After years of patiently waiting, Bradley Cooper's A Star Is Born has finally arrived in theaters. The third remake of its kind, Copper's directorial debut is a romantic and visceral romance that is often told through music. Ally and Jackson Maine's songwriting often reflected their lives, with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper helping to craft the music themselves.
There's a ton of great music in A Star Is Born, but some of the songs stood out in the film's catalogue. Here's a list of the biggest songs, and why they stood out among the rest.
10. Why Did You Do That?
While an obvious Lady Gaga bop, "Why Did You Do That?" feels a bit out of place among the rest of the A Star Is Born soundtrack. Ally is singing mostly folk and rock music up until this point, so her Saturday Night Live performance is certainly surprising. She transforms into a full on pop singer, re-hiring backup singers and writing lyrics about jeans and texting guys. And while the verses are extremely catchy and have a refreshing taste of hip hop, the chorus is a bit repetitive.
"Why Did You Do That?" has the signature Lady Gaga vocals and style in it, but for the purpose of A Star Is Born, it makes her character's priorities and musical sensibility unclear.
9. I'll Never Love Again
Hear me out on this one. While "I'll Never Love Again" is the big eleven o'clock number of A Star Is Born, I didn't think the song itself did the plot or actress justice. There's some obvious inspiration taken from Whitney Houston, and it sounds almost as if "The Greatest Love of All" and "I Will Always Love You" had a baby, all sung with Gaga's stunning instrument.
The song is at its best when it shockingly cuts back to Jackson, who is playing the song for Ally in their home. The audience is reminded why the couple's love was so powerful, and how much music connected them. But while "I'll Never Love Again" is the moment Ally's star is born, the song itself left a little to be desired.
8. Black Eyes
A Star Is Born introduces its male lead while Bradley Cooper's Jackson Maine is rocking out at a concert. The song played is "Black Eyes", and shows why the flawed rocker is such a star. He wows the crowd and the audience at once, with A Star Is Born filming at large concert events in order to capture the feel of a live show.
"Black Eyes" is another solid song on the Star Is Born soundtrack, but it ultimately gets outshone by some of the later tracks. Once Ally and Jackson meet and fall in love, the write some beautiful duets that make some of the movie's best musical numbers.
7. Is That Alright?
If you aren't familiar with this track, don't feel too bad. "Is That Alright?" wasn't actually part of the main movie. The Gaga-sung ballad plays during A Star Is Born's credits, which you may have still been ugly crying during. And those folks who like to get ahead of the bathroom line at the movies probably didn't get to hear this song.
"Is That Alright?" is a sweet ballad that shows Ally's dedication to her husband. Throughout A Star Is Born, she is a patient partner and understands Jackson's substance abuse problems. Gaga sounds unreal in this song, and it was even featured in the film's trailers before it arrived in theaters.
6. Heal Me
Once Ally starts becoming a famous singer on her own accord, her music becomes much more pop infused. Add a new hair color and nicer clothes, she starts looking much more like Lady Gaga. This causes Ally some internal strife, and she clashes with her manager about things like back up dancers and choreography.
Ultimately she ditches the dancers and performs "Heal Me" solo. It's another musical highlight of the film, and shows the character's raw talent is still there. Plus, the track sounds like the musical answer to Gaga's single "The Cure".
5. La Vie En Rose
In A Star Is Born, Ally and Jackson fall in love in seemingly an unlikely place: a drag bar. Furthermore, Ally is also in full drag, and performing a live version of Edith Piaf's "La Vie En Rose." The jaded rocker is instantly taken by the young up and comer, and his random stop into a bar soon changes his life forever.
"La Vie En Rose" shows the raw talent that Lady Gaga has been known for, and the performance harkens back to her days in club, and relationship with the LGBT community. And just like Jackson Maine, the audience won't take their eye off her.
4. Always Remember Us This Way
This song is one of A Star Is Born's best love songs, and shows just how hard the two characters are falling for each other. After joining Jackson on tour, Ally writes "Always Remember Us This Way" about their time falling in love and writing music. Eventually Jackson asks her to play it in concert, and after running backstage for a shot, she does it-- and rocks the house.
This song's importance gains extra weight given the tragic events of the third act, and how Jackson's demons ultimately take him away. Who knew that Ally's memories would be the couple's last?
3. Maybe It's Time
"Maybe It's Time" is the most recurring song in A Star Is Born, and is a haunting anthem that follows Jackson Maine wherever he goes. One of the singer's big singles, Jackson is forced to play the track at every step of every tour. It's a song he's sick of, and you can see as it takes more and more out of him with each performance.
This is another song that gains extra emotional weight after A Star Is Born ends, as he quite literally lets the old ways die, in the form of his tragic suicide. Suddenly the most played song becomes a prophecy, showing how methodically Bradley Cooper thought out the song's musical moments.
2. Look What I Found
"Look What I Found" is arguably Ally's first major star-making moment from the movie. After going viral and joining Jackson Maine on tour, she eventually gets discovered by a manager, and gets a chance to record her own music. The first of which she wrote on the trip to Jackson, riding on the back of his motorcycle.
At first, Ally had a hard time in the studio. But once Jackson had a piano flown into the studio, she seriously rocks it out, and gets to have her own contract. In my opinion, this is one of the catchiest songs on the soundtrack, and sounds straight off her latest album Joanne.
This one is a no brainer. Jackson and Ally's musical companionship began with "Shallow", after she punched a cop in a bar after he bothered Jackson for an autograph. With frozen peas strapped to her hand, Lady Gaga's musical character writes a verse on the spot, inspired by her conversation with her future husband. She then adds in a chorus she'd been working on, and magic happens.
Eventually Ally and her best friend Ramon (Anthony Ramos) travel to Jackson's show, and he pulls her on stage to play that song. It's powerful, emotional, and one of the best moments in A Star Is Born's runtime. It's also been the big single of the movie, and has been making the rounds since before Bradley Cooper's directorial debut hit theaters.
You can catch A Star Is Born in theaters now. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.
Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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