Oscars 2019: Best Original Song Eligibles
That’s right, people. It’s back!
Okay, so no, it’s not officially back. The Academy is pulling that same bullshit that they did last year and only releasing a shortlist instead of all the eligible songs and then the shortlist (cowards). In fact, that shortlist is due any time now, so I’m not even gonna look for it or any of the others until I finish this article.
All — and I mean all credit to The Wrap, who managed to get a hold of the eligibles list and released an article going over their opinions of each of the nominated songs, cannily putting the titles of all of them in the article, giving us a nice tidy list without officially releasing the list. Good on you, guys.
I don’t know what the Academy is thinking, not releasing the list anymore. It’s like what the NBA did that one time where they were like, “You know, we’re not gonna televise that All Star Game draft where the players pick each other for the teams.” And a lot of people were like, “What the hell are you talking about? We love that!” Because, if people like something, they can’t get enough of it. They want more. Though something tells me that was them trying to cover their asses so they don’t look bad when the branch does something stupid (as they usually do) and doesn’t nominate one of the big songs. But trust me, guys, Original Song is not the branch you need to worry about in terms of that happening. It’s Documentaries first and International Film second. Song is a distant third at this point, and potentially could even fall out of that spot, given how generally good they’ve been over the past couple of years since they updated that archaic voting system.
Anyway, let’s get into this article, because it damn well may be the last time we ever get this again, so let’s enjoy it while we can.
Here are all 75 eligible songs for Best Original Song this year:
Do you have goosebumps? Or is it just me? You guys have no idea how happy I am to be able to be doing this article right now.
Oh, and I guess I should mention how I run this article — it’s been two years, so I’m just gonna do what I think I used to do — mostly this is all for everyone else, so you have all the songs in one place (or as much as I can find them). My blathering at the bottom is only for me, really.
But what I do is I rate the songs on a scale of 5, just like I do films. Increments of half a star, from 0 stars to 5 stars. Just to give a general idea of what I think of them to go alongside my general opinion as to whether or not they feel like they’d ever be nominated.
“A Human Touch,” from 5B
Jackson Browne! Good start to this list.
This is from an AIDS documentary. That won’t really sway voters any more than Jackson Browne will. I could theoretically see them shortlisting this, especially in what I’m thinking will be a very weak year, but we’ll see.
The song itself seems just okay. I love Jackson Browne. It’s a bit too slow and mournful for me. Trying to do that Crazy Heart thing. Which maybe would work better in a movie like that one. I get why it fits the film, and I guess based on Jackson Browne alone I’ll go 3.5 stars on the personal rating.
I’d call this an outside shot at a shortlist, but I’m not sure it’ll happen.
“Haunted Heart,” from The Addams Family
Why are animated films the only ones that go all in on original music anymore?
I like the “I Put a Spell on You” instrumentals going on here. And they’re doing a bit of a Dap Kings/Sharon Jones vibe too.
I thought I wasn’t gonna like this, but I actually do. I’m really liking the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins vibe. Oh, and wait… that’s Christina Aguilera. I didn’t figure that out until I saw her pop up in the second half of the video. Good for them. And good for her for not oversinging like she tends to do.
Can’t imagine they go anywhere near this, but wow, I liked this way more than I thought I would when I clicked play.
“My Family,” from The Addams Family
Oh no. This is modern rap shit, and I hate that stuff. That Garage Band beat and the autotune. Nuh uh.
It’s just fine, but that’s the problem. They’re all like this.
At least it’s short.
“Knew You for a Moment,” After the Wedding
This is performed by Abby Quinn, who is in the movie. Which is a nice touch.
It’s very indie acoustic. It’s coffee shop pleasant.
This isn’t totally for me, but I can see how it would be for some people.
Can’t see them going for this. It’s not a big enough movie and the song just doesn’t have the heft behind it for them to start voting for it.
“Speechless,” from Aladdin
They made a big deal about this in the movie, giving Jasmine her big song, which the animated movie doesn’t really give her. Problem is… doesn’t feel like Alan Menken. And that’s because it was co-written by the La La Land guys. So it’s a well-written song and gets the job done… but it’s not on the level of the other songs in the original film. And that’s the trouble all these new songs in Disney remakes have.
