‘The Idol’ was a TV season’s worst viewing compelling – the indefensiblely outdated mess of misogyny, homophobia, angry interpersonal sexual violence and traumatic hairstyles, all justified in the service of reminding the world: Never trust a guy with a rat tail.
Even so, the icy epic soundtrack performed by the show’s creators and actors, in and out of character, was captivating…even excitingly. The music was originally split into a series of EPs that aired from June 9-30, and now these weekly promos are fully captured in a much more rewarding soundtrack, “The Idol (Music from the HBO Original Series)”. and a more coherent document than its televised counterpart.
The collection begins with “The Lure (Main Theme)” from The Weeknd and Mike Dean – aka “dumb” Mike Dean, the smug, vintage-synth-heavy producer-composer and Mike Dean playing a more advanced version of himself. A drama with more hookah smoke than a Cheech & Chong movie. With this entry, its creators immerse you in a tactile sonic atmosphere that’s cold and slimy. If one ambiance – the damp environment – it was never a genre before “The Idol”, then Grammy committee members, take note.
The template for this moist, dramatic tone provides The Weeknd with some of the best sound beds of his career, whether they come in ballad or banger form. As he stated in interviews, if he wants to take himself to the next level and create a soundtrack to the story “Idol”, which he borrows from the grand theatricality of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” and Prince’s “Purple Rain,” he goes here at length to fulfill that mission. there is a way.
Of course, many of The Weeknd’s pieces are a bit on the nose when it comes to representing the sinister, greedy control freak as Tedros and the on-screen action. Yet singing as a character sharpened the Weeknd’s instincts as a vocalist, expanding the cinematic breadth he shared with co-writer Dean in a way that could be memorable to listeners even if they hadn’t witnessed “The Idol.”
The Weeknd’s songs “Like a God” and “False Idols” (a collaboration with Lil Baby and Suzanna Son) have an uplifting elegance and a decaying, harmonious melodicity. The first speaks of the reign of a divine overseer, “hurting you again so that you can be healed and say ‘Amen’.” Second, as heard in the (apparent) finale of “The Idol”, he reminds us and his other characters: “Be careful who you call God, I can’t go without my pole and stick… I made a hundred million, I must be good at my job.”
The whistling melody and pounding pulse of “A Lesser Man” is like a shaky Weeknd – or Tedros – a bit of a deep, bluescu-revealing ‘Take Me Back’ with the ’80s heavyweight. “Far far from my home, in this fiery town, my blood is still cold,” she sings, automatically adjusting her past and her display of vulnerability to include the phrase “I have been manipulated a hundred times.” latter.
These last two episodes are so moody and catchy that they sound right at home on their 2020 “After Hours” album. Yet there is little that prepares us for the naked vulnerability of “The Jealous Man.” It’s wonderful to interpret John Lennon’s trembling, most tender words, accompanied by Dean’s windy, barely there sound. Maybe Tedros is playing some kind of emotional rope with the frequent hangouts of “The Idol”, but The Weeknd continues with that poignant, heartbreaking vocal.
Songs like “Get It B4”, “False Idols” and “Family” paint a family portrait of those (Manson) who chose to follow Tedros’ brutal line. “Idol” co-star and angelic vocalist Moses Sumney’s shimmering “Get It B4” is the family’s standout solo and deepest rhythmic track. Together, “False Idols” and “Family,” featuring Suzanna Son (who plays the sweet-spirited house songwriter Chloe) and The Weeknd, are tender confessions of oneness and dysfunctionality wrapped in the spiritual bliss of salvation. Think of these songs as gospel music with the brilliance of being content with being unhappy.
As for the woman at the center of “The Idol”—actor and vocalist Lily-Rose Depp’s deeply-suffering Jocelyn—her transition from the beloved plastic princess (“World Class Sinner/I’m a Freak”) to a flesh-and-blood princess has her fantasies and fears. an adult (“Fill in the Blank”) is rude and bold. As both a singer and an actor, Depp is a surprisingly effective low-pitched vocalist who plays the role of a wounded pop star with astonishing accuracy.
Most viewers may not be in a great rush to see if “The Idol” is renewed, but this reversely satisfying soundtrack will do nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of those of us who can’t wait. to hear what your musical future will bring.