After teasing it on social media earlier in the week, U2 has released the full-length “Your Song Saved My Life,” an original song the group and recorded for “Sing 2,” an animated musical set to hit theaters Dec. 22.
Although the new song doesn’t represent any vast jump in genre, U2 fans will recognize it as a departure from the group’s usual style, starting off with a gospel-pop style piano and elevating into orchestral accompaniment before wrapping up with a falsetto chorus and not many guitars in sight.
Several U2 catalog songs, including “Joshua Tree” favorites and “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of,” also appear in the movie, which has Bono taking on a lead voice role for the first time, envisioned as a lion. His character, Clay Calloway, is a legendary rock star who’s lived in seclusion since a tragedy 15 years earlier, and is now being coaxed out of retirement by the fledgling cast of a stage musical being mounted in a Las Vegas-like — but, of course, strictly animal-inhabited — resort city.
The song occurs briefly during the movie as actor/fans try to persuade the reluctant Calloway that his music has, in fact, saved lives, then plays out in full leading into and during the end credits.
“Your song saved my life / I don’t sing it just so i can get by,” goes the chorus. “Won’t you hear me when i tell you darling /I sing it to survive.” Among the pensive lyrics of the verses leading into the uplifting refrain: “Are you a stranger in your own life / What are you hiding behind those eyes / There’s no one looking for you there.” The song’s yearning is emphasized in the line: “You’re looking for a miracle, the kind that science can’t explain.”
The song is expected to be put into contention for Oscar consideration. If it did get a nomination, it would be the third time at bat for Bono and the band. They’ve been up twice: in 2003 with “The Hands That Built America” from “Gangs of New York,” and in 2014 for “Ordinary Love” form the documentary “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.”
Fellow musicians Pharrell Williams, Halsey and Tori Kelly have roles in the Universal release, along with Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton and Bobby Cannavale.
The Republic Records soundtrack was also announced Thursday, with a release date just before the film comes out, on Dec. 17. A full track list:
- Your Song Saved My Life (From Sing 2) – U2
- Let’s Go Crazy – Tori Kelly, Taron Egerton, Reese Witherspoon & Nick Kroll
- Can’t Feel My Face – Kiana Ledé
- Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John
- Heads Will Roll – Scarlett Johansson
- Holes – Mercury Rev
- Bad Guy – Billie Eilish
- Sing 2 Audition Medley – Sing 2 Cast
- Where the Streets Have No Name – Tori Kelly, Taron Egerton, Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon & Nick Kroll
- Higher Love – Kygo x Whitney Houston
- There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back – Taron Egerton & Tori Kelly
- Suéltate (From Sing 2) – Sam i feat. Anitta, BIA & Jarina De Marco
- Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of – Scarlett Johansson
- Soy Yo (Sing 2 Mix) – Bomba Estéro
- A Sky Full of Stars – Taron Egerton
- Could Have Been Me – Halsey
- I Say a Little Prayer – Tori Kelly & Pharrell Williams
- Break Free – Reese Witherspoon & Nick Kroll
- I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – Scarlett Johansson & Bono
- Tippy Toes – Adam Buxton with Fancy Feelings feat. DSCOSTU (bonus track)
- Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Keke Palmer feat. Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton, Reese Witherspoon & Tori Kelly (bonus track)
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