Seven singles and over 500 million streams later, Barbie The Album, a companion project to Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, is here, and if its purpose was to give us a glimpse into Barbie’s perfect world, while also showing us our imperfect reality, then they hit the ball out of the park. The star-studded project first started rolling out in May with Dua Lipa’s “Dance the Night,” and continued to do so for weeks, with a new single released every week after.
Lipa’s “Dance the Night” more or less set the tone for a record that will be about having fun and enjoying the things that make us happy – like going for a ride with friends. As the lead single off of the album, they did not pull any punches when it came to making it big and appealing, as it was soon accompanied by a music video that saw Gerwig pull off an epic cameo moment.
Straight out of dancing the night away with our very own Mermaid Barbie, aka Dua Lipa, we dived into Karol G and Aldo Ranks’ “Watati,” a high-energy anthem performed entirely in Latin. Like the single before it, it was accompanied by a dazzling music video shot at the World of Barbie in LA. “Watati” was perhaps an indicator that the project’s executive producers, Mark Ronson, and Greta Gerwig, wanted diversity at the heart of Barbie the Album, even though each track paid homage to the famous Mattel doll.
“’Cause one day (One day) / One day, my baby just went away (Went away) / My angel (My angel) / You’re what haunts me now that you’re away,” PinkPantheress sings on the dreamy “Angel” track that was praised for inspiring a calming sensation through its smooth melody.
Sampling Aqua’s classic hit, Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice’s rap single remains the highest charting entry from Barbie the Album on Billboard. The track sees Nicki and Ice Spice sing about enjoying their affluence, “Yellin’ out, we ain’t sellin’ out/We got money, but we ain’t lendin’ out / We got bars, but we ain’t bailin’ out / In that pink Ferrari, we peelin’ out.”
For me, the most notable and relatable track on the project is Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?” – A song that questions the purpose of Barbie’s existence, and in extension, our very own.
The Barbie companion album is more than just a star-studded project put together to promote the movie and make extra cash on the side. The album’s existence is a complement to both the movie and the doll that inspired it all.
Some of the features on the album make sense considering their past with Barbie. I mean, it would have been weird if the Barbie album was made without reincarnating the famous Aqua “Barbie Girl” single, or without Nicki, who is so Barbie her fanbase started calling themselves Barbz. And truly it would not be complete without Ava Max, the artist who put a feminist twist to Aqua’s “Barbie Girl,” with her own smash hit, “Not Your Barbie Girl.”
To me, the album felt like a car ride, where you drive from Lizzo’s “Pink” to FIFTY FIFTY’s “Barbie Dreams,” while getting to see and experience amazing new things. In the movie, Barbie, in full existential crisis mode, leaves her perfect little world for the real one, and the album does the same, but in reverse.
Nmesoma Okechukwu is an entertainment journalist, editor and freelance writer. She covers pop culture, music, lifestyle, literature, movies, and environmental preservation.
Nmeso's work ranges from writing profiles, essays and features for various online and print publications to doing commercial copywriting, musician bios and press releases, editorial consulting, live interviews and video production.
You can also find her interviewing talents, campaigning for the preservation of the natural environment and championing the eradication of extreme poverty.