9:00 am EST, December 17, 2018

The best of the ‘Anna and the Apolcaypse’ soundtrack: Ranking the songs

Ranking the songs on the Anna and the Apocalypse soundtrack is a tough job (mainly because they’re all so much fun) but, hey, someone had to do it.

Anna and the Apocalypse is the most fun I’ve had at the movie theater in a very, very long time and that’s thanks in large part to all of the clever and catchy tunes that make up its soundtrack. While the songs perhaps shouldn’t hold together as well as they do because they’re just so different, they make for a really addictive and entertaining listen. From 80s glam rock to classic Christmas tunes to sugary pop, the Anna and the Apocalypse soundtrack covers so many music genres in so little time.

And so what better way to celebrate one of the best movies of the year than by breaking down the Anna and the Apocalypse soundtrack, doing a deep dive on each of the songs, and determining which ones are worth listening to on repeat?

After listening to these songs on repeat for days on end, this is how we rank all of the infectious tunes from the world’s best zom-com musical.

13. ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me Now’

The Anna and the Apocalypse is GREAT and I love the soundtrack to pieces. That being said, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me Now” isn’t nearly as strong or entertaining as the rest of the songs from the film. The principal’s solo number just falls flat. As much as I wish it worked, this is the only track on the Anna and the Apocalypse soundtrack that I have a habit of skipping.

12. ‘What a Time to Be Alive (Orchestral Version)’

This track is so dramatic! The chorus of light and upbeat voices mixed with the driving (and sometimes ominous) percussion captures a lot of the different tones of the film in interesting ways. As it’s more of an overture for the movie (rather than something meant to be even sung along to in a carefree manner), it’s not one that demands to be listened to on repeat. But it’s a light and fun tune to occasionally sing, even if you sing the parts of every voice in the choir.

11. ‘The Fish Wrap’

“The Fish Wrap” is like “The Mathlete Rap” (from Mean Girls) of Anna and the Apocalypse. It’s altogether hilarious and uncomfortable with great puns and tons of energy. This song walks the fine line of being entertaining and annoying, but its brevity keeps it clearly on the entertaining side of that line. And it’s just so catchy that it’s hard not to sing or dance along to it whenever it comes on.

10. ‘Christmas Means Nothing Without You’

If it weren’t for this song and “It’s That Time of Year,” it’d be really easy to forget while listening to the Anna and the Apocalypse soundtrack that it’s technically a Christmas movie. It’s not only a fun Christmas song that would make a great addition to anyone’s Christmas music playlist, but it’s also a commentary on how much the characters lose throughout the movie and how the Christmas setting really don’t mean much. By the end of the film, there are only a few survivors of the virus. So, because they’re without family and friends and because there aren’t many people left alive, Christmas doesn’t mean much to the survivors. And, I mean, above all, this song is just a blast to sing.

9. ‘I Will Believe’

As a song, “I Will Believe” is just okay. It’s not incredibly catching or belt-worthy, but the vulnerability that comes through in Ella Hunt’s voice is absolutely incredible. It has a real “Superheros” from Rocky Horror-vibe to it in that it laments everything that has happened in such a short amount of time but that, in the confusion of it all, there’s still a bit of hope to be had. This song plays better in the actual film than it does amidst the other tracks on the Anna and the Apocalypse soundtrack, but it’s still a solid listen.

8. ‘It’s That Time of Year’

When it comes to sexy Christmas songs, “It’s That Time of Year” croons with the best of them. This original song is full of fun double entendres and puns but isn’t too in-your-face about its sexuality. The song loses a bit of whatever subtlety it has when in context of Lisa’s performance in the movie, but, on the soundtrack, it plays as a saccharine Christmas tune that would probably go over most people’s heads. This would be a great song to play in front of people to see if (or how) they react to it. It’s a great addition to any Christmas music playlist!

7. ‘Soldier at War’

This song feels like a tribute to 80s hair bands. It has that stadium anthem feel and all of the angsty lyrics to back it up. It also feels like a grown-up version of one of High School Musical male ensemble songs (if the song took its inspiration from “Eye of the Tiger”). Surprisingly, this song is the only one to tackle the movie’s zombie plot head-on, so it almost feels out of place with the rest of the songs on the soundtrack. But if you ever need a song to pump you up (regardless of if you’re out there trying to decapitate zombies), this is the one to listen to.

6. ‘What a Time to Be Alive’

This swinging rendition of the musical’s overture is just so catchy. It takes the orchestral version of the song and gives it more depth, both in terms of its lyrics and its sound, which then makes it feel very much like a radio-worthy Christmas song. I absolutely love Ryan Joseph Burns’ voice here (as well as his Rat Pack-like swagger) and could listen to this song on repeat all day. It’s a real toe-tapper.

5. ‘Human Voice’

Though the lyrics in this song are a bit cheesy and seem to poke fun at Millennials and Generation Z’s “dependence” on technology for communication, damn if it isn’t a catchy tune. This song is perfectly moody and emo, which makes it easy to connect to when belting it out. We’ve all felt disconnected from others at one point or another and this tune really distills that feeling. I wasn’t the biggest fan of this song at first, but it quickly climbed to the top while I was ranking the songs from this soundtrack thanks to how addicting it is to sing at the top of my lungs.

4. ‘Give Them a Show’

Out of all of the songs on the Anna and the Apocalypse soundtrack, this one is definitely the most musical and theatrical. The call and response format between Anna and the principal works really well here, especially in the moments when she’s giving him sass. When ranking the songs from this movie, this one was hard to place because it’s just so different from the rest, but its classic musical feel makes it stand apart from the rest and land in our top five.

3. ‘Break Away’

“Break Away” seriously could be a Top 40 hit and get major radio air play. It speaks to the universal experience of feeling trapped by your surroundings and circumstances and wanting to make a change. More than that, it acknowledges that the characters’ circumstances were partially of their own making. The characters know that change is coming—because it has to—and they’re ready to embrace it. I love this song so much.

2. ‘Turning My Life Around’

“Turning My Life Around” works so much differently on the Anna and the Apocalypse soundtrack than it does in the movie. In the movie itself, it’s delightfully absurd because of its optimism set against a pretty grisly background. But, on the soundtrack, it plays as a really sincere and hopeful exclamation of grabbing life by the horns and embracing the day. This song is just so incredibly catchy and upbeat that it’s hard not to sing and dance along to it. We could all use a good dose of hope every once in a while (especially nowadays) and listening to “Turning My Life Around” is a great way to get it.

1. ‘Hollywood Ending’

Could any other song on the Anna and the Apocalypse soundtrack have nabbed the number one spot other than “Hollywood Ending”? I mean, really?

One of the things I love best about this movie is how it takes romance down a peg at every turn. While this sort of song would normally be a nod to how romantic love will triumph in the end, this tune very explicitly discusses how that’s just not real life. That romantic love doesn’t always conquer all and there’s more to worry about in life than gaining your crush’s favor. While we all can certainly hope for love in our lives, I admire how this song tells it how it is (and in such a catchy manner).

Now it’s your turn to rank the songs off of the ‘Anna and the Apocalypse’ soundtrack! (No pressure…)

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