Also kind of on-the-nose, thematically. Even in the movie, the way it’s forced in there, you’d think that maybe they could have made is slightly subtler in terms of its message?
3 stars. Not a huge fan of this, but if they shortlisted it (which I could see happening), I wouldn’t be that against it.
Also, good job Naomi Scott. I didn’t realize she had pipes.
“Swan Song,” from Alita: Battle Angel
I am vaguely aware of someone named Dua Lipa, but I’ll confess this is literally the first song of hers I’m ever hearing.
And as soon as the beat kicked in, I knew everything I needed to know.
Also, how hilarious is it that Alita not only has an original song but also a music video based around it?
Did Sia write this song? Because it sure sounds like it.
3 stars. It’s fine. This is not the Music branch’s speed at all.
Also, what does this have to do with the movie? Isn’t the chorus “This is not a swan song” something you put for like, a franchise you assumed was on its last legs or a character you figured was getting too old but has to prove they can still compete?
“I Punched Keanu Reeves, from Always Be My Maybe
4 stars. I love this as a tag to that movie, playing over the closing credits. It’s genius. I want them to shortlist this so badly. It’ll never get nominated, but come on. This is a true original song. And it’s funny and entertaining and does more in terms of fitting in its movie than anything else I’ve seen so far on this list.
“Don’t Turn Back Now,” from The Apollo
I didn’t know there was a documentary about the Apollo Theater and now I want to see it.
Oh, it came out like a month ago. That’s why I don’t know it.
3.5 stars. BIG fan of this song.
Not sure they’re gonna go for it, since they like more overt ‘message’ songs, and this one’s more of an ode to the theater itself. But this is the classic shit I grew up listening to. I’m all over this one.
“Sun, Flood or Drought,” from The Biggest Little Farm
This sounds exactly like the song that would accompany a documentary about people starting a farm.
This is pure documentary music. (Notice how I stopped myself from saying ‘white people’ instead of documentary.)
This isn’t my speed at all.
I think there’s a fine line between this song and the last one, and which side of it you fall in probably says a lot.
“Letter to My Godfather,” from The Black Godfather
Loved the documentary. Immediately cringed at the autotune as the first thing I heard at the beginning of the song. That made it difficult for it to climb out of that hole.
I’ve generally not been a huge fan of Pharrell’s film songs, though I’ll admit that “Happy” is catchy as shit and the “Hidden Figures” songs grew up on me the more I listened to them.
This one, though… the autotune was a bad choice.
3 stars. I can’t get over that autotune. It takes me out of the song.
They’re not gonna go for this.
“For You My Love (O Bandeya),” from Blinded by the Light
Of course it’s A.R. Rahman. That dude lives on these lists.
Though admittedly, since “Jai Ho,” I haven’t been a huge fan of most of the stuff he’s submitted.
It feels 80s-influenced, which is kinda nice. Though it also feels kinda Bollywood, which I guess is also kinda the point.
3 stars. I liked it more than I did the first time I listened, but I’m not overly in love with it.
Doubt they go for it. This kind of a song needs a big hit film to go with it. We’re almost a decade past when Rahman got songs nominated.
“I’m Standing with You,” from Breakthrough
Warning — Diane Warren wrote this song. So expect to see it shortlisted, if not straight up nominated.
I also didn’t know Chrissy Metz could sing. But here we are.
I listened closely to the lyrics to see if they were overly religious. But they’re not. It’s just an overly religious movie.
I’m also a sucker for songs that bring in the gospel choir. But I can’t say I was that in love with this. 3 stars. It’s just fine.
They’re gonna shortlist this for sure because it’s Diane Warren. All they have to do is put her name on the video they send to voters and she’ll get on. I guess I’m fine with it, though it would be a bit of a weak nominee if they went there in the end.
“It’s Not Over,” from Brian Banks
Why is it that I knew exactly what this song was before I clicked on it? Talk about a playbook. They’re running it to a tee.
It’s fine. Probably liked it more than that last song, but it’s just okay. Feels like it could grow on me if I heard it a bunch, but the rap breakdown… I’ve heard this song too many times on these lists for films just like this. How easily could that rap part have been done by Common? You know what I’m talking about? We’ve heard it before.
