At this point, everyone knows that “Euphoria” is the breakout show of 2019. It delivered award-worthy performances, inspired endless makeup looks and memes and managed to somehow bring the classic teen drama into the world of adulthood. But once again, the show is proving to the public that it is a cultural force to be reckoned with. Labrinth, the master recording artist and now score writer, just released an album of his work on “Euphoria.” Let me just tell you now: It’s incredible.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve been waiting for this moment for a while now. “Euphoria” is full of iconic, beautiful songs, from Beyoncé’s “Hold Up,” to Doja Cat’s “Juicy,” to Kelsey Lu’s “I’m Not In Love.” And with the help of the official “Euphoria” Apple Music playlist, viewers had them all right there at their fingertips. It was so easy to find any previously released track we wanted to revisit anytime we wanted. However, even though we had a “sort of” soundtrack, we never had the score. We never had the unreleased tracks that were recorded by Labrinth, specifically for “Euphoria.” Until now.
I remember even when we only had the first trailer, I was desperately scouring the internet for this one song featured in it. There were quite a few articles about the songs in the trailer, but for some reason I could never find the one I was looking for and I had no idea why no one was talking about it. Turns out, it was because it hadn’t been released. The song was “Forever,” the fourth track on the “Euphoria” score.
Now that we finally have the album, all my moody dreams can come true. I can finally dance around my room, pretending like I’m an emotional, glittery high schooler. There are so many songs on the album, all corresponding to the scenes in which they were played on the show (you know, like how all scores work). Names like “New Girl,” “Planning Date,” “Nate Growing Up,” “Kat’s Denial” and “Maddy’s Story” give a real sense of the story and feelings of the show. There are calming, casual melodies that are perfect for a lo-fi study session, party-vibe bops that are sure to get everyone up and moving and gorgeous ballads that showcase the best tear-jerking moments from the show.
The crown jewel of the album is most definitely the 12th track, “Still Don’t Know My Name.” One of the only full-fledged songs on the album, with lyrics and everything from Labrinth, “Still Don’t Know My Name,” tells the tragic story of never getting the attention of the person you love. We can all relate to the feeling of our crush not even knowing we exist, not even knowing our name. It’s pretty much universal. What’s really cool, though, is how this crazy up-and-down fantasy we all know, described in lines like, “Miss you, kiss you in make-believe,” is exactly how Rue feels about Jules on “Euphoria.”
While Jules obviously knows Rue’s name and (spoiler alert) they do end up semi-together, it quickly becomes quite obvious that Jules is not nearly as interested in Rue as Rue is in Jules. Jules shows much less commitment throughout their relationship’s story arc, ends up hooking up with someone else and ultimately leaves Rue for the city at the end of the season. We see this lack of reciprocation very clearly reflected in “Still Don’t Know My Name,” which appears in the show and on the album before any of these details about Jules and Rue ever come up. We stan some good foreshadowing, Labrinth.
The one thing I felt shocked and disappointed by with this album is that the hit single from Zendaya and Labrinth, “All for Us,” was not included. When the music video began to play at the end of the final episode, as Rue is presumably experiencing her second overdose after Jules leaves her, fans were left utterly shook (as the Gen Zers say). It was the first song they had heard from Zendaya in years and it did not disappoint. The collaboration is hauntingly beautiful and absolutely perfect for the scene. We learn one of the most important details of the entire series during the montage: the origin of Rue’s hoodie (it was her dad’s and she kept it after he died of cancer). And, like, just watch the music video. That gospel choir! That choreography! The emotion! How can you not love it?
The song itself should technically be a part of the score of the show (even if the released recording is slightly different from what was on the show), so it is odd that it was released ahead of the album and only as a single, never a part of the album itself. “All for Us” would have been the best closer. “Virgin Pina Coladas” just doesn’t have the same effect.
— euphoria (@euphoriaHBO) October 4, 2019
Other than that, I really can’t complain about the “Euphoria” score. It is a feat in and of itself that a television show (especially a teen drama) has an official score. It is so high quality that it’s up there on my list of favorite scores next to a bunch of big budget Hollywood movies. That’s not very surprising, however, when you consider how the show was produced by A24 and HBO, two of the most awarded, highly respected studios in the business.
Needless to say, I will be listening to the “Euphoria” score for a long, long time. Some of my favorite tracks include “Formula,” “Forever,” “We All Knew,” “Still Don’t Know My Name,” “Kat’s Denial,” “WTF Are We Talking For,” “McKay & Cassie” and “When I R.I.P.” That might be a long list, but the album is 26 tracks, an hour and three minutes long, so that seems fair to me. I just hope they can fit all those songs onto a vinyl version of the record because I definitely want that in my collection.