When it comes to enjoying a movie, a good soundtrack isn’t always that important to the story. However, for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, the music is integral to the audience’s understanding of the main characters as well as the plot. With May 5th quickly approaching, it’s time to take a closer look at the musical choices of the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 mixtape, where the music will have similar importance to the plot. Any spoilers will be entirely coincidental.

guardians of the galaxy vol. 2 mixtape
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 mixtape comes packed with even more Starlord-approved tunes. The songs stick to the 70s theme, but the sequel has its own flavor. The first movie is a lot punchier regarding musical choice, making it a colorful introduction to the series. The songs ground the viewer in an otherwise sensory overloaded world. Many non-comic book readers didn’t know anything about the Guardians of the Galaxy. It was wise to give people something to latch onto in the midst of unfamiliar characters.

Everyone knows Spider-Man and Hulk, but Marvel’s expanding cinematic universe has to acclimate viewers to uncharted territory. The soundtrack’s job is to connect the unfathomable expanse of outer space with familiar earth culture. Peter Quill is a human after all, and his mixtapes let viewers see past his charismatic façade. Director and screenwriter James Gunn chose the songs beforehand so he could write scenes accordingly. Listening to the new songs was like getting a spoiler-free preview of the movie.

READ: Need more GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY before Friday? Check out this review of STAR-LORD #4!

This time around, the second movie’s soundtrack already sounds a little more subdued in comparison. The change isn’t a problem but signals a tonal shift between the two films.

A Super Start to the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 Mixtape

Of course, it wouldn’t be a GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY film without a killer opening track. And “Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra is a perfect choice. Much like Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love,” it’s impossible to resist singing along. If you can picture Starlord using space creatures as microphones, you know the song works. “Mr. Blue Sky” is also one of those songs that feels a bit unsettling once you look at the lyrics: “Mr. Blue Sky, please tell us why you had to hide away for so long, so long. Where did we go wrong?” If you take away the catchy tune, it reads like a gloomy poem.

Like many of Marvel’s movies, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is bright and witty on the outside, but the serious core of it deals with the fate of the universe. “Mr. Blue Sky” complements GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY’S vivid aesthetic as well as the heartbreaking moments that will likely happen. I’m sure I don’t need to remind anyone about the Groot scene.

Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The Heart-Pounding Rise

The soundtrack keeps going strong with “Fox on the Run” by Sweet, which an earlier trailer features. It also amps up the tone of the movie with its catchy synth. The song parallels “Hooked On A Feeling” by Blue Swede so that it might play over a scene similar to the prison escape in the first film.

“The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac is also an impressive selection, especially for the latest trailer. It sounds like a nod to the ending of the first film when the team shares the power of the Infinity Stone. The song starts out slow and builds up to a heart-pounding final verse. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is always moving at full speed, so I can’t wait to see how this scene plays out. I got goose bumps from the trailer alone.

My guess is that “The Chain” will be a part of an equally tense moment that tests each member’s loyalty to one another. And if I’m literal here, a chain is only as good as each of its links.

READ: Get caught up with Gamora’s latest solo comic with a review of GAMORA #4: A World Gone Mad!

A Melodious Middle

After moving past the first four songs, the soundtrack starts to slow down. “Bring It On Home Home To Me” is highly reminiscent of “Fooled Around And Fell In Love,” used in the first film in a romantic moment between Peter Quill and Gamora.

The trailer for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 indeed insinuates the relationship between the two characters will move forward. Some other songs on the soundtrack have a similar vibe, like “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” by Looking Glass and “Come A Little Bit Closer” by Jay & The Americans. Most of the softer songs are concentrated in the middle of the film, so I’m hoping this doesn’t mean I’ll have to slog through the larger part of the movie.

The comparably subdued tone of the new soundtrack contrasts with Joan Jett’s “Cherry Bomb” and David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream.” Hopefully, the instrumental score will play a bigger role in the more exciting scenes in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 than its predecessor.

Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

An Excellent Ending

The GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 mixtape picks up the tempo for the climax and falling action with “Surrender” by Cheap Trick. It’s high energy and something you’d expect to hear building up to an essential plot point near the end of the film. The line “surrender, but don’t give yourself away” might signal some sacrifice at the end of the movie. The tone of the song is overall uplifting though, and feels much like Five Stairsteps’ “O-o-h Child.” So maybe fans will get to hear Chris Pratt sing to another Big Bad.

One of the most interesting song choices lies near the end of the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 mixtape. “Father and Son” by Cat Stevens seems pretty self-explanatory. Peter’s father is set to make an appearance in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2. “Father and Son” could be one of those songs you’d expect to play at the moment of their meeting. But perhaps THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 mixtape has a few tricks up its sleeve. The tune could be saved for a later encounter.

The song is an exchange between a father and son, wherein the son tries to explain why he wants to break away and start his own life. The father believes his son still has too much to learn, but the child ultimately knows he needs to learn things on his own. Obviously, Peter’s dad has never been around for him, so his worldview comes from his mother and Yondu. The latter clearly wasn’t the best influence on him though!

CLICK: Take a walk down memory road and revisit the first GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY film!

The Fun Finale

Just like the first film’s, the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, VOL. 2 mixtape doesn’t end on a sour note. To wrap it all up is Parliament’s “Flashlight,” which gives as much of a hopeful epilog to the movie as baby Groot dancing to “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5.

Though the songs are an important part of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY movies, there’s a lot more to them than iconic jams from the 70s. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 has already scored an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes, so it’s up to viewers to find out if the movie is just as great as its soundtrack.

 

 

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