“Pray for a Miracle,” from Brian Banks
It’s catchy. Bit too religious for me, but honestly, it’s got fun to it. Gospel choirs are the shit.
They won’t go for it, but I like it.
Also, whoa… there’s a bit of ‘Takeover‘ in there, isn’t there? Wasn’t expecting that one.
“Da Bronx,” from The Bronx, USA
“Gonna Be Alright,” from The Bronx, USA
I cannot find either of these two songs online, but weirdly the documentary has been sitting on my desktop to be watched for a month. So I guess I’ll hear them soon enough. The first one is co-sung by Robert Klein, which tells me everything I need to know, and I think the second one is sung by young Bronx kids (I’m guessing a choir or something). So neither will be nominated, though I do wanna hear them. So I guess I’ll just do it as I watch the doc (which is HBO, I’m pretty sure, so I think most people could find it if they really wanted to).
“Beautiful Ghosts,” from Cats
Oh boy. Taylor Swift could be nominated for an Oscar. With Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Did anyone else laughed at the way she pronounced ‘chances’? That’s clearly her having lived in London to shoot this and pretending like she’s British. She is 100% that person, and you all know she is.
I can’t say I dislike this song. I’m not overly familiar with the songs from Cats, but I’ll listen out, as I always do, as I watch the movie. Usually you can tell which song is the new one written for the movie. So I’ll see how out of place this sounds from everything else. That’s always the test for songs like this.
“Suddenly” from Les Mis stood out, even though it was a solid song. Most of them, like that Aladdin one up there… you can tell. I suspect they’ll shortlist this for sure and maybe even nominate it, because it’s a big classy musical and the original songs always get on. This one just happens to be sung by Taylor Swift.
3.5 stars. I actually kinda like the song. But I’m also not gonna pretend like it couldn’t have used a better singer than Taylor Swift. This shit needs someone to belt it. She’s just singing it. But the song is fine and I’ll be okay if they nominated it, even though I doubt it’ll end up in my top five. But we’ll see. Year’s pretty weak so far.
“A Song from a Woman,” from The Cave
Couldn’t find this one. Can’t even tell who sung it, and my goal was to get this done quickly before the shortlists are out, so I’m not gonna waste time trying to find it. If it’s not out there already, chances are it won’t be shortlisted, so you’re fine.
“Brighter Dawn,” from Clemency
“Slow Train,” from Clemency
Couldn’t find either of this, which is crazy since the movie is out in like, 11 days. Guessing that means no chance of a shortlist, because anything that’s getting promoted is already out there. I would have liked to hear these, but I guess not. Oh well. Maybe I’ll be able to update this once they’re out there, but if they don’t get shortlisted, I’m not sure if I’m gonna care to bother.
“I’ll Wait for You,” from Cliffs of Freedom
You can find this song on Spotify. I couldn’t find it on Youtube. But apparently based on everyone’s damn minutes posts or whatever that is, everyone listens to Spotify. So it should be easy for most of you.
This song is pretty standard/classical. Big emotional ballad by a female singer with a strong voice and epic piano chords. And then it just kind of… falls flat. It doesn’t really go anywhere and starts to sound like a stage musical with that instrumentation.
3 stars. Didn’t do a whole lot for me past a semi-promising beginning.
“Glory,” from David Crosby: Remember My Name
Very elevator music. Was not expecting that.
Not really sure what I was expecting from this one.
Wasn’t really for me.
Doubt they shortlist this, but I guess it comes down to how strong they think the doc is and how much they like Crosby.
“The Dead Don’t Die,” from The Dead Don’t Die
This one is a big part of the film, not that that matters at all. It’s a fun song. 3.5 stars. Wouldn’t that be surprising if they went there. Doubt it, but I’m not wholly ruling it out, even though I wouldn’t guess it.
“Fearless,” from A Dog’s Journey
Oh, this should be fun. Let’s see how far I get before it’s a big “NOPE!”
20 seconds, not quite there yet. Though I know exactly what this song is already.
45 seconds. I don’t hate this.
Oh, there it is. The instrumentation kicked in. It’s country/uplifting.
3 stars. It’s fine, but no. This isn’t for me. They don’t go for this either. This is what like, a quarter of all these lists are.
