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[PLAYLIST] The Official Soundtrack For CALLIOPE OF ATALAN: THE AMERICAN DREAM

 

BY P. CURRY

 

We asked P. Curry to curate a Spotify playlist for Calliope of Atalan: The American Dream and he selected a whopping 56 songs featuring Cardi B, Ice Cube, Kriss Kross and Frank Ocean.

Spotify Cover Calliope copy.jpg
 

Tracie Spencer - "This House"

What would a book set in 1992 be without some New Jack Swing? While this particular cut is rather obscure today, it suits the nature of the story very well. Upbeat, but a little chaotic. Spencer uses a happy, yet trembling voice that shows an optimistic outlook in spite of troubling circumstances, which defines not only this book but just the overall series of Calliope of Atalan as a whole.
 

Bruno Mars - "Finesse" (Remix) feat. Cardi B

Okay, so I’m sure we’ve all seen one of those movies or TV shows set in the past that are set to modern music. Anachronism can be very fun….when it’s done correctly. The problem many said films and series suffer from is how nothing about the modern music choice even makes sense. That being said, while us 80’s and 90’s babies may have a lot of nostalgia for the 90’s, the nostalgia factor will indeed be lost on younger audiences. So this is why I chose Finesse as the theme music for the series; it manages to simultaneously sound like a throwback for those who came up in the generation while still being familiar to younger audiences AND also making sense in context. Anachronism done right.
 

The Jackson 5 - "Lookin’ Through The Windows”

A major plot element of this book is how Calliope seems to only know the world from bedroom window. Suffice to say, there’s another mysterious character who also spends most of his time looking upon the world from her window whom she briefly comes in contact with. Although this song is more romantic in nature, I think another way to interpret it is to try to look inside the numerous people who pass you by that you never meet, which is what Calliope has spent her entire life doing.
 

Kriss Kross - “Jump”

Only the quintessential song of any 90’s party; parties which happen the house next door to Calliope’s quite often.
 

Randy Crawford - “One Day I’ll Fly Away”

Calliope’s favorite song, and probably her theme song as well. The message suits her very well; living life from dream to dream, and yet, she wants to actually live her dreams, not wait until the day when they must end.
 

Smokey Robinson - “Being With You”

One thing Demeter loves is her oldies, always playing and humming along to them whenever she cooks. That being said, there’s a certain irony to this. After all, she may wish she’s happy being with her husband, but she can no longer pretend that the marriage is indeed falling apart.
 
CALLIOPE OF ATALAN: THE AMERICAN DREAM by P. Curry
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CALLIOPE OF ATALAN: THE AMERICAN DREAM by P. Curry
15.99

228 pp. Inside the beloved polis of Auburn, Calliope Thessaly is a teenage writer bound to an immaculate home at the behest of her strict parents. Once summer break begins, her father announces an unexpected move to nearby Griffin where she is granted a little more freedom, making sure to explore the new area at every turn. As summer carries on, she finds the new area mundane and it doesn’t take long for her to discover that many of its pretentious inhabitants are intolerable. Even worse, stress from the move begins to reveal cracks within her family dynamic. As Calliope prepares to begin school in Griffin for the first time, things come to a head when she discovers a mysterious box that exposes the city’s dark past as well as a supreme force that has the ability to change everything.

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Frank Ocean - “Sweet Life”

After the move is made from Auburn to Griffin, I imagine that Calliope and all four of her siblings to have grown increasingly disenchanted with the upper middle-class life their family lead. After all, there’s nothing to complain about, but it often times feels like there’s nothing to live for either.
 

Madonna - “Material Girl”

Another song that satirizes affluence, Calliope comes across a number of girls with the sort of attitude and mindset which Madonna describes in this song.
 

Alicia Keys - “Diary”

One major element of this book is that of secrets and interestingly enough, it seems that Calliope is the bearer of all of them. However, as Calliope will always looks out for those whom she loves, anything anyone says will remain safe with her.
 

Bobby Brown - “Humpin’ Around”

You know, now that I think about it, Brutus’s character arc does correlate with Bobby Brown’s life in a number of ways. Like Brown, Brutus was reckless, arrogant, loudmouthed and just didn’t give a f-, only for his life of indulgent chaos to suddenly come crashing down. This song plays at the very moment that happens for Brutus. Originally, I just put this in because I needed another 90’s song, but this creative epiphany I’m having here makes a lot of sense. I dig the coincidence.
 

Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth - “They Reminisce Over You”

A sort of shared theme between Brutus and Julius; two brothers with a very strained and turbulent relationship. While this song largely represents grief over the death of a loved one, I still think it works as one major plot point involves them having a massive fall out.
 

Beck - “Loser”

I’m well acquainted with the feeling of being a deer in headlights. On Calliope’s first day at her new school, she’s the same way; staring around at everyone, ever so mousy, only to end up feeling like, well, a loser.
 

Geto Boys - “Mind Playing Tricks On Me”

The Megalopolis is a very unsettling place indeed, so this music definitely fits what’s going in Calliope’s mind whenever she’s there.
 

You can listen to the entire soundtrack below or on Spotify.


 You can purchase Calliope of Atalan: The American Dream here.