Review of the Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack

Catching Fire

Catching Fire, the long awaited sequel to the Hunger Games film, has hit theaters and it’s been embraced the world over.  Featuring music from an impressive array of A-list artists including Cold Play, Christina Aguilera, Ellie Goulding, Lorde, Imagine Dragons, The Weeknd and Of Monsters and Men; The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack has been almost as equally anticipated.  So how did it turn out?

To begin with, this soundtrack has evolved from the foreboding Americana sound of its predecessor into a rock-tinged album with an intensity that rarely falters.  With such an eclectic group of artists you might think that the album would turn into a mish mash of different sounds, but overall this album is quite strong.  Highlights for me include the power ballad “We Remain” from Christina Aguilera, “Silhouettes” by Of Monsters and Men, “Mirrors” by Ellie Goulding and “Devil May Cry” by The Weeknd.  However, my favorite track on the Catching Fire soundtrack is Lorde’s unexpected cover of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”, originally from Tears for Fears.  Lorde’s much darker approach to this song is poignant and entirely appropriate for this film.

Some of the weaker moments of the soundtrack occur when the music strays from the overall rock feel of the album.  One example is “Gale Song” by The Lumineers.  Though the track would have been at home on the previous album and it is a fine standalone piece, its presence on this album is jarring.  The fact that it follows the hard-edged “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” doesn’t help.

Finally, though James Newton Howard’s suspenseful and heart rending score was spot on, I was a bit disappointed that the music from the soundtrack didn’t appear until the credits.  This album is really a great fit for the film.

But don’t take my word for it, check out the album for yourself from the library, or if you’re a Watertown resident sign up for HOOPLA.  Our digital music library includes the Catching Fire soundtrack, Catching Fire score, music from the first Hunger Games film; and hit albums from artists like Pearl Jam, Florida Georgia Line, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and so much more!

 

By Reference Librarian Stephanie.
12/1/13

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