Courtesy of Republic Records

The Music of 50 Shades of Grey

22:00 March 03, 2015
By: Natalie Adams

What We Hear is Not What We See: Comparing The 50 Shades of Grey Soundtrack and Movie

The highly anticipated movie adaption of the E.L. James' bestseller, "50 Shades of Grey," was released last weekend, nabbing first place in the box office and loads of criticism. Critics were troubled by the unhealthy image of BDSM (an abbreviation for bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism) portrayed in the film. Alternatively, the star-studded soundtrack captures the essence of the film’s erotic nature without promoting an unhealthy relationship. predicts the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack’s acclaim to be comparable to last year’s Frozen. The motion picture soundtrack blends classic and contemporary styles with veteran stars like Frank Sinatra and Beyoncé and up-and-coming acts like Jessie Ware to create a collection that is both pleasing and artistic.

The movie starts off with Annie Lennox’s version of “I Put a Spell On You,” an elegant and retro piece that musically sets the tone of Christian Grey’s arousal. Anastasia Steele’s rebuttal could be embodied in Laura Welsh’s “Undiscovered,” as she is unsure about a new bondage relationship, with a call out for human connection.

Turning to a lighter note, Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do” and Sia’s “Salted Wound” show the lighter and loving side to Christian and Ana’s relationship that some of the edgier songs may darken. Beyoncé remixed a few hits off her last album that really gives the listener the feel of the Red Room of Pain.

Straying from reality, the fiction book portrays more of pathology rather than a path to pleasure. The conflict of the story is that Ana loves Christian, but does not want to be his submissive; and Christian loves Ana, but is turned on by violent sex. The story ignores the healthy and ethical ways of consensually combining pain and pleasure that experienced BDSM preach that includes self-knowledge, communication skills, and emotional maturity. At points, Ana is shown to be very uncomfortable, to the point of tears, with the sex and too shy to speak her mind, giving consent to Christian because she is afraid of losing him.

Experienced BDSM practioners are troubled by the impact the movie and novel can have impacting sexual norms with over 100 million copies sold worldwide and a box office bestseller.  

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