A follow-up to the first “The Hunger Games” soundtrack, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” should soon be met with similar success.
Varying greatly from the first album, the resulting “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack,” is certainly of interest. This difference could be the result of two possible causes. Firstly, producer T-Bone Burnett, who brought a much more earthy tone of music to the first album, has been replaced with the more pop-oriented producer Alexandra Patsavas whose previous work includes the“Twilight”soundtracks. Another reason for this difference could be the variance in location of the second film. The first film’s plot takes place in a forest and impoverished area, while the second takes place in a large city.
Consisting of 15 total tracks, the “Catching Fire” soundtrack is an overall pleasant mix of varying tracks. It includes the folksy, broken down acoustics reminiscent of the first album, however, these are met with new, more revolutionary tracks.
One of the album’s best songs is one of the more synthetic tracks, “Elastic Heart.” Created by powerhouse and superstar songwriter Sia Furler, “Elastic Heart,” is sure to become a crossover from the soundtrack world to mainstream success. Featuring The Weeknd and Diplo, the track’s back-and-forth between the two unique vocals of Sia and The Weeknd builds as Diplo’s DJ capabilities create swirling beats.
Another of the album’s standouts is Coldplay’s “Atlas.” Through Coldplay’s classic, simple piano instrumentals, “Atlas” creates an ethereal feeling that will make listeners feel as though they are just tiny specks in a giant universe. Long runs met with echoing voices create a cavernous feeling throughout the song’s playtime.
Fans of the first album will find a favorite in The Lumineers’ “Gale Song.” With stripped-down acoustics and a lullaby-like presence, the folksy band creates a slow-paced ballad. It encompasses everything the first album had and its presence among the more mainstream tracks is welcome.
Just as the original “The Hunger Games” soundtrack had the villainous track, “The Ruler And The Killer” by Kid Cudi, a similarly haunting track on “Catching Fire” is Lorde’s cover of the Tears for Fears classic, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World.” Lorde’s voice is dreary and as the ominous instrumentals create a sense of dismay, the song becomes one of the soundtrack’s most effective pieces.
If there is one criticism to be made of the “Catching Fire” soundtrack, it would be that cohesion between tracks is largely absent. It is as though the artists and the producer failed to think of an order in which the songs would flow. Listening to the 15 individual tracks, the “Catching Fire” soundtrack produces a record similar to the “NOW” series, in which singles are just on the same album together. This contrasts the first album’s concept, which seemed to create a story with the songs that could be followed.
The “Catching Fire” soundtrack as a whole is terrific. Containing different genres and sounds, the record and its tracks each offer up new things for the listener. While little flow exists, this album has far too much potential to allow it to be bogged down. Fans of “The Hunger Games” soundtrack will surely be excited by this one as well.