Tarantino is known for avoiding scores for his films and his ability to create the perfect soundtrack himself. His western/slave trade film brings together a mix of western movie classics with some original songs from the likes of Rick Ross and John Legend. The western selections are generally high quality and songs such as ‘Django’ and ‘Sister Sara’s Theme’ are emotive even outwith the film context. ‘Freedom’ by Anthony Hamilton featuring Elayna Boynton is one of the original selections the album offers, and the song features great vocals and the slow beat of the song captures the mix of themes of the film well but remains firmly modern.
The modern selections do a surprisingly good job at fitting in to the album and few songs feel out of place. ‘100 Black Coffins’ by Rick Ross may use a modern rap and beat but the effective use of whistling and humming in the background keeps it dark and firmly grounded in Django’s story. “Ancora Qui” is a new spaghetti western style song and while not the best on the album does capture the feel of a western. John Legend’s ‘Who Did That To You?’ is a stand out song from the album, cool and collected it smoothly sums up Django. Jim Croce’s ‘I Got A Name’ does stand out against the themes of the album but is a good song and may make more sense in the context of the film. Django Unchained soundtrack features all the makings of a great soundtrack and the new songs make it well worth a listen.