Never underestimate the importance of a soundtrack. In this cinematic climate, where CGI must always strive to become bigger and better to quell an audience’s ever-increasing expectations – where 3D movies are exasperatingly relentless in their number – it’s all too easy to focus on the visuals. But it would be a mistake to think that what makes a great film is all in its cinematography and the performances of its lead actors. Just one good song can transform a scene or sequence into something entirely more beautiful.Songs can give meaning, or convey and sustain emotion to a strength that even the best actors can’t quite reach on their own. They can also be one of the foremost things that you take in as a viewer, fresh from the cinema.
Not everyone has the instrumental score of a classic film on their iPod, but on every MP3 player there will always be that one song or album that you just felt compelled to download, because you heard it in a film or on a TV show/advert and couldn’t get it out of your head. This list is dedicated to songs from compilation soundtracks exactly like that from the last 10(ish) years, spanning from 2003 to now.
10. Shrek 2 (2004)
Call me childish, but the soundtrack to the first sequel of DreamWorks’ most popular franchise is incredibly catchy. In fact, in my asking around on social media as research for this article, a surprising amount of people cited Shrek 2 as one of their favourite soundtracks. And actually, thinking about it, it shouldn’t be surprising at all. Animation is one of the most joy-inspiring mediums of film there is, popular with children and adults alike, and one part of its magic is in the songs it chooses to exemplify the fantastical stories it tells. Disney films, for instance, are notorious for their infectiously heart-warming tunes – look at Frozen and The Lion King, as just two examples of how music can transform an animated film into a phenomenon, worthy of Oscars and Broadway glory.
While the Shrek 2 soundtrack may not be as popular as that, its covers of classic songs such as Bowie’s ‘Changes’ and the Bonnie Tyler epic, ‘Holding out for a Hero’ are wonderfully attuned hallmarks to the film’s adventurous plot. The song that is the most memorable however has to be Counting Crow’s ‘Accidentally in Love’ – an Oscar nominee for Best Song in 2004, as well as the perfect song to convey the inner beauty of Shrek and Fiona’s unlikely romance.