Fifty Shades Of Grey: The Classical Album
EMI Records, 2012
REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 02/09/2013
Let me preface this by saying I've never read any of the books associated with the Fifty Shades Of Grey trilogy. I actually only have a modicum of knowledge about the success and controversy of the series, so my opinions on this handpicked soundtrack by E.L. James is based solely on the music here.
I am aware that this CD was as successful as the books, shooting up high on the Billboard Charts for the Classical category. Seeing as how I know next to nothing about classical music, this means very little to me. In fact, I assume most people wouldn't have much knowledge about who is at the top of the classical charts. However, despite my musical tastes usually leaning towards loud, guitar-based rock, I have always had an appreciation for more refined music, and have always had an affinity for the soothing, almost therapeutic sounds of classical music.
There are 15 tracks included here, including much heralded works by Bach, Verdi, Rachmaninov, Debussy, and Chopin, among others. Antipodal to the steamy, taboo nature of the book, the songs here are calming, innocuous, and more suited for a day devoted to serenity. This is an album where you could never pinpoint a specific highlight. The songs here move from divine beauty to eerie and haunting to lush and cinematic sounding. There's a good mix of instrumental and vocal work, and the collection here stems from the 16th century up to more recent periods.For the classical music enthusiast, there is probably isn't much new here to explore. Many of these tracks are staples of the genre, considered some of the best of the best and already available on many different albums for example Bach's “Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring.” Though there are some more obscure selections, like Tallis' “Spem In Alium.” But for the neophyte, this is a great introduction to the world of classical sounds. Apparently these tracks helped James write the Fifty Shades trilogy and ideally, this disc would serve as a listening companion to the literary experience.