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A Two-Sided Look at the ‘Hunger Games’ Movie Soundtrack

9 Comments March 21, 2012 by Filed Under: Featured, Hunger Games Soundtrack

 hunger games soundtrack featured    A Two Sided Look at the ‘Hunger Games’ Movie Soundtrack   hungergamesoundtrackdosWell, it’s that time of the year again. No, not the first day of Spring. Today, my split-personality duo Optimist and Cynic analyze the newly released “Hunger Games” Soundtrack. Oh goody.

Take it away, Optimistic Dani.

Hi, everyone! Beautiful day, isn’t it? I’m Dani’s optimistic side.

I’m not gonna lie. This album is one of the most unique soundtracks I’ve heard and it fits the “Hunger Games” on so many levels! The folksy, bluesy sound present in many of these tracks definitely brings to mind the region of District 12. Each song reeks of desperation, destitution, and despair. Some even lean towards the revolutionary, hopeful side of our favorite dystopian series, which I think fans will appreciate. Several tracks remind me of specific scenes or relationships from the “Hunger Games,” such as the cave scene, the Reaping, Katniss’ relationship with Rue, with Prim, with Peeta, with her absent father. Others appear to be from different points of view, such as “The Ruler and the Killer,” depicting the Capitol, specifically President Snow’s, tyrannical view of the Tributes. Either way, each song on this soundtrack represents some aspect or even several aspects of the “Hunger Games.” I’d call that a success!

As for my favorite song on this soundtrack, “Just a Game” by Birdy takes the cake. This compelling track is so melancholy and chilling, almost a lamentation, and yet there’s this little run on the piano that seems contradictorily hopeful, perhaps even happy, similar to “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder” by the Secret Sisters. It perfectly describes the conflicting emotions Katniss has concerning Peeta. She dodges her feelings and doesn’t want to be forced into a relationship with him, but the one thing she does know is that she doesn’t want to lose the Boy with the Bread.

I think what drove it home for me was the last line: “We’re all just pieces in their games.” When that final piano note sounds out and begins to fade, you get this expectant, “so now what?” feeling. It’s almost like the singer is leaving us with a choice: succumb to the fact that you’re a pawn of whatever structure is oppressing you…or refuse to accept it and join the many who are not just crying for change, but actively seeking it. It’s subtle, but make no mistake…this song isn’t just bemoaning being subjugated. It’s covertly pleading for us to rise up and do something about it.

Bottom line, this was a well-rounded soundtrack, taking a hearty scoop from several music genres and artists to form a melodic ice-cream sundae! I’m going to hand it off to my other half – Cynical Dani. Lighten up, hon.

Hello. I’m Dani’s cynical side. Let’s get this over with. –sigh-

The soundtrack wasn’t bad. I suppose I have to hand it to T-Bone for keeping the songs accurate in a geographical sense. But…eh, I think it could’ve used a little more variety. There were only three or four songs that really stood out genre wise. I think people who tend to avoid folk like the plague might in the same manner shy away from this soundtrack.

Another thing I frowned upon was the pretty consistent pattern of depressing, gloomy tones throughout the tracks. I get it. It’s the Hunger Games. Poverty. Starvation. All that fun stuff. But I would’ve liked to see more “stick-it-to-the-man,” “blood-stained-ground” sort of battle songs. I think the only track that really demonstrates that sentiment is “Take the Heartland” by Glen Hansard. Even then, it could’ve been milked a bit harder. I need some wicked electric guitar riffs, some gut-busting drum solos, some shouting and head-banging and fist-pumping. Didn’t get that from this soundtrack so much.

Of all the songs, “The Ruler and the Killer” by Kid Cudi currently has the most plays on my iPod. Totally the Capitol’s tune. Certain verses like “all of you belong to me,” “respect for what I have done for thee” and “you puttin’ on a show for me” represent this. It’s bizarre, ominous and intimidating. It made me want to do a creepy dance. Yeah, I don’t know what that means either. But let’s face it…if you can get a creepy dance, or any dance, out of ME, you know you’ve hit the big time. Congratulations, T-Bone. You win.

Cynical Dani out.

Thanks, my incompatible little minions! So, does your opinion about the HG Movie Soundtrack fall in line with Optimistic Dani’s, or Cynical Dani’s? Or have you parked yourself on the safer, less extreme middle ground?

Optimist: Talk it up! I love hearing everyone’s brilliant thoughts!

Cynic: Don’t expect me to beg for comments like some people.

Category: Featured, Hunger Games Soundtrack

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joshua-Yamada/100001820883138 Joshua Yamada

    I haven’t heard “Just a Game” yet, but I will!  Sounds Impressive!

  • Miss_Heather

    Well, cynical dani, you said it for me, and having just seen the movie, 5 hours ago, and loved it, i must say there was a lack of score throughout the movie, and thats what i was counting on, my advice for people who want the soundtrack, don get it, its not worth it , but the movie a few things were changed, and for me missing some thing that could have made it in , it still was truly brilliant.

  • Ed_teddy

    I’m really enjoying the soundtrack… must of all beacuse, the HUnger Games, don’t meant to be so funny… also if you kinda put yourself on Katniss shoes the songs have her feelings and are from her perspective (by the way sorry if there are grammatical mistakes, that’s not my beast)… And also is my point of view and i respect Yours…
    Happy Hunger Games :D

  • NorColo

    Been listening to the soundtrack since I got it yesterday morning; won’t be able to see the movie until Friday morning.  Like most music, it kinda had to grow on me.  That said, I think I’m going to come to love almost all the songs on it.  The Ruler & The Killer and Take the Heartland are not my favorites, maybe just not my kind of music.  I also LOVE LOVE LOVE Just a Game and thought the same thing, that it is about Katniss’s feelings about Peeta.  But my favorite right now is Nothing to Remember.  I just keep finding myself humming it and wanting to hear it again!
    I am interested to see how they use the 3 songs from the soundtrack in the movie, and I’ll probably buy the score when it is released.

  • Italiagirl12

    The soundtrack isn’t in the movie at all though :(

    • Pajamason

      you have to buy the original score if you want the music that was in the movie.  This soundtrack is music INSPIRED by the movie.
      -Melissa

  • http://hungergamesmovie.org/ Will

    Love the track by the Carolina Chocolate Drops. At face value, it’s a traditional folk song, but if you listen close there’s a barely audible breakbeat. T Bone Burnett, who assembled this and the “Oh Brother Where Art Thou?” soundtrack said he was trying to imagine folk songs in the far future, in the broken post-America of Panem. Can’t think of a better way to reference that than what sounds like an ancient boombox in the background playing the breakbeat, no batteries left, maybe powered by solar or hand crank, while the song proper is sung by the guitarist and her guitar, as if around a campfire.

  • Catlinjo13

    I think the soundtrack fits perfectly. It shows emotion from everyone. I would have to say I like the song Rules by Jaymr Dee. It shows both ways of how Peeta and Katniss feel about the games and their love.

  • THG_reader

    I found the score to be incredibly bland. The movie lacked music. There were too many parts that seemed too silent. The score is very important. It can enhance a film. This movie did not get that benefit. 

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