Music Inspired by the Film Roma

Various Artists
Music Inspired by the Film Roma

You might not watch Alfonso Cuarón's deeply personal story inspired by his family's housekeeper in 1970s Mexico City and think of El-P or Billie Eilish. But this genre-hopping compilation is meant to invoke the spirit, if not the letter, of the largely scoreless Oscar-nominated film. Only a handful of the songs are in Spanish or feel like they could have come from the era itself—Jessie Reyez's ballad “Con el Viento” among them—while Ibeyi's “Cleo Who Takes Care of You” is the exception that overtly references the plot. What binds the songs together, even from seemingly incongruent artists, is a hazy, dreamlike tension—from Beck's majestic cover of the 1982 Colourbox song “Tarantula” to Patti Smith's reprise of her own “Wing” from 1996. But the biggest revelation may be Cuarón's teenage daughter Bu, whose “PSYCHO” is pure contemporary pop, positioned perfectly alongside Billie Eilish's skittish “When I Was Older.”

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