Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Awesome Mix Vol. 2 is the soundtrack for the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 film. These songs are all featured in the film or in the trailers. In the world of the Guardians of the Galxy, these songs are all on Peter Quill A.K.A Star-Lord’s (Chris Pratt) mixtape. The music was personally chosen by director James Gunn. He has great taste.
What’s great about the first and second Awesome Mix’s is that James Gunn used the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a platform for older songs and artists. Songs and artists that older generations forgot about and young people were clueless about became the forefront of popular culture after they were used in the Guardians of the Galaxy films. For instance, ‘Come a Little Bit Closer’ by the Jay and the Americans was a top five hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the 1964, but had fallen into obscurity by 2017. By using the song in a prominent scene in the movie with Yondu, Rocket, and Groot ‘Come a Little Bit Closer’ will never be obscure again. Another example is ‘Wham Bam Shang a Lang’ by Silver. John Batdorf, who sang lead vocals on the song commented on a YouTube video expressing his delight at the song’s new found popularity and explained how it was written and recorded.
What’s also great about Awesome Mix Vol. 2 is how the characters and plot interact with the songs. In one scene, Rocket is shown humming the melody to ‘Southern Nights’ by Glen Campbell. This also acted as a great tribute to Glen Campbell who died shortly after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was released. Glen Campbell may be gone, but ‘Southern Nights’ will live forever due to its use in this film.
The way certain songs are used by James Gunn to add more emotional depth to the plot is one of the film and soundtrack’s greatest improvement. The first Guardians of the Galaxy film used certain songs to either add humor or more excitement to a scene. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 still uses music to that effect, but more songs are used as the crux of major plot points. The best and most obvious example would be ‘Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)’ by Looking Glass the song perfectly describes Peter Quill’s relationship with his father Ego and Ego’s relationship with Peter’s mother.
Awesome Mix Vol. 2 is just as good as the first soundtrack and even improves upon it. I highly suggest everybody give the songs on this album a listen. There’s something in there for everybody. This album has folk, 1970s A.M. radio pop, funk, soul, rock, and it all melds together perfectly. With the success of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, James Gunn not only has a chance to make one of the greatest movie trilogies of all time, but a chance to curate the greatest movie soundtrack trilogy of all time.