Even if you aren't a Transformers fan, the retro vibes that the franchise's latest addition Bumblebee radiates set it apart from its predecessors. Set in 1987, the film follows the titular Transformer as he settles into a California junkyard in the form of a VW bug and an unhappy teenager discovers him. Filled with musical hits from the '80s, the Bumblebee movie soundtrack also includes a new, catchy tune from leading lady Hailee Steinfeld. If Bon Jovi and Duran Duran aren't your thing, then maybe Steinfeld's "Back to Life" will convince you to embrace Bumblebee's vintage flair.
In Bumblebee, Steinfeld plays Charlie, who's nearing her 18th birthday when the local junkyard owner gives her Bumblebee, or B-127, as a present under the condition that she would repair the disheveled car. After accidentally activating a honing symbol that calls Transformer enemies to Earth, Charlie soon realizes that Bumblebee is no ordinary car and teaches him to communicate with her via his radio. The two become involved in a mission to defend the planet from the Decepticon forces, and no matter how many times you've sat through Shia LaBeouf chasing down Transformers, Bumblebee's music, both original and new, manages to help the story feel fresh.
Steinfeld is no stranger to performing songs for her movies, having released her own version of "Flashlight" to coincide with her Pitch Perfect 2 character's performance of it. This time, the 22-year-old co-wrote Bumblebee's "Back to Life," performing it on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on the eve of the movie's release.
Decidedly more techno than the movie's older songs, "Back to Life" seemingly fits Charlie's revival of Bumblebee well. In an outside context, the song appeals to anyone experiencing life's lows and highs, proclaiming:
What's a pipe dream if you ain't trying to do it? / What's a heartbreak if you ain't crying all through it? / What's a sunset if you ain't riding into it? / Let's drive into it / ‘Cause I’m bringing you back to life (Back) / And I know that you're gone but I swear that you're here / It's a feeling that won't disappear
Although "Back to Life" obviously screams of 2018 beats, the Bumblebee soundtrack even includes a '80s remix of the track, so you're covered if you're determined to incorporate the whole album into your 1980s party playlist.
While the official soundtrack appears not to have hit Spotify yet, the track list is as follows:
- Back to Life – Hailee Steinfeld
- Bigmouth Strikes Again – The Smiths
- Things Can Only Get Better – Howard Jones
- Runaway – Bon Jovi
- Save A Prayer – Duran Duran
- Higher Love – Steve Winwood
- Take On Me – A Ha
- Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears for Fears
- It Takes Two – Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock
- The Touch – Stan Bush
- I Can’t Wait – Nu Shooz
- I Can’t Drive 55 – Sammy Hagar
- Dance Hall Days – Wang Chung
- Girlfriend In A Coma – The Smiths
- Don’t You Forget About Me – Simple Minds
- BONUS TRACK: Back to Life (80s Remix) – Hailee Steinfeld
Steinfeld's song kickstarting this album of blasts from the past sounds like perfect holiday listening to me. Bumblebee is in theaters now.