Zoë Kravitz stars in Hulu’s spinoff of the 2000 RomCom movie High Fidelity; both are based on Nick Hornby’s novel of the same name. In Hulu’s version, Rob (Kravitz) is the music-obsessed owner of a record shop in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. The show’s soundtrack is an incredible curation of music from all eras and genres, thanks in large part to Executive Music Producer Ahmir Thompson, AKA The Roots’ Questlove, and the people at Aperture Music. We picked our top 5 songs (see below), but really you should listen to the whole soundtrack in its entirety. (Disclaimer: the role the song plays in the show also factored into our decision-making). Here’s our top 5:
#5: Prototype – Andre 3000
The scenes where Rob describes how to make the perfect playlist are extremely amusing. In this case, she’s making a playlist to send to her ex-boyfriend, so as you can imagine there’s a lot of deliberation and skepticism involved. She breaks the fourth wall, and walks the audience through her thought process in crafting the collection of songs, which she wants desperately to tell a story. Anyone who likes curating playlists would appreciate that a show actually incorporate the art of making playlists into the main plot. On Rob’s playlist, the inclusion of Andre 3000’s sensual and swanky Prototype is designed to add the element of surprise, as it follows up a more energetic pop rock classic…
#4: David Bowie – Modern Love
… which is David Bowie’s Modern Love. This classic from 1983 bats lead off on Rob’s playlist for her ex-boyfriend. Interestingly, it’s also the opening track on Bowie’s album Let’s Dance. It’s an undeniably contagious way to start things off. The song’s nihilistic attitude alongside upbeat new wave rock disco sounds makes it all the more captivating… and if you hear it at the beginning of a playlist, you have no idea what’s coming next.
#3: Ann Peebles – I Can’t Stand the Rain
Rob plays this vinyl late at night while she’s feeling depressed and smoking a cigarette in her Brooklyn apartment. Ann Peeble’s song about hating the rain is #3 on our list because it most completely captures Rob’s mood at the time, and we’d argue it captures the mood of a scene better than any other song throughout the show.
#2: The Roots – You Got Me (ft. Erykah Badu, Eve, Tariq Trotter)
You Got Me is one of the best 5 rap/R&B collaborations of all time… but it’s the way it’s featured in the show that solidifies its second place finish on this list. Most songs on High Fidelity play just like any song would on a soundtrack for a movie or show, but You Got Me is an exception. In their brief clandestine reunion, Rob’s ex-boyfriend plays the song from his iPhone and places it on a makeshift table on an unfinished rooftop, so that we can barely hear it. In a show called High Fidelity, the irony of playing this song in this moment is brilliant.
#1: David Bowie – The Man Who Sold The World
While making this list was tough, picking David Bowie’s classic as #1 was not. The love and respect for David Bowie is apparent throughout the whole show, from both the characters and the writers. For this reason, we didn’t think it was crazy to feature two Bowie songs in the top 5, even though there’s so many other great ones to choose from. The best episode from the show, Uptown (episode 5), is loosely centered around Rob’s obsession with finding this Bowie record… ‘the one that has Tonny Visconti misspelled in the credits.’ The legend of this record is borderline worshiped in the show, and for this reason how can the title track not be the top song?
Playlist including the rest of our favorites from High Fidelity:
Official playlist in its entirety: