'The Umbrella Academy' Season 2's unbelievable use of music, especially Backstreet Boys' 'Everybody' is genius
'The Umbrella Academy' Season 2 excels at two things -- dialogues and the use of brilliant music to offset the narrative but it is more starkly contrasting than complimentary. From the beginning, until the end -- each track that the show uses adds value to the scenes in the most unexpected manner. For instance, who would have expected Backstreet Boys' track 'Everybody' to be suitable for a series of scenes that feature a life-changing fight for the lead characters? For instance, Five ends up killing 12 members of the Committee's board with an axe to get access to a briefcase that allows him and his family to return to the time where they belonged.
Despite the bloodbath that he had to be a part of, three of his siblings fail to show up and as scenes of Allison fighting the Swedes, Diego being drugged by Lila and Klaus and Ben fighting over possession of Klaus' body play out alternatively, 'Everybody' plays out in the background. Imagine the song playing out to Klaus puking Ben out of his body or Allison rumoring one of the Swedes into killing his own brother! That is the theme that the show follows when it comes to using music.
Another instance is that of Klaus, Vanya, and Allison dancing their miseries away in episode 5. They bury their frustration over being misunderstood by their respective love interests by confessing to each other over wine and mutual hatred for who Umbrella Academy has made them to be and how each of them only end up ruining relationships. Then the radio plays Sam Cooke's 'Twisting the Night Away' and all the misery is shoved away for a fleeting moment of distraction as the three end up dancing to the music. Again, it is only fleeting because as the happy song comes to an end, the three dive back into feeling unhappy again.
Another song that the show uses to its advantage is a cover of Billie Eilish's 'Bad Guy' which plays out as Five and Lila fight it out after Five follows her from an alleyway. This takes place in episode 5 as well and as the two of them flit between the time and space continuum to bring the other down, the scene is elevated because the song suits Lila's mood more than anything as she toys with Five. She is not showing off her powers completely but has also captured Five's attention.
The background score for the Swede Brothers, the penultimate episode's 'Here comes the end' or the scenes that play out to Billy Idol's 'Dancing with myself' are few of the ones that one should look out for while bingeing on the show.
'The Umbrella Academy' Season 2 released on July 31 and all episodes can be streamed on Netflix.