Lately there seems to be no shortage of TV shows that churn out covers of well-loved songs, from Glee to Smash to American Idol to the recently canceled The Sing-Off. Soon joining that group is the movie Pitch Perfect, which rolls into theaters next week.
Pitch Perfect presents an edgier-than-Glee, college-set story of a cappella competition, starring Anna Kendrick as Beca, a freshman at fictional Barden University. After reluctantly joining the school’s all-girls a cappella group, the Bellas, Beca spices up the group’s decidedly old school repertoire with some remixes and mash-ups.
The Bellas’ shift from square to hip — plus the music supplied by fellow a cappella groups, including Barden’s all-boys group, the Treblemakers — gave music supervisors Julianne Jordan and Julia Michels the chance to pack a variety of songs into the film, from The Bangles’ “Eternal Flame” to Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.”
A cappella music was new territory for Jordan and Michels, but they hired some experts very familiar with that world to arrange the film’s music. Among the talents who took instrument-backed pop hits and transformed them into vocals-only arrangements for Pitch Perfect were Ed Boyer, who arranged the music for Glee’s Warblers, and Deke Sharon, considered the father of contemporary a cappella. Both are alums of the popular Tufts University group, the Beelzebubs.
Here EW debuts a song from Pitch Perfect‘s soundtrack, a mash-up of Bruno Mars’ “Just The Way You Are” and Nelly’s “Just A Dream.”
The song is performed by Kendrick and the Bellas, arranged by Ali Dee Theodore (whose writing credits include songs by Mary J. Blige and Shakira) and Broadway musical writer Tom Kitt.
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