La La Land: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Various Artists

If the annoyingly beautiful Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling aren’t enough to draw you to the big screen for the upcoming release of La La Land, the third movie from Whiplash writer/director Damien Chazelle, then you’d be wise to go purely for the tunes. The comedy-drama plot follows a musician (Gosling) and an aspiring actress (Stone) who meet and fall in love in the City of Angels, so it would have been easy for Chazelle to press the Hollywood default button and soundtrack the movie with quirky indie or coffee-table soul. Instead, the director turned to former Harvard room-mate Justin Hurwitz to write the songs and score the moonlit romance (as he had done for the 2014 Oscar-winning Whiplash). Dancing and singing their way across the screen like Astaire and Rogers, the two stars do an admirable job with their numbers, especially when performing together on the charming duet A Lovely Night. Soul man John Legend also joins the cast, with the uptempo Start a Fire.