Baz Luhrmann is a director who knows the importance of music in movies; Strictly Ballroom re-popularised “Love Is In The Air”, Romeo + Juliet featured 1990s staples such as Garbage and Radiohead and Moulin Rouge showed just how effective a good cover can be.

This soundtrack is no less impressive, and having been produced by Jay-Z it hardly comes as a surprise that there are some pretty popular names on there. The songs are jazz-influenced, big and flashy, like the film, yet features just enough eclecticism to appeal to a wide audience.

Jay-Z’s “100$ Bill” features his motor-mouth styles and sparse beats, and its speech grabs from the movie makes it the perfect opener.

There are some low points – the overly commercial, top 40-style tracks from Fergie and appropriately sample Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean A Thing” and Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang Bang” respectively, but go quickly downhill from there.

A standalone highlight is easily Jack White’s gut wrenching rendition of U2’s “Love Is Blindness”. He brings another ten levels of heartache to the 1991 song, screaming his lungs out and pulling back in equal measure. It’s as heavy as the record gets and a welcome outburst in an otherwise dance-inducing catalogue.

André 3000 and Beyonce’s cover of Amy Winehouse’s revered “Back To Black” is another brilliant tribute. They nail the intent of the track and feel of the soundtrack whilst still bringing a whole new gritty world to the song. Dripping in downtempo trap beats, Andre 3000’s deep voice pierces the air and Beyonce is her usual cool, sensual self. It works so well as a duet it’s hard to believe that’s not how it was originally written.

Brian Ferry’s jazzy reworking of his own hit, “Love Is The Drug”, is perfectly suited. His newfound spooky, subdued vocals are captivating against a honky tonk rhythm.

Love Pierce Brothers?

Get the latest Pierce Brothers news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more

It’s exciting to hear new material from Sia and this emotive slow burner, “Kill And Run”, harks back to her style that fans first fell in love with. It’s not the only feminine ballad on the album though, with a classic Florence and the Machine belter, “Over The Love” and an aptly titled number from Lana Del Rey, “Young And Beautiful”.

The Great Gatsby soundtrack has been the subject of much hype so there will no doubt be inevitable disappointment. Regardless, in true Luhrmann style, it’s full of inventive covers, varied genres and one hell of a guest list.

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine