!7/10[4]

Critical response[edit]

The soundtrack received a positive response from both music critics and film critics alike.[6][17][18][19] Many film reviews praised the score as a major highlight of the film.[20] Leslie Felperin of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Featuring possibly the best soundtrack in a Pixar film since the first Toy Story, Soul sports a jazz score that is not just an adornment to the story or an emotional enhancement, but an utterly integral part of the narrative."[19] Reznor and Ross's compositions during the metaphysical segments of the film was described musically as new-age and space age, while Batiste's work was described musically as jazz.[21][4][22] In a film review for The A.V. Club, A.A. Dowd described the score as "uncharacteristically soothing",[23] while Matt Goldberg of Collider described it as "spellbinding",[24] and A .O. Scott of The New York Times described it as "cerebral".[25]

Accolades[edit]

Stereogum and Collider has tipped the score for success at the upcoming 93rd Academy Awards.[14][24]

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards December 20, 2020 Best Music Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Won [26]
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards December 21, 2020 Best Original Score Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste Won [27]
Florida Film Critics Circle Awards December 22, 2020 Best Score Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste Won [28]
Greater Western New York Film Critics Association Awards December 31, 2020 Best Score Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Won [29]
Chicago Indie Critics Awards January 2, 2021 Best Musical Score Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Won [30]
North Carolina Film Critics Association Awards January 4, 2021 Best Music Soul Won [31]
Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Awards January 6, 2021 Best Score Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Won [32]
Best Body of Work Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross[a] Won
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awards January 17, 2021 Best Music Score Soul Won [33]
Houston Film Critics Society Awards January 18, 2021 Best Original Score Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste Won [34]
Denver Film Critics Society Awards January 18, 2021 Best Original Score Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Won [35]
San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle Awards January 18, 2021 Best Original Score Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Won [36]
Online Film Critics Society Awards January 25, 2021 Best Original Score Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Won [37]
Hollywood Music in Media Awards January 27, 2021 Best Original Score - Animated Film Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste Won [38]
Outstanding Music Supervision - Film Tom MacDougall Nominated
Best Soundtrack Album Soul: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Nominated
Golden Globe Awards February 28, 2021 Best Original Score Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste Won [39]
Hollywood Critics Association Awards March 5, 2021 Artisans Achievement Award Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross[a] Won [28]
NAACP Image Awards March 27, 2021 Outstanding Soundtrack/Compilation Album Soul: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Won [40]
Outstanding Jazz Album – Instrumental Music From and Inspired By Soul Won

Commercial performance[edit]

A week before the release of the film, the soundtrack album debuted on the UK Soundtrack Albums chart at number 35.[41] After the film was released on December 25, the soundtrack rose to number 12 on this chart and also was credited as two separated entries, one for score and one for soundtrack, on both Billboard's Soundtrack Albums chart and Current Album Sales chart.

Track listing[edit]

Soul: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack track listing[42]
No.TitlePerformer(s)Length
1."Born to Play"Jon Batiste2:00
2."Born to Play Reprise"Batiste0:50
3."Bigger Than Us"Batiste1:51
4."Collard Greens and Cornbread Strut"Batiste0:36
5."The Great Beyond"Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross2:45
6."Falling"Reznor and Ross0:41
7."The Great Before / U Seminar"Reznor and Ross3:19
8."Jump to Earth"Reznor and Ross0:52
9."Rappin Ced"Daveed Diggs0:37
10."Joe's Lowdown Blues"Batiste0:36
11."Terry Time"Reznor and Ross1:14
12."Joe's Life"Reznor and Ross0:40
13."Portal / The Hall of Everything"Reznor and Ross2:18
14."Run / Astral Plane"Reznor and Ross1:44
15."Lost Soul"Reznor and Ross0:29
16."Meditation / Return to Earth"Reznor and Ross1:40
17."22's Getaway"Batiste0:58
18."Apex Wedge"Batiste0:49
19."Let Your Soul Glow"Batiste0:20
20."Terry Time Too"Reznor and Ross3:00
21."Feel Soul Good"Batiste0:27
22."Parting Ways"Cody Chesnutt2:20
23."Looking at Life"Batiste1:31
24."Fruit of the Vine"Batiste0:43
25."22 Is Ready"Reznor and Ross1:25
26."Pursuit / Terry's World"Reznor and Ross1:42
27."Betrayal"Reznor and Ross2:28
28."Space Maker"Batiste1:17
29."Cristo Redentor"Batiste2:21
30."The Epic Conversationalist / Born to Play"Batiste1:26
31."Celestial Spaces in Blue"Batiste0:52
32."Spiritual Connection"Batiste1:13
33."Lost"Reznor and Ross1:09
34."Epiphany"Reznor and Ross3:48
35."Ship Chase"Reznor and Ross1:40
36."Escape / Inside 22"Reznor and Ross2:32
37."Flashback"Reznor and Ross1:33
38."Earthbound"Reznor and Ross1:27
39."Thank You"Reznor and Ross0:42
40."Enjoy Every Minute"Reznor and Ross0:48
41."It's All Right"Batiste2:50
42."Just Us"Reznor and Ross2:42
Total length:64:15
Japanese edition bonus tracks[43]
No.TitlePerformer(s)Length
43."Kiseki Wo Nozomunara..." (Soul version)Juju3:33
44."Rappin Ced"Subaru Kimura0:38
45."A World Full of Love"Eito2:23
Total length:70:49

