Review: Selma’s “Glory” Is Highly Deserving of the Oscar For Original Song


John Legend & Common, Glory © Paramount

Selma – Music from the Motion Picture • Paramount/Pathé • US Release Date: January 6, 2015

“One day, when the glory comes / it will be ours.” If there is one Academy Award-nominated original song that everyone should rooting for at the Oscars, it is “Glory,” a moving song performed and penned by John Legend and Common. “Glory” hails from the motion picture, Selma.

Selma managed to be nominated for Best Picture when the Academy Awards were unveiled in addition to its Best song nod, though one of the glaring snubs was for director Ava DuVernay, whom many thought was deserving of recognition. With Selma unlikely to win the ‘big one’ against heavyweights like Boyhood or Birdman, its best shot seems to be Original song. “Glory” is definitely something special folks – DEFINITELY.

The thinking is, if Three-6-Mafia can win an Oscar, can’t anyone? Maybe that’s fallacious, but who honestly thought that “Hard Out Here For a Pimp” would ever receive such a prestigious honor – and over Dolly Parton over all people? As great as “Hard Out Here For a Pimp” was, “Glory” has more substance – a more positive, healing measure. Has it already been mentioned that it’s special?

Common nails it with his prudent rhymes. On verse one, Common’s wordplay is savvy as he spits “Freedom is like religion to us / justice is juxtapositioning us / justice for all just ain’t specific enough / one son died, his spirit is revisiting us.” Later, Common hits hard, stating “Selma is now for every man, woman, and child / even Jesus got his crown in front of a crowd.” The poetic nature and sincerity is tremendous.

John Legend vocally slaughters, particularly when he spoils us all with his masterful falsetto. Legend not only can pierce us with his grit, but also hypnotize us with his subtleties and nuance. In addition to the lovely refrain, it is the bridge that is where the musician’s bread is buttered: “Now the war is not over, victory isn’t won / and we’ll fight on to the finish, then when it’s all done / we’ll cry glory, oh glory…”

All said and done, “Glory” is quite deserving of the Academy Award for original song. So far, it has done well for itself. Hopefully, it can continue its winning streak and come out on top and achieve the “glory” it deserves.

★★★★

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