Artist – Ewan McGregor & Nicole Kidman
Album – Moulin Rouge! Music from Baz Luhrmann’s Film
Year – 2001
Genre – Soundtrack
Soundtrack madness part 3! I wouldn’t consider most romantic movies my thing (though I certainly don’t hate them.) Moulin Rouge is different for me though for a couple of reasons, the first being that the story in this movie is captivating and very touchingly presented. The second reason would be the music. The movie, being a musical, revolves around the strength of its music to carry it, and boy does it succeed in that. The leads do a fantastic job at singing, especially Ewan McGregor…well I’ll get back to him in a second. The movie could be considered mostly a “jukebox musical” in that the songs they use are mostly pop and rock songs adapted into the story. “Come What May”, however, is an original song, and it’s hands down one of the best on the soundtrack.
After a short, glittery intro that sets the romantic mood, Ewan McGregor begins his verse of the song. I say this every time I here the song: he should sing in more movies! His voice is smooth and gentle, and extremely melodic. It’s not like a lot of other actors that sing in films, in fact it’s almost the opposite. His voice isn’t pretentious or over produced. It’s very honest and very powerful. When he hits the line
“Listen to my heart, can you hear it sing
Telling me to give you everything”
I get goosebumps. The song does such a good job at building up the verse to that line, and he delivers it with a supreme amount of feeling and emotion. The man is in love, and you believe him!
The first chorus is also just McGregor, and by this time the synths and strings have combined with drums to create a swelling effect that he uses to great effect. He belts it out, and his wonderful voice mixed with the insanely catchy melody of the chorus should silence those that think Obi-Wan Kenobi can’t sing.
Nicole Kidman’s verse is a bit more subdued, but her gentility is the quality that makes her verse contrast so well with McGregor’s. When the harmonies kick in during this verse, it gets you ramped up for the duet that’s to come.
The second chorus sounds great, and with harmonies fully in place, you can really hear the passionate interplay between the two voices over a gloriously textured and lush backdrop of strings, synths, and drums. McGregor especially really makes it count, and he really gives it all he’s got and you can pick up on that. You feel the passion with him as he expresses his love. Kidman too, to some extent, but she is a bit weaker on the delivery.
As their harmonies change and dance around each other, you get caught up in the sweeping nature of the song, and its hard not to smile as the song builds for one final chorus…
…which is absolutely glorious. Every instrument just becomes bombastic and all encompassing, and the vocals soar to the heavens and intertwine beautifully. It rises like a tidal wave and crashes like the same. It’s like swimming in an ocean of harmony, melody, and romance. And who doesn’t want that?
If you haven’t seen Moulin Rouge, do it. You’re missing out big time. But regardless if you have or haven’t, this song deserves a spot on your playlist just due to what a damn good love song it is. The lyrics really capture the essence of how you view life differently when you love someone, and that’s a sentiment that I enjoy seeing in love songs.
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