With every new addition we hear in full, it seems that the Jay-Z-produced soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby gets weirder and weirder, and perhaps more disjointed. After Beyoncé and Andre 3000’s cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black” turned out to be kind of a bummer, we were hoping that Emeli Sandé’s take on Beyoncé with the Bryan Ferry Orchestra, a cover of her mega-hit “Crazy in Love,” would fare a bit better. And it does, but to be fair, expectations were pretty low after “Back to Black.”
Sandé’s vocals are fantastic, and it’s awesome that she’s on a very hyped soundtrack for a very hyped movie right now so more people are exposed to her music through it. And the orchestra, while gifted, feels a little hokey with the muted trumpet, like it’s trying real hard to set the scene for the 1920s, but oh look, it’s a contemporary pop song!
It definitely feels very Baz Luhrmann, if that makes sense—like it’s the Gatsby equivalent of the pop songs in Moulin Rouge! that were shoved into that cabaret environment. Nevertheless, it’s one of the soundtrack’s better offerings. Listen below, and then listen to two other solid covers of “Crazy in Love”—the similar-sounding Puppini Sisters version and Antony & The Johnsons’ heartbreaking ballad version.