All music is composed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

Soul: Original Motion Picture Score track listing[44]
No.TitleLength
1."The Great Beyond"2:45
2."Falling"0:41
3."The Great Before / U Seminar"3:19
4."Jump to Earth"0:52
5."Terry Time"1:14
6."Joe's Life"0:40
7."Portal / The Hall of Everything"2:18
8."Run / Astral Plane"1:44
9."Lost Soul"0:29
10."Meditation / Return to Earth"1:40
11."Terry Time Too"3:00
12."22 Is Ready"1:25
13."Pursuit / Terry's World"1:42
14."Betrayal"2:28
15."Lost"1:09
16."Epiphany"3:48
17."Ship Chase"1:40
18."Escape / Inside 22"2:32
19."Flashback"1:33
20."Earthbound"1:27
21."Thank You"0:42
22."Enjoy Every Minute"0:48
23."Just Us"2:42
Music from and Inspired by Soul track listing[45]
No.TitlePerformer(s)Length
1."Born to Play"Jon Batiste2:00
2."Born to Play Reprise"Batiste0:50
3."Bigger Than Us"Batiste1:51
4."Collard Greens and Cornbread Strut"Batiste0:36
5."Joe's Lowdown Blues"Batiste0:36
6."22's Getaway"Batiste0:58
7."Apex Wedge"Batiste0:49
8."Let Your Soul Glow"Batiste0:20
9."Feel Soul Good"Batiste0:27
10."Looking at Life"Batiste1:31
11."Fruit of the Vine"Batiste0:43
12."The Epic Conversationalist / Born to Play"Batiste1:26
13."Celestial Spaces in Blue"Batiste0:52
14."Spiritual Connection"Batiste1:13
15."The Initial Pursuit"Batiste 
16."It's All Right"Batiste 
17."Space Maker"Batiste1:17
18."Cristo Redentor"Batiste2:21
19."Danceland"Batiste 
20."Epistrophy"Batiste 
21."I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart"Batiste 
22."Blue Rondo à la Turk"Batiste 

Charts[edit]

Chart (2020) Peak
position
UK Soundtrack Albums (OCC)[41] 12
US Current Album Sales (Billboard)[46]
Soundtrack version
69
US Current Album Sales (Billboard)[47]
Score version
47
US Soundtrack Albums (Billboard)[48]
Soundtrack version
24
US Soundtrack Albums (Billboard)[49]
Score version
17

Notes[edit]

  • ^[a] Credited to their scoring work on both Soul and Mank (2020).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Cole, Johnnetta (June 27, 2020). "Soul - "Finding Soul" Conversation - Essence Festival". Pixar. YouTube. Archived from the original on September 25, 2020. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Howard, Courtney (October 9, 2020). "[Interview] Music is at the heart of Pixar's 'SOUL'". FreshFiction.tv. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  3. ^ Milzoff, Rebecca (December 4, 2020). "Inside Jon Batiste's Unusual Process for Writing the Jazz Music of 'SOUL'". Billboard. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d Hudson, Alex (December 18, 2020). "Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste's 'Soul' Soundtrack Feels Like Two Scores in One". Exclaim!. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  5. ^ Desowitz, Bill (June 28, 2020). "'Soul' Trailer: Pixar Sneaks 'Parting Ways' Song from Studio's First Black-Led Feature". IndieWire. Archived from the original on September 7, 2020. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Murphy, Mekado (December 25, 2020). "How Pixar's 'Soul' Animates Jazz". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 26, 2020. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  7. ^ a b Taylor, Drew (September 29, 2020). "Jazzy Pixar 'Soul' Song Debuts on 'Dancing With the Stars". Collider. Archived from the original on October 4, 2020. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  8. ^ Disney+ UK [verified account] [@DisneyPlusUK] (November 24, 2020). "Brit-award winning @Celeste lends her vocals for the end credit song 'It's Alright' as a duet with @JonBatiste for #PixarSoul, coming exclusively to #DisneyPlusUK on December 25" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  9. ^ Roffman, Michael; Kaufman, Spencer (December 18, 2020). "Composers of the Year Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross: "It's Been an Intimidating Journey"". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
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  20. ^ Whitten, Sarah (December 22, 2020). "What critics are saying about Pixar's newest film". CNBC. Retrieved December 27, 2020. Critics praised the film's animation and musical score, but noted that Pixar retreads some of the ground it explored in "Coco" and "Inside Out." [...] The music of "Soul" has been widely praised by reviewers. The score is bifurcated between the trippy, otherworldly sounds of the ethereal plane and the melodic jazz-inspired world of New York City.
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  42. ^ "Soul (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) / Various Artists". United States: Tidal. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  43. ^ "ソウルフル・ワールド オリジナル・サウンドトラック - Various Artists". Apple Music. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
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