It's borderline slanderous to say that one could improve on the soundtrack to A Star Is Born, replete as it is with Sad Banger after Sad Banger. But the nearly perfect record is missing something. It needs one more downtempo song in the vein of “Maybe It’s Time,” something raw and slow and gutting that Jackson Maine sings alone, in a dimly lit room, with nothing but his guitar. It needs this:
Apparently Father John Misty wrote a song for A Star Is Born, and it didn't make it into the movie. But Vulture reports that on Friday, he treated the crowd at his show in Minneapolis to the untitled ballad.
FJM seems to be glad the song didn't pass muster; it "would've sucked," he said. "I’ve seen that movie. There’s really no place in that movie for that song, unless he was bombing at Coachella or something. The sequel? Now we’re talking.”
But there will never be a sequel to A Star Is Born. At least not one that, uh, includes Jackson Maine. And anyway, FJM is totally wrong here: His song would've been perfect. A Star Is Born is aching for another sad, spare, acoustic number to offset all those heavy, high-energy ones ("Out of Time," "Alibi," "Diggin' My Grave") and complement "Maybe It's Time." This is that song. It's beautiful, vintage Father John Misty, a tune that sounds like it could've come off Vacilando Territory Blues, a criminally underrated record on which he writes and sings straight from the shoulder. When he goes full-on country in the refrain here—crooning "When a man done lost all his pride" like Waylon Jennings reincarnated—it's easy to imagine Jackson Maine singing those words.
Don't get me wrong: A Star Is Born is nearly immaculate, and at two hours and 14 minutes, it's already long enough. But if you're going to put out an extended version, filled mostly with longer versions of songs we've already heard, come on, Bradley Cooper. Give us something new. Give us the sweet, sweet bonus track we desperately crave. Give us Jackson Maine doing his best Father John Misty.
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