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Ghost Canyon

Title - Turning Red (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Artist - 4*TOWN / Ludwig Göransson

Film soundtracks carry an immense burden, namely, giving the listener the same experience they had watching the film each time they press the play button on their CD player or streaming device.

The original motion picture soundtrack to Disney/Pixar’s Turning Red rises to this challenge, and easily meets it with its massive, 32-course banquet for the ears.

Walt Disney Records has released the soundtrack for the latest Pixar film, Turning Red, which is available on Disney+ now. The soundtrack is available now on digital platforms including Spotify and Apple Music.

1. Nobody Like U – 4*TOWN
2. 1 True Love – 4*TOWN
3. U Know What’s Up – 4*TOWN
4. Family – Ludwig Göransson
5. Turning Red – Ludwig Göransson
6. Meilin Lee – Ludwig Göransson
7. Temple Duties – Ludwig Göransson
8. Jin’s Family Dinner – Ludwig Göransson
9. Drawing Love – Ludwig Göransson
10. Never Again Dream – Ludwig Göransson
11. Turning Panda – Ludwig Göransson
12. Panda-monium – Ludwig Göransson
13. Ancestors – Ludwig Göransson
14. Inconvenient Genetics – Ludwig Göransson
15. U Know What’s Up (The Panda Hustle Version) – 4*TOWN
16. Tyler’s Deal – Ludwig Göransson
17. The Aunties – Ludwig Göransson
18. Grandma’s Warning – Ludwig Göransson
19. Keeping The Panda – Ludwig Göransson
20. Dad Talk – Ludwig Göransson
21. Red Moon Ritual – Ludwig Göransson
22. I’m Keeping It – Ludwig Göransson
23. Making It Right – Ludwig Göransson
24. Unleashing The Panda – Ludwig Göransson
25. Stadium Ritual – Ludwig Göransson
26. Pandas Unite / Nobody Like U (Reprise) – Ludwig Göransson, 4*TOWN, Turning Red Cast
27. The Real Ming – Ludwig Göransson
28. No Going Back – Ludwig Göransson 29. Let Your Inner Panda Out – Ludwig Göransson
30. Nobody Like U (Instrumental) – Finneas O’Connell
31. 1 True Love (Instrumental) – Finneas O’Connell
32. U Know What’s Up (Instrumental) – Finneas O’Connell

Of all the songs on the album, only three of them have lyrics: Nobody Like U, 1 True Love, and U Know What’s Up. These three tracks are listed as being performed by 4*TOWN, the movie’s fictional boyband, and are exactly the 90’s boyband homages they’re supposed to be, complete with sultry vocals, cheesy lovelorn lyrics, catchy harmonies and sick backbeats.

U Know What’s Up, specifically, conjures up memories of radio speakers blasting Backstreet Boys. For older listeners who lived through the 90’s boyband invasion, the vocal stylings of Jordan Fisher (yes, that Jordan Fisher), Finneas O’Connell, Topher Ngo, Grayson Villanueva, and Josh Levi provide the nostalgia trip you didn’t know you needed.

A brief word about Finneas O’Connell - he is the composer of 4*TOWN’s songs, alongside his sister, chart sensation Billie Eilish.

For his part, Ludwig Göransson gives an element of stylistic variety to his score that well reflect the different aspects of the film. The album’s title track, Turning Red, is a groovy, flute-driven hype number that expresses the spunkiness of Mei, the protagonist. She is very much her own person —or wants to be — and the mix of style in this track alone help to establish exactly what she is about.

Along similar lines, tracks like Temple Duties and Red Moon Ritual play directly into Mei’s Chinese heritage, with the use of distinctly Chinese string, wind, and percussion instruments. The latter even incorporates a certain chanting into the melody to underscore a moment of ancient ritual that comes across as incredibly soaring and powerful.

Turning Red as a film is very much the sum of its parts, dealing with the many facets of the teenage mind and soul, and so it is with its soundtrack. Ludwig Göransson continuously whips up a blend of ancient moods and modern rhythms to create a musical landscape equally tumultuous and serene. And beautiful.

Review by: Ashley J. Cicotte

Turning Red (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) is available on all major streaming platforms.

Nobody Like U - 4*TOWN (Official Lyric Video)

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Walt Disney Records Website