Various Artists, “Birds of Prey: The Album” (Atlantic Records and Warner Bros.)
The all-female roster assembled for “Birds of Prey: The Album” represent uniquely different worlds, and a variety of music styles, but their message on the movie soundtrack is singular: DON’T MESS WITH US.
It’s a perfectly on-brand message from the girl gang, as they channel the explosiveness, unpredictability and badassery of Harley Quinn, the unhinged DC character, whose romance with the Joker has ended just as “Birds of Prey,” the film, begins.
Naturally there’s a breakup anthem (with a twist of vengeance, of course), by way of the Charlotte Lawrence single “Jokes on You.” Then there is “Smile” by English singer Maisie Peters, whose sweet voice delivers an awesome dose of Quinn-inspired communication: “…got bridges to burn, and places to run/yeah this smile is a loaded gun.”
Lyrics toe the line between confident and out of control, with Megan Thee Stallion exhibiting both on the single “Diamonds,” which also features Normani. “He think it’s cute that I know how to shoot/Don’t you get scared if I point it at you,” Stallion raps.
The boldness continues with Doja Cat on the frenetic “Boss B(asterisk)tch,” released as a single, along with Saweetie and newcomer Galxara’s alluring “Sway with Me.” And Halsey goes big, raising her voice over the industrial sounds of “Experiment on Me” — the result is interesting.
The in-your-face energy of the 15-song soundtrack doesn’t stop, making it just the companion piece that “Birds of Prey” calls for.