“Hooray! We Did It,” from Dora and the Lost City of Gold
A HA HA HA Dora is on here.
It’s not happening, but it’s funny that it’s here. That was the comic relief break I needed.
It’s fun… but come on, guys.
“Tiny Victories,” from Foster
You can guess what this documentary is about from that title. And knowing that basically tells you what the song is gonna be too.
3 stars. It’s pretty standard fare. Rating it higher basically amounts to how much you like Christina Perri.
“Into the Unknown,” from Frozen II
They’re pulling the same trick they pulled with the first one, submitting only the big song so as not to siphon votes.
The piano sounds like “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman,” though it’s clear this is their “Let It Go” for the sequel.
I thought this was a weird choice of a song as I listened to it during the film. So I’m curious how this listen’s gonna go.
So far, so good. The lyrics I’m not crazy about, but the strings and Idina Menzel’s voice is carrying through.
I’m pretty sure this gets nominated on muscle memory alone. But it feels like the sequel, ultimately — all the outside stuff is there, but it’s just hollow. There’s no theme to this, it’s just Idina Menzel doing vocal runs. Which are awesome, but the song doesn’t really strike me as anything amazing.
3.5 stars. It feels like they’ll nominate it but it won’t win.
Then again… kinda tough to find a good song this year, so maybe this becomes a default winner on that alone. We’ll see.
“Apna Time Aayega,” from Gully Boy
This will never get nominated, in case you had any other ideas about that.
3 stars. Good for them. Not for me, but cool that it’s a rap song.
“Stand Up,” from Harriet
Of course it’s called ‘Stand Up’. Of course it is.
But Cynthia Erivo is singing, which is nice. They’ll shortlist it for certain and it’ll probably get nominated, though also could end up sixth song out in the end. We’ll see. Right now I’m seeing two for sure nominees and this is one of them.
As for the song itself — 3 stars. Ehh. I like her voice, but I’m not in love with the rest of the song.
That feels like it’s gonna be the theme of this year. “Ehh… I guess… but I didn’t love it…”
“Hold On,” from Hold On
I’m vaguely aware of Neko Case, though something tells me my music-loving friends are gonna give me looks for not really knowing who she is. Whatever. I got movies, you got music. That’s how this works.
3 stars. Sounds nice, not gonna get shortlisted, just sounds kinda middle-of-the-road to me.
“Beyond the Path of Compromise,” from The Holy Fail
These short clips are all I could find for this movie, but it’s really all we need. They’re not gonna go anywhere near nominating any of them, so it’s really just about how they sound.
2.5 stars on this one. Generic indie folk or whatever that genre is.
“Ever Since You’ve Come My Way,” from The Holy Fail
And it’s religious. Completely not for me.
“Magic Made,” from The Holy Fail
Nowhere near my thing.
“Walk with Me,” from The Holy Fail
All I hear when these songs come on are that very square pastor guy at those boring church meetings playing his acoustic guitar and all the people in the audience giving respect claps and all the young people trying not to roll their eyes because it’s so goddamn embarrassing to them.
“Together from Afar,” from How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Jonsi? Is that a person?
Oh, it’s one of those songs. Got it. Generic pop crap the branch will never touch in a million years.
2.5 stars. This is not my thing at all and is pretty much why I don’t listen to the radio, because this is exactly what I hear every time I turn it on (and quickly turn it off).
“Not Who We Were,” from I’m Not Here
Oh, this should be good. Song about a movie that’s basically about a dude wanting to kill himself.
…Yeah, this sounds about right.
3 stars. I’ve heard like three of these already so far on this list.
“Lullaby,” from Kaddish
Can’t find this song, but trust me, they won’t nominate it. So you’re good.
“Invisible,” from Klaus
The singer is 22 and Swedish. Which means her voice is really good and they subject her to pop nonsense where she can’t properly use that voice.
But you know what? Just like this movie, this song is warming on me.
It’s too Garage Band for them to shortlist, but I’m okay with it.
“Forward Motion,” from Late Night
What the fuck does this have to do with the movie?
Diane Warren wrote this, but trust me, of the two she’s got, this is not the one they’re gonna be going for.
What is this? If I gave you 25 guesses as to what movie this was from, no one would have guessed Late Night, unless they were doing it as a joke because there’s no way it would ever be that movie.
