When Annie Clark was mixing last year’s critically acclaimed Masseduction, she cut another version of the same album that she’s since dubbed MassEducation. The reworked LP, which will come out on October 12th, features only her on vocals and Thomas Bartlett on piano. She described the record in a statement as “two dear friends playing songs together with the kind of secret understanding one can only get through endless nights in New York City.”
I loved MassEduction, but the rawness of just voice and piano in this version of the album takes the music to a whole new level for me.
The film’s official soundtrack is similarly old-fashioned in its approach, even as its credits include a host of modern songwriters from the pop, country, and rock spheres. Along with Gaga and Cooper, there’s contributions from Jason Isbell, Willie Nelson’s son Lukas, Mark Ronson, Miike Snow frontman Andrew Wyatt, behind-the-scenes pop wizards Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter, the list goes on. The songs fall into a few distinct silos—blaring blues-rockers, tender acoustic ballads, anthemic torch songs, and robotic electro-pop—and save for a digital flourish or two on the pop songs that make up much of the film’s back half, there’s very little here that would’ve sounded out of place on blockbuster film soundtracks of decades past.
I am really enjoying this album. I really like hearing an artist stretch beyond their usual sound, while Bradley Cooper sounds a little like Chris Cornell without the screaming.