"Desperation" from 20 Feet from Stardom (Judith Hill)
I wasn't as won over as most were by the typicality of this music doc, but I can't deny it's got a terrific soundtrack. The piece-de-resistance is Judith Hill's soulful ode to all the brilliant artists out there who never made it big because they just didn't have the drive to do so.
"Happy" from Despicable Me 2 (Pharrell Williams)
Okay, I'll give Despicable Me 2 this one. Granted, the insane amount of media exposure helps, but it's hard not to let this infectious song work its bubblegum magic on you.
"Do You Want to Build a Snowman?", Frozen (Kristen Anderson- & Robert Lopez)
More so than any other number in the movie, it takes full advantage of the potential of the musical genre, using its medium to elegantly define character, progress story, and evoke the passage of time. Remarkably moving in its quietness and simplicity.
"Let It Go" from Frozen
(Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez)
A hair-raising power anthem that celebrates the liberation of embracing your identity, and one that emphatically sings to the film's subtext of gay repression. Even if you don't care for that interpretation, it's still a helluva showstopper. Menzel crushes it. Naturally.
"Over the Love" from The Great Gatsby (Florence Welch, Stuart Hammond,
Kid Harpoon, SBTRKT)"Over the Love"'s use in the actual film is so inconsequential that I was tempted to opt for Lana Del Rey's love theme "Young and Beautiful" instead. But I find that this song's haunting melody and poetic allusions to the themes and symbols of the novel linger more in the back of my mind. Great sense of build, too.
"Young and Beautiful" from The Great Gatsby (Lana Del Rey, Rick Nowels)"The Moon Song" from Her (Karen O, Spike Jonze)
"I See Fire" from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Ed Sheeran)
"You and I Ain't Nothin' No More" from Lee Daniels' The Butler (Lenny Kravitz)
"Ordinary Love" from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (U2)