I’m writing this review with the knowledge that tomorrow night I’ll be shivering in line, waiting for the midnight premiere of The Hunger Games. I’ll probably be wearing my hair in a side-braid and definitely breaking out in sporadic happy dances. Hopefully by the time this review hits the blog, you’ll have seen the movie already. Just consider this review a reminder of your viewing experience.
The soundtrack for The Hunger Games hit stores on March 21, and it is utterly captivating. From the first single, “Safe and Sound” by Taylor Swift featuring the Civil Wars, I’ve been waiting to see if the entire soundtrack could live up to expectations. At first glance, I could see that the soundtrack holds something for nearly everyone. Kid Cudi, Maroon 5, Taylor Swift–it’s full of star power and the amazing tracks. Each song is beautifully done, and the thought that went into assembling the soundtrack is obvious.
What I love most about the soundtrack, though, is how each song truly represents The Hunger Games in some way or another. A lot of the time I listen to movie soundtracks and just don’t see the correlation between the songs and the story, but this is certainly not true for The Hunger Games. Take one listen to “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder” by the Secret Sisters and you are just suddenly there in the story–this track specifically reminds me of District 12 and all the hardships the people who live there face. That one scene in the trailer where Katniss salutes the screen and all of District 12 salutes back? Yeah, I officially assign this song to that scene. And that scene where Katniss hugs Prim after giving her the mockingjay pin, and Katniss hugging Gale goodbye . . . well, you get the picture. Another song that reminds me of District 12, specifically the Reaping, is “Kingdom Come” by the Civil Wars. Even more than that, though, I can practically hear Cinna’s voice in the song. If “Kingdom Come” were dedicated to a character, I think it would be perfect for Cinna’s quiet strength and subtle rebellion.
On the other side of the The Hunger Games spectrum are songs like “The Ruler and the Killer” by Kid Cudi; twisted and fast-paced, it captures the feel of the Capitol. With the gritty beat and Kid Cudi’s scratchy vocals, this song feels right at home in the middle of the casual cruelty of the Capitol or a run-through-the-Arena kind of thing. “Eyes Open” by Taylor Swift is also a bit more glitz-and-glamour than the other tracks, adding not only to the bizarre wealth of the Capitol but also the softer, more romantic themes of The Hunger Games. Speaking of romance, “Dark Days” by Punch Brothers is a fantastic Peeta/Katniss song: if that’s your favorite pairing, I would definitely give this song a listen.
If you were to listen to one song off the album (and “Safe and Sound” doesn’t count because that’s, like, the hallelujah chorus) I would definitely say listen to “Come Away To The Water” by Maroon 5. This song is just so, so perfect for The Hunger Games that it draws you in immediately. It’s everything from the Capitol’s lush deceit to the districts’ constant struggle. You can feel everyone from Seneca Crane to Katniss’s mother in this song. Most importantly, though, it feels like an anthem, a nod, to all the Tributes past, present and future.
Overall, The Hunger Games Soundtrack is perfect for the movie and manages to encompass so much of this amazing story. If you’re a Hunger Games fan, I would highly recommend listening to it all the way through. Even if you’re absolutely sick of hearing about The Hunger Games, then just listen to the soundtrack for the amazing music. Pretty much, you can’t go wrong.
Sequoia (yes, her parents are hippies) enjoys reading, writing, and listening to music! Her favorite music is Japanese pop and rock but she’ll curl up with a Linkin Park CD any day. Hajimemashite! (That’s ‘nice to meet you,’ to you civilians.)