Battle of the Sexes

Composed By: Nicholas Britell

Songs By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Sony Classical

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Battle of the Sexes is a film based on the infamous 1973 tennis match between reigning women's world champion tennis star Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-men's tennis champion Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell).  Billed as the Battle of the Sexes, it became one of the most watched televised sports event of all time.  But as the on-air rivalry unfolded, the two were in the midst of their own very personal battles.  Billie Jean King was not only championing for women's equality, but also coming to terms with her own sexuality, while Bobby Riggs was battling gambling demons and his failing marriage to his wife Priscilla (Elisabeth Shue).

                The Battle of the Sexes Soundtrack features songs by Tommy James and The Shondells, Elton John, George Harrison and Sara Bareilles and musical score by Nicholas Britell.  An Academy Award-nominated composer, pianist and producer, Nicholas Britell began his career in scoring in 2009 with New York, I Love You.  Since then, he has created musical scores for such notable films as the Seventh Fire, The Big Short, Free State of Jones, Moonlight and Ocean's Eight.

                The score of Battle of the Sexes is orchestral, featuring a great deal of jazz.  Songs on the album, with the exception of If I Dare by Sara Bareilles, are songs that were popular in the time frame of the story.  Jazz is used as a backdrop to the televised battle of words and the actual match between King and Riggs.  Pianos and other orchestral instruments are used for the dramatic moments in their personal lives.

                There was quite a bit of music to be had on the Battle of the Sexes Soundtrack Ė twenty-six tracks and over an hourís worth of music.  Some of it is rather enjoyable and Sara Bareillesí song for the film is a nice, uplifting track.  That being said, halfway through the soundtrack, I found myself bored.  While I have no doubt that the score created by Nicholas Britell matches the story and visuals of the film perfectly, I have my doubts about this albumís sales.  Without enough songs from the era to supplement the score, I think only diehard fans of the film will actually purchase the soundtrack.


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