Someone recently asked me what kind of music I listen to, and I didn’t know how to tell him that I, a 22-year-old, have been listening to the “Julie and the Phantoms” soundtrack religiously every day for the past month and a half.
“Julie and the Phantoms” is one of Netflix’s latest original series and, like many people across the globe, I have fallen prey to its charm. I bought the soundtrack as soon as I finished all nine of its episodes, and they’ve changed me.
I’m not kidding when I say I listen to it every day. It’s amazing, and I would personally like to thank Kenny Ortega for directing this series and bringing these songs and this story into my life.
With every soundtrack though, we’re bound to have our favorites and ones we absentmindedly skip over.
Here’s my ranking for the “Julie and the Phantoms” soundtrack from least to most favorite:
(Quick note: This was really hard to do since all the songs are incredible. Please don’t take any offense if I rank your favorite song lower than you would like.)
15. “I Got the Music”
This song gives me all the “High School Musical” vibes, which makes it strange that I’m ranking it as my least favorite. I love Julie and I’m so happy she got to have this moment of her rocking out at school. There’s just something about this scene that makes me feel a little awkward watching and now listening to. I’m so nervous she’s going to get caught singing out loud to herself at school that I just always skip it when it comes on.
14. “You Got Nothing to Lose”
This is a fun song Caleb sings, but it stresses me out so much. Whenever I hear it, I’m reminded of the anxiety I had over whether or not the boys would escape Caleb’s clutches and make it to Julie in time to sing at the Orpheum. It’s a fun song to listen to around Halloween though.
13. “The Other Side of Hollywood”
Since “You Got Nothing to Lose” stressed me out so much, I don’t think it’s a huge surprise that “The Other Side of Hollywood” has the same effect. I just can’t fully enjoy it because I know the boys are going to be late to Julie’s dance. However, I do like the ~tension~ between Alex and Willie during this. Bring on the angst. Caleb, however, just creeps me out (*shivers in disgust*).
12. “Wake Up”
Oh goodness, I’m so sorry for the Julie stans out there. Now that I have my bottom three favorite songs out of the way, this is getting more difficult. I found that “Wake Up” is a song I’m just not normally in the mood to listen to for some reason, so I tend to skip it when it comes on. Nothing against Julie or this scene. It really is a beautiful moment that gives me ghost bumps (hehe see what I did there?), and I like listening to it when I need a pick-me-up. I just don’t get into it as much as the other songs on the soundtrack.
This is my lowest ranked Julie and the Phantoms song (the band, not the show in general). They’re still all finding their chemistry with each other at this point and how they work on stage. Julie also starts off really nervous, so I prefer the ones where she owns her awesomeness. It’s still a solid song though.
10. “Flying Solo”
I love this song. It gets me amped, and it was originally in my top five when I first started listening to the soundtrack a month and a half ago. I think that might be part of the problem though. I listened to it so much that it doesn’t have the same effect on me it used to. I take full blame for this. It’s still a great moment between Julie, Flynn and the guys.
9. “Now or Never”
I’m at a point where I love all these songs almost equally now, so they’re only separated a tiny bit in my mind. “Now or Never” makes me feel like I’m in the front row at a rock concert jamming out. Alex living his life playing the drums, Luke swinging his guitar over his shoulder and Reggie combing his fingers through his hair when he sings at the microphone? Sign me up, please.
Did I buy a Sunset Curve shirt, so I could go as a groupie for that band for Halloween? I don’t know. You tell me…
8. “Finally Free”
“Finally Free” has my favorite moment of the entire season. I’m a very indecisive person, but I can assure you that Julie and Luke singing at each other on the same microphone is hands down my favorite Juke moment. Hot damn… I wish a guy would sing and look at me the way Luke does to Julie in this song. Anyway, Julie and the guys all rocked it and owned the stage. Heck yes.
