One of my musical passions is Music Supervision, which is finding and clearing music for use with visual media. Not only is this a way to get introduced to new music, but it also can cause you to develop new emotions for songs you've heard dozens of times before. We all have experienced great music moments in Film, TV, Ads, and Trailers that have stayed with us for years. I have analyzed a few moments below as I continue to study the art of music supervision and try to bring that next memorable music experience to you!
This Is Us
One of my favorite placements was at the end of the episode of This Is Us, Season 3, Ep 13. It features Lianne La Havas covering the classic Aretha Franklin song Say a Little Prayer. This was my first time hearing the cover and think that this stripped down acoustic version matched perfectly with Beth reclaiming her love for dance. What I liked even more about the choice is that the episode opened with the original version, featuring Beth’s mom doing what she loved, which was being a school administrator. I think this choice tied the character’s identities together, showing how alike and yet how different they are. This episode started with a timeless classic and ended with a modern retelling that paid homage to the original but was beautifully unique as well.
If I had to choose a replacement song for this scene, it would be In a Sentimental Mood by Ledisi. This jazz classic cover conveys both the excitement of returning to the dance studio as well as the uncertain emotions of returning to something after such a long time. I've paired the song to the scene in the second video.
This series had several moments that stood out to me over the course of the season. One of these scenes was in Season 1, Ep 3. This scene features the main characters exorcising an evil spirit from their house. Once all seems lost and one of the characters becomes possessed, the music cue Satan, We’re Gonna Tear Your Kingdom Down by Shirley Caesar begins. The song’s simple, chant like structure is very effective for the scene as well as the lyrics. It matches perfectly with the visual of Letty joining hands with the victims and exorcising the evil spirit. I think this was the perfect choice for the scene. Warning, the video has graphic content.
This scene in Joker was originally scored by Hildur Guðnadóttir and reflects the ominous tone of the riot and the rise of chaos. If I were to replace the score with a song, it would be What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. Throughout the movie, there were several uses of classic songs from the likes of Fred Astare, Frank Sinatra, and Nat King Cole and this song blends in well with the others. I also think that the bright, happy mood of the song is the perfect juxtaposition to what is being shown on screen. I also think that the lyrics may describe exactly what the Joker is feeling, as the mounting chaos is his version of a wonderful world. I believe that the song perfectly encapsulates this scene which ultimately shows the character transforming from an ordinary man into a legendary super villain. The second video contains a rough edit of the song replacement. I particularly love how you hear the sirens blaring as the song ends and fades out.