REVIEW: Urban Hymn – Official Film Soundtrack

Today I will review the brand new soundtrack from a feature film starring Shirley Henderson and Letitia Wright called ‘Urban Hymn’.

The album plays host to a diverse range of artists such as The Clash, Darrell Banks, TZY, Tinchy Stryder and the films very own Urban Hymn Choir featuring solos from actress Letitia Wright. The politically charged compilation which arrived on 28 October 2016 carries a determined strength to make a change in the world.

Letitia Wright, Guyana born and selected as one of BAFTAS Breakthrough Brits 2015, not only puts on an impressive performance acting, but steals the show with her heartfelt voice. Previously known for her roles in Channel 4’s Top Boy and Cucumber, the ‘Urban Hymn’ soundtrack plays home to Wright’s vocal debut as she joins the choir singing modern-classic such as UB40’s Don’t Break My Heart.

‘Urban Hymn’, directed by Michael Caton-Jones, is a profound coming of age drama, about a young offender, Jamie, played by Letitia Wright, whose life is tainted by unfortunate events following on from her mother’s death at an early age. The film is set amongst the terrifying 2011 British summer riots in which many young adults had a part in. Shirley Henderson plays the role of Kate, an inspiring care worker who gently convinces Jamie to use her voice to overcome the hardships, thus joining the Urban Hymn Choir.

One of the key tracks sung by Letitia Wright & The Urban Choir is a cover of Standing In The Right Place previously by a anthemic, melody-driven UK rock band called Belarus who feature throughout the soundtrack. The director of ‘Urban Hymn’, Michael Caton-Jones, was said to fall in love with lead singer’s, Lee Alder, powerful, searing vocals that were able to elevate music to emotive places and made it the perfect fit for his upcoming film.

The soundtrack features I Keep Faith by Billy Bragg that highlights “you need a bit of courage to go against the grain”. Musician Billy Bragg plays an eminent role in the film playing himself and using his real-life initiative, the Jail Guitar Doors within the story to try to stimulate creativity and give the youth a way of escaping their negative energy when incarcerated. Bragg provides guitars to prisons and teaches music lessons within jails to help with the inmate’s rehabilitation.

In between the belting tracks from the choir, we are also treated to a really cool and funk driven track (which gives a feel of Bruno Mars) from Jamie Joseph with his song ‘Faithful’. The soundtrack brings together rock, pop, hip hop, choral and old school into one playlist which makes it a perfect movie soundtrack.

If you are looking for a playlist with an equal mix of heart wrenching and heart thumping tracks, then look no further than the Urban Hymn soundtrack which is out now on Sony Music.

Although I have not yet seen the film, I am super excited to see it after hearing the quality of music and anthems used throughout. Get out and see it and buy the soundtrack, you will not be disappointed!

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