Besides the score, a song can help sum up the overall plot of a movie that is both lyrically, and emotionally accurate. It heightens the mood, and increases recognition for the artist. These songs are not all associated with awards, but shows how it fits well with the story.
"Cry Little Sister" by The Anix - The Lost Boys.
Gerard McCann's eerie opening and electric guitar riffs provides a dark tone for the vampire world and the vocals echo with pride and power. It's like being in the tribe filling your spine with lustful vengeance.
"Miss Misery" by Elliott Smith - Good Will Hunting.
Not only is the song about Matt Damon's character, but it's also about the singer/songwriter himself. The foreshadowing in the lyrics is how they both embrace sadness and liberation as a resonance, disguised by the wonderful acoustic guitar, soft drum beats, and background vocals.
"Think You Can Wait" by The National - Win Win.
This indie band shows the aching pain of succeeding. In the movie, it's about going all out and knowing that you own the place you're in, weather your mind is messed up by constant struggle for determination, or keeping pace of how special you can be. The ambient drum beats and piano cords provide sounds of exhaustion and temporary freedom.
"Lose Yourself" by Eminem - 8 Mile.
This is a national anthem of staying in a moment in time in which you love and worked hard for. The lyrics are fast and honest, and the dark background orchestra mixed with the nerve wreaking beats give a sense of being on stage in an underground club, or better yet, in front of the world itself.
"Somewhere Out There" by Linda Ronstadt and James Horner - An American Tail.
Going on the kid friendly side, this song is loosely based off of Beethoven and describes the lonesome, magical feeling of being in a different place. There's a quiet submission in Horner's compensation while the lyrics ascends with fulfillment and beautiful wonder.
"Mad World" by Gary Jules - Donnie Darko.
I'm conservative when it comes to song remakes and how they're used for movies because I usually want the original artists to add their interpretation, but Jules' version with the soft piano and ambient sounds add numbness to the topic about death. It's slow and the lyrics are symbolized even greater on ignorance and oblivion.
"Jai Ho" by A.R. Rahman - Slumdog Millionaire.
"O...Saya" is also another amazing track, but it's the ending song that gets all the earnings. The atmospheric arousal and the cultural appreciation from one of India's fine composers (and singers) add an uproar of achieving destiny and winning.
"If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out by Cat Stevens - Harold and Maude.
I've been seeing such unfounded commentary by people today about Cat and this song. I don't see what's so wrong about this because it's about being different and choosing to live another life that's more meaningful. Seriously. It's old, but it has that uplifting tone for Harold and Maude. That's why it's a classic.
(Don't You) Forget About Me by Simple Minds - The Breakfast Club.
The song is about finding innocence and love in a rigid class-based society. "As you walk on by" is a way of ignoring or moving on from a hard life as a teenager. The pop rock melodies also have a sound of realizing all the lessons learned from people who may not have had looked up to you and walking out in the world remembering all the interesting times spent.
"Is Your Love Strong Enough?" by How To Destroy Angels - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
The song is a conclusion to the opening cover "Immigrant Song" by Karen O, and is the biggest highlight of the movie. However, the closing song "Is Your Love Strong Enough?" sums up the whole partner-in-crime scenario. It's somber melody adds the emotional thoughts of the main character Lisbeth and the lyrics have a conquering feat after fighting rejection and loneliness, or going through a rough adventure.
What are your favorite original songs from movies?