“Catchy Song,” from The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
I mean, yes. It lives up to its title.
And I will admit — I like this better than “Everything Is Awesome.” So there’s that.
I didn’t like it that much, but I do like it better than that one.
I could see them shortlisting this. I think the magic has worn off for a nomination, though.
“Not Evil,” from The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
Oh joy, more Lego songs.
3 stars. It’s fun. It works well within the plot. They’re only going for one of these, if they’re going for any of them, and it’s clearly that first one.
“Super Cool,” from The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
Oh, well this is different. Didn’t know Beck did a song for this movie. Guessing this is the end credits song I didn’t bother listening to because I wanted to get the fuck out of there as soon as it was over. Doesn’t really matter, though.
3 stars. I like it best of the three, but wouldn’t put it on my personal list.
It’ll be interesting if they go for this over “Catchy Song.” They won’t, but it would be interesting.
“Never Too Late,” from The Lion King
They had to go back to Elton for an original song since he did all the ones from the animated film.
This feels like something they had laying around they just retrofitted to put on the soundtrack. This does not fit The Lion King at all.
There’s another song from this film they’re gonna go for way more than this, if they go for either. Plus I know Elton’s got another song on this list that’s much more of a contender.
3 stars. Just kind of okay. Would have liked it better with younger Elton singing. Still, it doesn’t hold up next to anything else in the movie. I can’t support this being shortlisted.
“Spirit,” from The Lion King
I remember hearing this in the movie and being utterly disgusted. Dude — at least try to make something that is of the level of the rest of the songs on that soundtrack. This is such a blatant ‘how do you do, fellow kids?’ if I’ve ever heard one. I mean, sure, Beyoncé is in the movie, so she’s getting a song. But at least write it with Tim Rice or something. What the hell, guys? What is this?
3 stars. They’ll probably shortlist this, but I feel like they won’t just because… what is this as a song? It’s just a song sung by Beyoncé. If they’ve given up on any semblance of what this category is about, they’ll leave it off. And if any branch is holding onto tradition kicking and screaming, it’s the Music branch. So actually… maybe this won’t make it on.
“Be Yourself,” from Little
Not for me. Too mainstream 2019 radio. Never gonna get shortlisted either.
“Bermula Kita,” from M for Malaysia
Pure documentary track.
They won’t shortlist it, but it sounds nice, so there’s that.
“Quasi Una Fantasia,” from Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements
This is also on Spotify.
Weird that you went with the official name of Moonlight Sonata and then made this weird hip hop beat song over it. I do not like the vocals of this, but once it goes into the instrumental portion with the piano, I liked it a lot better.
Still, this is only 3 stars for me, and trust me, it’ll never get nominated.
“Daily Battles,” from Motherless Brooklyn
This is in the trailer. I noticed this when I saw that. And fuck yes Thom Yorke. I would have nominated his Suspiria song, so you know I’m all in on this one. And Flea? Fuck yeah.
4 stars. Love this, would nominate this in a heartbeat. Finally something I can root for.
And if they shortlisted Thom Yorke last year, I can’t see them not shortlisting this. So for sure look for this on their list.
“One Little Finger,” from One Little Finger
All I could find is a soundtrack preview where you get a snippet of the song in question about a minute in. It’s all you need. They’ll never shortlist it anyway.
2.5 stars. Good for them, I appreciate everything the song is about, it’s just not for me.
“A Glass of Soju,” from Parasite
Hmm… I wonder if they shortlist this purely because it’s Parasite.
This doesn’t strike me as something that would be for them, and that’s before I’ve listened to it.
These opening guitar chords are nice. Maybe it will get votes.
It’s got that anime end credits song vibe to it, doesn’t it?
3 stars. It’s pleasant. If this were in English, this could be the backing song to a Target commercial or something.
“Running for So Long (House a Home),” from The Peanut Butter Falcon
I knew I was getting those acoustic chords even before I pressed play. You knew what type of song this was as soon as you knew the film it was being written for.
Was kinda hoping it would go higher for me, but it’s the same indie thing. Sounds like every male/female indie acoustic group out there.
“La Jeune Fille en Feu,” from Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Somehow I thought I was getting lyrics here.
3 stars. It’s fine. Wouldn’t vote for it personally. Can’t see them going for it unless they’re voting for the film over the song. Which I’ve seen them do before. Doesn’t feel like them, but this branch can be screwy.
“Yo Love,” from Queen & Slim
Oh this is so not them.
I like it, but they do not go for this sort of stuff.
I feel like this film had to have more than just this one song. Weird that this is the only one here.
I like the slow beat of it all. Probably wouldn’t put it on my nominations list, but maybe I’d shortlist it. Not that I’m picking my own personal shortlist.
“Quezon’s Theme,” from Quezon’s Game
Can’t find this one. But trust me, not a chance it goes anywhere with the branch.
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” from Rocketman
This one’s nice. I’ve had a couple of months to listen to it. This is something I’d nominate. It’s just fun and it’s got Elton and Taron Egerton singing together. It’s nice. Not something that would really win the Oscar, but it’s cool to see it. Definitely shortlisted, probably nominated would be my guess.
“Master of Myself,” from Roll Red Roll
No clue what this movie is. Guessinga documentary, but maybe not. The song is just indie stuff you’ve heard before. 3 stars. They won’t go in for this one.
“The Song of Names (Cantor Prayer),” from The Song of Names
There are two versions of this, one without the violins. It’s… not something they’re going for
2.5 stars. Not for me at all. As they say in Blazing Saddles when Slim Pickens suggests they kill the first born male child of every household: “Too Jewish.”
I just don’t like these chant-y type songs. Any song with too religious an angle doesn’t do it for me.
“Freak of Nature,” from Spies in Disguise
Not a goddamn chance they go in for this. I think they got scared off from when Rio was one of the two nominees back in 2011.
I also don’t really hate this song. I like the use of the pigeon coos as part of the beat.
3 stars. I’m actually way more okay with this than I ever thought I’d be.
“Then There Were Two,” from Spies in Disguise
3 stars. It’s fine. Not for me. Like the other one better. This doesn’t feel like them at all.
“Unbroken,” from To Be of Service
Bon Jovi. Okay, then.
I mean, it’s gonna sound like a Bon Jovi song, so I don’t really need to listen, do I?
Vaguely spiritual, very pro-military… yeah, that feels about right. It’s the Bon Jovi I’d expect, if not the one I’d prefer I got out of this.
Still, I like his voice. I’ll go 3.5 stars, but I’ll never vote for this on my own personal ballot and I don’t think they’re going anywhere near it. Especially given that I heard the lyric ‘I’ve got this painful ringing in my ear / from an IED last night’. Not exactly befitting of an Academy Award, is it?
“High Above Water,” from Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am
Oh, this sounds nice.
She apparently wrote the songs from Clemency too. Which makes me wonder why they’re not yet online. That’s odd.
3.5 stars. I like it, doubt they shortlist it, but I guess it’s possible.
“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” from Toy Story 4
Yes they’re gonna shortlist Randy Newman. That’s an automatic. Will they vote for him… don’t know.
This sounds like the weakest of the Toy Story songs. He won for 3.
3 stars. It’s nice, but it’s just okay. It’s not special like “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” and it’s not solid like “When She Loved Me” or “We Belong Together.”
Let them shortlist it, but I’m not voting for this. It’s just the same lyric over and over.
“Bon Appetit,” from Turnover
Wait, this is a documentary about pastries? That’s awful/awesome. Oh, maybe this is a fiction film about a baker? I don’t know. Whatever, I’m here for the songs and I’ve got a ticking clock.
3 stars. Sounds fine. They won’t shortlist this.
“Little Bit of This,” from Turnover
They’re not gonna shortlist any of the songs from this movie, so we’ll just leave that as a catch-all for the rest of them. I’m just purely gonna go over them for me.
3 stars. Sounds fine, but it’s a bit too on-the-nose for cooking.
“My Silver Lining Is Overdue,” from Turnover
Oh, this is the end credits song.
It sounds like it.
It’s fiction. So we’ve found that much out.
It’s very indie. This sounds like at least two other songs on this list.
“This Is Your Day,” from Turnover
2.5 stars. Too on the nose. Not for me.
“The Ugly Truth,” from Uglydolls
This is a Jonas brother, that I know. And it sounds like someone’s trying to do Prince, which is admirable, but also not that okay unless Prince wrote it himself.
