Magic City

Music by: Various Artists

Distributed by: Silva Screen Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            In Magic City, the new hit series on STARZ set in Miami‘s Miramar Playa Hotel near the beginning of 1959, hotelier Ike Evans (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is trying to find new ways to finance his dream.  He sells his soul to mob boss Ben “The Butcher” Diamond (Danny Huston).  While his former showgirl wife (Olga Kurylenko) and his kids think he is an honorable man, Ike finds himself in deep with the most dangerous criminal in town.

            The music of Magic City features a number of star acts, including Bo Diddley, Patti Austin, Frankie Avalon, The Diamonds, Tito Puente and more.  As the show is set in 1959 Miami, the music reflects both the time period and the ethnicity of the area.  The album opens with Bo Diddley’s rocking blues hit, I’m a Man, followed by the smooth vocals of Patti Austin as she sings the love song Tenderly.  In Venus, Frankie Avalon follows calling out to the goddess of love to send someone like her to call his own.  Avalon is followed by The Diamonds and their popular dance hit The Stroll.  We see the first nod to the ethnicity area in the fifth track with Tito Puente’s Mambo Gallego.

            At the half-mark, we reach a blues track by Albert King called Drowning on Dry Land, a nod to Ike Evans’ dangerous situation.  This is followed by Johnny Otis’ fun hit Willie and the Hand Jive Julie London is next with her rendition of the Jonny Mathis hit, Chances Are.  Next is Beny More with Mi Chiquita Quiere Guarachar, another nod to the rising Spanish population in Miami.  We wind things up with the jazz track The Sidewinder by Lee Morgan and Moon Over Miami, a love song by Ray Charles.

            The entire Magic City Soundtrack is a whole lot of fun.  I loved listening to the oldies that give this show some flare.  I have only two negative remarks about this album.  First, no way Julie London was ever going to come close to greatness with Chances Are.  She just doesn’t have the pipes or the believability that Jonny Mathis brought to the tune.  My second complaint is at the length of The Sidewinder.  Don’t get me wrong, the song is one of those jazz greats, but ten and a half minutes is a bit long for any instrumental and I think they could have cut The Sidewinder short, giving the album enough time for one more late 50s hit.

            Whoever is selecting the music for Magic City is doing an excellent job so far.  The Magic City Soundtrack is highly enjoyable and a great find for any fan of late 50s music.  At just $9.00US, this album is a steal and well worth checking out!


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