For a movie about making the best music, Netflix’s The Perfection soundtrack is light on recognizable songs. While there are a few tunes here and there, most of the music in The Perfection is classical (most of it coming from Mozart’s Requiem, K. 626.) since the story revolves around cellists, after all. But, the movie ends with a familiar melody with a brand new twist.
The Perfection closes out set to Hole’s “Petals.” The song, sung by the Courtney Love fronted band, comes from their 1998 album Celebrity Skin, which is the group’s most well known album, both in regards to record sales and critical acclaim — between the 41st and 42nd Grammy Awards it snagged four nominations for Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song, and two noms for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group (however, it lost all of them). “Petals” is the last song off of the album, clocking in at 5 minutes and 29 seconds, which also makes it the longest song on Celebrity Skin.
However, the “Petals” we hear in The Perfection is not sung by Hole. Instead, it’s performed by Chromatics, a synth-rock indie band from Portland. Over the past two decades they’ve released five studio albums and you’ve definitely heard them before as their music has been featured in Gossip Girl, Riverdale and 13 Reasons Why (which both feature the song “Into the Black”) and Drive, where “Tick the Clock” is used in the opening scene.
They can now add The Perfection to their every growing list of movies and television appearances, but unfortunately the song isn’t available to listen to anywhere other than at the end of The Perfection (however, it’s honestly only a matter of time before someone drops the song onto YouTube).
And the song over the ending of the movie — in which both Charlotte (Allison Williams) and Lizzie (Logan Browning) have managed to defeat their tormentor, Anton (Steven Weber) — is incredibly fitting. The lyrics in the song include, “innocence was our fire / we told the truth” and “tear the petals off of you / and make you tell the truth.” The entire movie revolves around Charlotte trying to get Lizzie to see the truth of what Anton has done to them (brainwashed and raped them, for starters), and in the end they both finally manage to break free of his control and then turn the tables on him.
Chromatics’s version of “Petals” is a low slower and somewhat more melancholy than Hole’s original song. The way “Petals” feels at the the end of The Perfection makes you believe that Charlotte and Lizzie really have reclaimed some innocence that Anton stole from them — and also how the lyric, “they fall with no sound” plays with Anton in the foreground, and the girls have sewn his lips together so he can’t talk.
Chromatics is set to release a sixth studio album in the near future, and hopefully “Petals” can make its way onto that, if not onto their Spotify playlist so we can listen to it again and again.