Sing Street is a beautiful coming-of-age story with a music-based core

Chris DiLullo, Managing Editor

Sing Street was one of 2016’s top movies, yet went mostly unnoticed by the general public. A British movie about teenage boys forming a rock band in order to impress their lead singer’s crush, it’s moving, funny and ultimately inspiring. However, it fell under the radar upon its release, making under $4 million in its United States run despite its 8.0 score on IMDb, a 95 percent critic score and a 92 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and a Golden Globe Nomination for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.

What makes this movie truly special is its usage of music. The film is driven by its soundtrack, an album with a number of original songs written especially for the movie. It has songs that range from being soul-searching to an anthem that appeals to the ‘80s child in everyone.

“The Riddle of the Model” is the first original song on the soundtrack and presents the ‘80s vibe you’d expect just from looking at the album cover. While being creative and humorous in its lack of quality, it serves as the launching point for the band in the movie and helps the album tell a story alongside the film itself.

“Up” is next and shows the depth and weight that drive the film. One of my personal favorites of the soundtrack, it captures one of the essences of Sing Street in two minutes and 43 seconds: the drive of one teenager on his quest to capture the heart of his crush. It’s musical, catchy and crafted with love and heart, representative of the film as a whole.

“Drive It Like You Stole It” is the anthem of Sing Street and rightfully so: it’s great. The song captures another focus of the film: rebellion and individualism. The bandmates are teenagers; they don’t want to be held back by their parents or by society anymore. They don’t want to have to conform; they want to live out their dreams. “Drive It Like You Stole It” is an ode to every teenager that has ever felt this way. It’s very catchy, but the message that lies at its heart is what makes this song such a smash hit both inside and outside of the movie.

“Brown Shoes” is the follow-up to “Drive It Like You Stole It,” a sequel in many ways. Once more highlighting rebellion and individualism, it symbolizes the band’s rebellious nature with the heightened rock n’ roll style alongside the main character’s desire to stand out and be different to impress his crush. It’s not as effective in portraying its message as its predecessor and isn’t crafted as well, but it’s fun and easy-going music that makes its audience want to stand up and dance.

“Go Now” serves as the conclusion of the soundtrack while being the most emotional and most effective song on it. Sung by Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, the song enters at the film’s final scene and captures the pulse of Sing Street perfectly. The message and overall theme of the movie is prevalent throughout the song, and its melodic and intelligent composition make it a special song.

Sing Street is both standout and an excellent film in many different ways, but its magnetic soundtrack sets it apart from its competition as one of the best coming-of-age films in recent years. Find Sing Street on Netflix and see what makes it so special for yourself.