With the second installment of the highly anticipated dystopian series The Hunger Games blazing up the box office, much expectation has been placed on the original soundtrack, which features tracks from NZ teen sensation Lorde, the crazy talented Ellie Goulding, as well as up-and-rising bands The Lumineers and Imagine Dragons.
I'm liking the eclectic mix of the soundtrack so far, which has managed to capture the dismal, grungy atmosphere that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is about. Capitol Letter, sung by Patti Smith, is seemingly an ode about the protangonist Katniss Everdeen, armed with her bow and a symbol of the rebellion - the Mockingjay - that reaches boiling point in the movie. It's a acoustic guitar-driven riff intro that pulls you in, with Smith's haunting vocals resounding in your ears.
Also acoustic-folk guitar driven are The Lumineers, who wrote Gale Song, obviously for the silent brooding figure that is Gale. It feels very apt, as the folkish vibes run throughout, as frontman Wesley Schultz croons, "I won't fight in vain / I love you just the same / I couldn't know what's in your mind / But I saw the pictures, you're looking fine". It is an unrequited love song that tugs at your heartstrings as the rhythm gradually picks up and slows to a melodic riff.
Coldplay's contribution of Atlas is definitely one of my favourites coming into the album. As a standalone, it's quite a brilliant composition. The soft tinkling of the piano in minor keys, and Chris Martin's bass vocals. Holy smokes! It builds up to a really smooth chorus with added synth and a stunning audioscape. So much love for this song.
Of course, the other stand-outs are the self-reflective falsetto-filled Mirror (Ellie Goulding), the hipster troubadour's perception that Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Lorde) and the woozy Who We Are (Imagine Dragons), which sounds like it could incite rebellion on its own.
All in all, a very satisfying album that relates well back to the movie, and could very well work as a standalone album.
Track Cuts: Who We Are, Everybody Wants to Rule The World, Silhouettes, Atlas, Mirror