Entertainment Weekly - "The result is a collection of songs that feel like theatrical moments, even when they're just re-workings of old folk classics. At the heart are the album's personalities, bad and bruised." -- Grade: B
Recording information: Abbey Raod Studios, London, UK; Atlantic Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Chumba Meadows, Tarzana, CA; Diamond Mine Recording Inc; Grizzy Manor Studios; Jhart's Studio, Los Angeles, CA; Long Island City, NY; Zenith StudiosSwisher Suite Studios, Miami, FL.
Suicide Squad, the DC property where the bad guys are the actual heroes, cries out for an appropriately aggressive accompanying soundtrack, which is precisely what Suicide Squad: The Album delivers. Sometimes the tempo slows and at times the murk lifts for a bit of lightness -- by the time War's "Slippin' into Darkness," one of two oldies here, arrives it's a blessed, breezy relief -- but the overall feel of Suicide Squad: The Album is one of dank industrial gloom: this music is meant to live in the shadows. Often, the music celebrates darkness. Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, and Imagine Dragons admit they're a "Sucker for Pain," Kehlani lusts for a "Gangsta," and the whole shebang starts with Skrillex & Rick Ross creating an unholy racket in "Purple Lamborghini." Despite the presence of Twenty One Pilots, possibly the most popular rock band in 2016, Suicide Squad: The Album feels like a throwback, a salute to Y2K rap-rock and Todd McFarlane figures anchored by Eminem's "Without Me." It's an odd bit of cognitive dissonance that isn't without its moments: Dan Auerbach, Mark Ronson, and Action Bronson conjure some spooky soul and there's an elegance underpinning Grace's "You Don't Own Me" that recalls vintage Portishead. All the same, the record's heart is in manicured chaos, served up with gloss and volume. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine