The Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack, much like the movie, has faced harsh criticism. These perspectives, however, fail to acknowledge or accept Fifty Shades for what it is and what it was created to be: a guilty pleasure.
While the album will not leave you in awe of an artist’s musical talent or cause you to analyze politically significant lyrics, it succeeds in what it sets out to do—providing listeners with a musical representation of the dramatic, luxurious and sensual romance displayed in the films.
Fifty Shades Freed features pop, feel-good romantic songs, such as the album’s first song “Capital Letters” by Hailee Steinfeld and the chart-rising duet “For You” by Liam Payne and Rita Ora.
The album has been critiqued specifically for its basic and redundant lyrics; however, that is exactly what makes these tracks quintessential on the Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack. They are catchy and easy to sing along to.
Particularly in “For You,” the lines, “Been breaking for a lifetime for ya / Wasn’t lookin’ for love till I found ya” repeat multiple times, and as the chorus swells, so does the listener’s anticipation. The song’s positive, upbeat attitude is so contagious that listeners likely can’t help but dance or sing along themselves.
Many of the tracks are geared toward romance, but of course, Fifty Shades Freed has its fair share of sexual tension. Tracks like “Heaven” by Julia Michaels and “High” by Whethan and Dua Lipa give listeners the erotic excitement the soundtrack’s franchise promises.
The song “Heaven” specifically is full of breathy lyrics and sexual innuendos. Michaels sings, “They say all good boys go to heaven, but bad boys bring heaven to you.” This line seems to sum up the franchise quite nicely—while it’s almost cringe-worthy, you can’t help but love it and wish you came up with those lyrics yourself.
Furthermore, Fifty Shades Freed reexplores the classics by featuring covers. For example, Jessie J’s cover of “I Got You (I Feel Good)” by James Brown is completely reinvented, while still keeping the old-school vibe through the chorus of trumpets and Jessie J’s sultry singing.
Overall, Fifty Shades Freed delivers in all the ways it has to. Listeners likely aren’t expecting—or wanting—complex lyrics and messages out of Fifty Shades Freed. Instead, the album offers a unique perspective on sex, romance and movie scoring.
It is a well-known fact that the Fifty Shades franchise is not perfect. The movie plot has major issues, lacks character development and most of all fails to adequately address important sexual and romantic issues considering the political climate. Viewers are not ignorant to these problems, but choose to accept and enjoy the films despite their flaws.
The Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack seems to be the same way. While this album isn’t groundbreaking in terms of music production and lyric-writing, it provides its own unique advantages.
The songs on the soundtrack feature simple sing-along lyrics, irritatingly catchy beats and revisit classic love songs with covers.
Fifty Shades Freed will leave listeners daydreaming about a movie version of themselves being whisked away on a private jet by their own personal Mr. Grey and not feeling guilty about it for a second.