3 stars. Doubt they go for this, since you know there’s a Kelly Clarkson solo piece coming up and probably a Janelle Monae one too.
I’m not totally against it, though.
“Unbreakable,” from Uglydolls
There’s Janelle Monae. I’m all for this just because she’s singing. This is that kind of uplifting song they could go for in a vacuum. Not sure if they’re gonna go in for the film it’s in, though.
3.5 stars for me. Don’t love it, but I like Janelle Monae.
Oh, and Kelly Clarkson is in it too. Got it. They might go for this.
“Buai Laju Laju,” from Upin & Ipin: The Lone Gibbon Kris
None of these will get nominated, I think you know that from the titles.
None of these are for me.
“Keris Sakti,” from Upin & Ipin: The Lone Gibbon Kris
“Syair,” from Upin & Ipin: The Lone Gibbon Kris
Couldn’t find the last one. But I think you get the gist from the first two.
“Glasgow,” from Wild Rose
Mary Steenburgen wrote this song and the press has been all over it. This feels like a for-certain nominee and a possible winner if they can get enough steam behind it. Though we’re getting to the end of this list and all I’m seeing are Cats, Elton John and Frozen so far. This is gonna be a weak category, isn’t it?
3.5 stars. Really like this one a lot, and it fits the category.
“Inside Us All,” from Windows of the World
3 stars. Standard indie stuff. How can anyone differentiate from all the ones that sound exactly like this on this list?
“Wonder Song,” from Wonder Park
Pop music. This isn’t what they usually go for.
“Summer Song,” from Yesterday
Oh, this is pleasant. And it’s kind of from a musical? Maybe they will go for this?
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Oh boy, just as I get to this section, I got my first text that the shortlists were released. Let’s try to quickly get through this section before someone spoils it for me.
So here are the songs I’m pulling based on nothing as potentially being shortlisted:
- “Speechless,” from Aladdin
- “I Punched Keanu Reeves,” from Always Be My Maybe
- “I’m Standing with You,” from Breakthrough
- “Beautiful Ghosts,” from Cats
- “The Dead Don’t Die, “from The Dead Don’t Die
- “Into the Unknown,” from Frozen II
- “Stand Up,” from Harriet
- “Catchy Song,” from The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
- “Spirit,” from The Lion King
- “Daily Battles,” from Motherless Brooklyn
- “A Glass of Soju,” from Parasite
- “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” from Rocketman
- “High Above the Water,” from Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am
- “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” from Toy Story 4
- “Unbreakable,” from Uglydolls
- “Glasgow (No Place Like Home),” from Wild Rose
- “Summer Song,” from Yesterday
Oh shit, really? Only 17? That’s bad. I should have had like 25. That means that either I’m gonna get most of these right and it’s gonna be as weak as I suspected or there’s gonna be some weird choices on there.
But since this article is gonna basically go right into the shortlist articles I’m gonna start writing as soon as I hit publish on this one, I’m just gonna leave those 17 and tell you that I don’t really expect Uglydolls to get on and only put the “Keanu Reeves” song on as a joke. And “Summer Song” also doesn’t feel like it’ll get on either. So honestly the closer I get to getting 15 right tells you how bad a year this is for songs.
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Oh, also, since this is really all I care about, if I’m picking a category based on what I’ve listened to in this article, I’m nominating:
“I Punched Keanu Reeves,” from Always Be My Maybe
“Into the Unknown,” from Frozen II
“Daily Battles,” from Motherless Brooklyn
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” from Rocketman
“Glasgow (No Place Like Home),” from Wild Rose
There’s other stuff I liked, but I only really liked three of them, and one of them is only because it’s a jokey song. The other two are because they’re legitimate musical kinda songs. One from Frozen, which is a musical, and the other from Wild Rose, and it’s really the big musical moment of the film. So I’d rather adhere to what the category should be about than anything else.
Anyway, I probably could have spent more time on this one in terms of guessing a shortlist, but it’s out there. So we’re just gonna leave this, use this as a tool for everyone else to have opinions about what the Academy did and then look at that shortlist, which I’ll get to at some point over the next couple hours, as I amalgamate everything they’ve given us and write them up one by one.
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