Soundtracks have always been one of my favorite ways to capture and retain the mood and memory of a film, as well as to discover new (and old) music. They are akin to a professional “mix tape”. And, oh, how I love “mixes”…of course I long ago graduated from mix tapes to mix-CD’s, but I’ve enjoyed countless hours spent compiling assortments of music over the years, in part inspired by my love for soundtracks. Maybe one of these days, I’ll put together a list of some of my all-time favorite soundtrack albums…I’d love to hear yours, too, so please feel free to share!
One of the proven “Kings” of film soundtrack production is Grammy and Academy Award winning producer/songwriter T-Bone Burnett. Here, he has done it once again, gathering a unique mix of musicians, both mainstream and lesser known, all of whom do an exceptional job of capturing the themes and mood of the book (and film) through their songs. I first listened to this album after reading the book, before seeing the movie, and truly felt like I was reliving the book through the songs ~ via both sound AND lyrics. In some cases lyrics are taken directly from the pages of the book ~ and they translate in every instance. Each track has a place here. Burnett chose his artists wisely…and they certainly delivered.
Very few of the songs on this soundtrack are actually featured in the film. It is more a compilation of songs “inspired” by The Hunger Games. There are definitely strains of both Oh Brother Where Art Thou and Cold Mountain in the album’s frequently folksy, Appalachian style, which I wouldn’t necessarily have imagined for this film. But it works. Very well indeed. And there are plenty of non-folksy tracks to satisfy all tastes. Continue reading