7. “Perfect Harmony”
No one says “step” quite like Luke does at the beginning of this song. It’s beautiful and makes my Juke heart so happy. Actors Madison Reyes and Charlie Gillespie also wrote this song together, so it doesn’t just mean a lot to the characters but it means a lot to the cast and I think that’s amazing. Overall, it’s a really nice slow song to listen to –– I might play it at my wedding one day.
6. “This Band is Back”
“Come on Reginald” at the beginning of this never fails to put a smile on my face. This is just a nice, short, catchy, heartwarming, fun song. I love hearing how excited the guys are to be able to do the one thing they lived to do. They’re amazing and they deserve the best.
I feel like people either love or hate Dirty Candy, and I’m proud to say I’m a fan. Yes, Carrie is Julie’s antagonist, but we don’t know what drove the two apart. And yes, I’m aware Dirty Candy has received some flack from being too similar to Tess Tyler’s songs in “Camp Rock.” I’m going to ignore all that criticism, because this song just brings something out of me I can’t contain. No matter what mood I’m in, “Wow” makes me want to blast the volume, dance and flip my hair over my shoulder in very dramatic ways.
4. “Edge of Great”
“Edge of Great” is brilliant, fun and Julie owns it. This song is hers and everyone who listens to it is just lucky to be graced with her powerhouse voice. Also, if you don’t sing Luke’s guitar solo when you listen to this song on the soundtrack, then you’re just lying to yourself.
I’m not going to lie, I’m definitely bummed his little, needy solo to Julie isn’t on the soundtrack, so I’ll just have to sing it for him instead. Actor Charlie Gillespie told Kenny Ortega he wanted to add that part because that’s Luke’s way of singing back to Julie, according to an interview Gillespie was in. I mean c’mon, that’s adorable.
3. “All Eyes on Me”
Yes, a Dirty Candy song makes it into my top three. Whenever I hear it, I think of Alex being all cute dancing to it on stage with her, and it makes my heart happy. I’ve also spent countless hours learning Carrie’s dance moves to this, so it would hurt my spirit to not have it ranked high. I didn’t learn these dance moves for nothing. It also gets me through any bad days I have at work because it reminds me of the confidence I’m capable of having. Carrie is a role model, and no one can tell me otherwise.
2. “Stand Tall”
This song is intense, and it had me on edge the entire time. “Stand Tall” shows so much character development. It’s crazy. When Julie and the guys sang together for the first time (i.e. “Bright”), the guys didn’t think anyone would be able to see them, but they sang for her so she wouldn’t be alone. Now, with the last song they played together this season, Julie had thought the boys had disappeared and she was singing for them, saying that even if she’s the last one standing, she’s going to “stand tall” for them and everyone else she’s lost in her life.
They started the band together because Julie didn’t think she was capable of singing alone after losing her mother, but “Stand Tall” showed just how far she’s come. She stood tall and sang at one of the biggest music venues in LA by herself.
When you add this beautifully sad character moment with the intensity of the boys fighting their way back to her from Caleb’s eternal ghost club, you get a masterpiece. The boys didn’t let her down this time like they did with the dance. The smiles they give each other when the guys individually poof in makes my heart sing.
This just leaves one song left…
1. “Unsaid Emily”
I struggled a bit with choosing which song to make number one, but after thinking about it, I knew there was only one that could take that top spot. “Unsaid Emily” is perfect. I ugly cried the first time I listened to it. Heck, I even cried the first time I saw the episode title before I even started watching it. That’s power, folks.
There was a pretty mysterious lead-up to this song that added a lot of pressure, but it more than fulfilled any promises that were made. It dives into love, loss, regret, guilt, death and forgiveness all under the umbrella of a fallout a teenager had with his parents.
It gets to me every time and, even though it still makes me cry a month and a half later, I still listen to it every morning on my drive to work. It’s a reminder that sometimes we make mistakes that we feel we can’t take back, but no matter what happens, our love for each other remains and nothing –– not even death –– can take that away.
Well, that’s my ranking. Did I do OK? How would you rank them? Let us know in the comments below.