12 Years a Slave (Music From and Inspired by the Motion Picture)
12 Years a Slave is the 2013 British-American historical drama film based on the 1853 autobiography by Solomon Northup, a free black man who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C., and sold into slavery in 1841 and who worked on plantations in the state of Louisiana for 12 years before his rescue and release. This soundtrack features songs of freedom inspired by his story. New songs from John Legend, Chris Cornell with Joy Williams of The Civil Wars, Alicia Keys, Alabama Shakes, Gary Clark Jr., and others—plus two brief tracks of the original score from Hans Zimmer and Americana-instrumental work from Tim Fain—all speak to the project's importance. “Roll Jordan Roll” features John Legend at his most solemn and austere, with just a vocal choir for support, while the version from Topsy Chapman and Chiwetel Ejiofor is played as a hand-clapping field holler. Alabama Shakes’ “Driva Man” works with little more than voice, saxophone, and a pounding beat. Alicia Keys’ “Queen of the Field (Patsey’s Song)” is a somber, extended piece that’s worth its slow procession.